Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann
The state of commercial construction in Central Texas is different than it was projected to be in 2019, before the pandemic occurred and when the national economy was expected to increase 2% a year through 2046. Through the first half of 2020, we saw a drop in construction and an increased cost of building materials, especially in lumber. But demand has continued to rise, and supply is struggling to keep up, not just for residential construction but for commercial construction, too.
To help anticipate the demands on commercial construction now that the economy is recovering and more businesses are looking at Central Texas
for new locations, it’s essential to understand the trends in construction so you can build places people will want to be.
In Central Texas, multi-use buildings are becoming a mainstay and, nationwide, consumers are demanding experiential areas where they can live,
work, shop, and socialize without using a car to do so.
With this in mind, commercial builders should be looking at ways to create multi-use spaces that provide more than one service or function. Think of office Mueller in Austin: a neighborhood with many types and styles of homes, built-in parks, walking paths, and playgrounds and greenspaces built into the same area as office spaces and retail.
Open spaces indoors and outdoors will be in demand, even after COVID is under control.
The way people interact at work, at home, and in their personal lives have changed,
and commercial real estate needs to be forward-thinking in how public and private spaces are designed and built.
With growing concern over the environment, both internationally and locally,
buildings will utilize energy-saving technologies and work within the environment in which they are built.
Keeping tenant needs in demand, it’s important to think about things like:
- Creating space for local wildlife and using native plants
- Creating open spaces that extend inside and outside
- Creating shaded spaces for intense Texas heat
- Creating shared outdoors spaces where both nature and utility meet
- Using green technology to reduce energy use
Spaces that embrace the environment surrounding them and give tenants opportunities to offer indoor/outdoor experiences with a low energy price tag should be the goal for any new commercial build.
A residential trend that’s making its way into the commercial building is the fusion of comfort and modern design.
From colored glass in windows to neutral stone and reclaimed wood accents, people are looking for comfort wherever they go.
Creating a place for community and meeting and not just strictly for design and one specific function will make your space more attractive.
While the word “trends” brings to mind short-term fads, the current demand for function, design, comfort and sustainability aren’t going anywhere. It’s essential to keep all of this in mind before you start planning and designing your next project so you can ensure both maximum success and maximum ROI on the build.