The impact of the events of 2020 has reached all corners of the construction industry, and that can clearly be seen in the construction and design trends being predicted for 2021. Schools, healthcare facilities, office buildings, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities will look much different in the coming months in order to help occupants and tenants stay safe and healthy. Below are some major changes that are on the horizon for these commercial buildings and spaces.
With the return to “traditional” learning nowhere in sight, educators and administrators are looking for new and innovative ways to support changing pedagogy and flexibility in learning styles. Not only are schools being designed and renovated to promote social distancing, but they’re also being built to include spaces that facilitate hybrid models that include both virtual and in-person curriculum.
Construction and design are focusing less on aesthetics and more on functionality. Spaces will be more open to improve ventilation, with more modular elements (like folding walls or pop-up pods) that can quickly change as needed. Spaces that host in-person learning — like science labs or band rooms — will be reconfigured and will take up more of a footprint to keep kids safely apart while still getting hands-on experience.
The name of the game in hospitals and medical clinics will be infection control. Waiting rooms are being eliminated from designs to reduce the number of ill patients from congregating together. Physical barriers will be placed between staff and patients, and there will be an emphasis on construction material that’s easy to clean and disinfect. Major systems like HVAC will include increased ventilation and tools like UV disinfecting lights to keep circulating air clean and disease-free.
Supply rooms will grow to accommodate stockpiles while break rooms will shrink to minimize the number of healthcare staff that are in the same confined area at the same time. Here, too, construction design trends point towards flexibility. There’s no way to accurately predict when or if a surge of patients will overwhelm a facility, and buildings need to be designed to serve a number of different functions at a moment’s notice.
Many building owners who have tenants who lease office space are undertaking major renovations, with new construction on hold until the future of work becomes more clear. Remodeling is a growing trend that allows owners to keep tenants in place who may already have long-term leases while also creating workspaces that make employees feel more comfortable about returning to work.
Touchless automatic doors will be included in designs, bathrooms will include elements that make them easier to clean, and sustainability will still be at the forefront when choosing construction materials. Remote work is poised to shape office construction trends as well. Projects are increasingly including rooms and spaces that host video conferencing tech and high-speed internet infrastructure to foster communication between those working in an office and those working from remote offices.
Warehouses and Industrial Spaces
Changes in the supply chain and consumer behavior are largely driving warehouse and industrial building design and construction. Retailers were already witnessing eCommerce growth, but that’s accelerated greatly throughout the last year. Expedited shipping is now an expectation, and many new warehouses are being built larger and in urban centers to meet that expectation. Because space is becoming a premium in these urban areas, these buildings are being built up instead of expanding out.
Industrial automation and IoT-connected technology are bending the trend curves for warehouses and industrial facilities as well. Floorplans will be created to avoid interference with robotics and equipment that streamline automated workflows. This tech is also being utilized to reduce staff on the floor of the warehouse and encourage health and safety on the job.
One of the many advantages of working with a commercial construction company is that their team of experts will stay ahead of the construction and design trends. For new construction projects or renovations, we have the experience it takes for a successful outcome. For over four generations, our team has been providing stellar work with clarity and transparency — not chaos and confusion. If you appreciate quality, efficient work instead of the commercial construction roller coaster.
When you’re ready to talk about the commercial construction projects you’re looking to complete in 2021, get in touch to learn more.