Every industry has trends that come and go throughout the years, and the commercial construction industry is no exception. While the importance of favoring tried-and-true building design has obvious benefits, keeping up to date with trends is equally important for the growth of your business. This is particularly true for commercial clients as their building serves not only as a place of business, but also a first impression to their own clients or customers.
Here are five of the most important trends in commercial building design.
Construction with Energy Efficient Walls Systems
Insulating concrete blocks being used in commercial construction for exterior walls has been a standby for a long time, but new technology has allowed for these blocks to be integrated in complete wall systems. Improving energy efficiency is often very important to clients, as it reduces maintenance costs for them. Wall systems that use insulating concrete blocks provide stronger structure, better insulation, impressive fire resistance and higher sound reduction from outside noise.
These energy efficient wall systems can also be put up faster, more easily and with less expense. They perform equally well in a number of regions as well. For example, the structural soundness of these wall systems can be just as important in the South where hurricanes or severe storms may hit, but just as effective in the North where strength against snowfall and insulation against the cold are required.
Incorporating Green Design
The impact of climate change has affected commercial building designs, particularly in recent years. Building with sustainability in mind is not only better for the environment but also has proven to be better for the people that work within them. Taking commercial office designs to the green/eco-friendly side improves energy efficiency as well as provides a more productive workspace for employees.
Examples of green design include use of bamboo veneer over wood, green or living roofs, improved air and humidity control, smarter waste management and the use of recycled materials (like steel) when possible. The primary ideas behind these designs are to reduce consumption of heat, light and water, and using recycled or sustainable materials before purchasing new materials. Better air quality and more natural lighting will also positively affect those within the building.
Adopting Smart Glass into New Buildings
Similar to the idea of green commercial building designs, the use of smart glass is becoming increasingly popular. Smart glass is a fairly generic phrase to describe glass that is tinted or glazed in a way that improves energy efficiency by controlling glare, harsh bright light and heat from the sun. Many commercial buildings want to incorporate plenty of windows to improve visibility for employees and make use of natural lighting over artificial. Unfortunately controlling light isn't so easy and bright light coming shining through a normal window can quickly heat up the building.
Smart glass reduces costs and provides a more enjoyable working environment. One very exciting trend in this field is smart glass that can be electronically controlled. This means you can simply touch a button or dial to control how much tint the window has, thereby controlling the amount of light and heat being absorbed.
Implementing Collaborative, Casual Gathering Spaces
The days of coworkers gathering around the watercooler are quickly fading as more and more businesses wish to offer casual gathering spaces for their employees. These gathering spaces serve multiple functions but primarily is a place for employees to get up from their desk and take a break or for coworkers to meet and collaborate on projects in a more casual setting compared to a conference room.
While most gathering spaces are indoors, there are numerous benefits to providing comfortable outdoor area for relaxation and collaboration. Being stuck inside an office building all day isn't ideal and allowing for employees to meet outside has proven to be a better option. A roomy rooftop deck area with seating, tables and some container plants is simple to build yet really improves employee morale and creativity. Compare various deck building options such as wood vs composite deck materials to accomodate your rooftop deck.
Use of Virtual Reality in Building Design
Virtual reality has skyrocketed in popularity over the last 5 years or so, and only continues to improve as technology advances. VR is far more useful than many people realize, especially those that tend to tie virtual reality to games or entertainment. VR can actually be an incredible tool when it comes to commercial building design and architecture project management, whether it's construction of a brand new building or work on an existing one.
VR will allow for construction teams to literally walk through the building they are designing, which means they can get a more realistic idea of what the blueprint of the building actually looks like. In this way workers can more easily find flaws in design or potential obstacles before they actually happen during construction. VR would also benefit construction clients as they will be able to do a walk-through of the blueprint and really get a feel for what they will be getting.
Staying up to date with the latest in commercial building design is necessary for interior design and construction companies to keep up with the competition. Blindly following what's popular is never a good idea but the five featured here are all sound trends that truly improve building design and the experience of those working within these buildings.