2017 Trends in the Commercial Construction Industry

Although construction spending did not meet analyst expectations during 2016, Dodge Data & Analytics is expecting 5 percent growth for 2017. Houston office building construction experts are excited by new cutting-edge technologies, project delivery systems and workforce management techniques that will be implemented during the year. Here is a breakdown of the key type-of-structure categories and their anticipated activity levels for Houston commercial construction.

New retail projects have increased by 5 percent since October 2009. These outlets have been using Wi-Fi, social media, proximity-generated special offers and email blasts to find and build their clientele by providing a “memorable experience.” Internet sellers have taken a big bite out of brick-and-mortar stores, and many historically powerful brands have closed underperforming outlets or gone out of business entirely. New retail construction is expected to continue to grow.

The increase in retail construction will prompt an upsurge in warehouse construction. Numerous regional fulfillment centers are necessary so that companies can rapidly deliver orders to demanding customers who purchase from their phones, laptops or PCs.

For the last two years, private office building construction has been remarkably strong. Most cities are experiencing the lowest office vacancy rates in 10 years. Robust business and employment opportunities in some of the highest profile careers that lease offices are responsible for the demand for downtown accommodations.

Hotel and motel construction is currently at the top of its cycle. Travel for business and tourism purposes has increased along with the uptick in employment and commerce in the U.S. This also bodes well for amusement park construction.

Here are some of the top construction trends to watch for in 2017.

  • Collaborative project delivery methods will gain in popularity over standard design-bid-build developments. Methods that are likely to shake up the industry include integrated project delivery, public-private partnerships and more Houston design build
  • Modular construction that takes place off-site will be used more often. This pre-fab alternative construction has been around for years, but it will become more common as time, labor and quality issues make it more attractive to builders. Off-site projects can be completed faster and with tighter quality control. Success breeds imitation. As modular projects are shown to be profitable, more companies will jump on the bandwagon.

Virtual and augmented reality is poised to be the next big thing for enhancing collaboration between project partners before the first shovel breaks ground. Mistakes can be avoided because errors can be detected ahead of time. Worker safety will also be improved with real-time reports on jobsite conditions.

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