3 Major Trends in Workplace Design
By Scott Hamele, DBIA President and founder, Construction DesignWorks, LLC
The continued demand for ground up construction and office construction in Kansas City and nationwide, coupled with skilled labor shortages, is creating a need for innovative solutions. All stakeholders such as owners, investors, developers, architects, engineers and general contractors face challenges. According to ConstructConnect’s chief economist, the largest growth of all construction sectors is office construction at a 12.9% increase from 2016. This is followed by healthcare at 12.6% and lodging at 12.4%.
In an effort to combat the labor shortages and decrease the time from inception to completion, three major trends will be seen in 2017 and 2018.
The skilled labor shortages can be combated with off-site construction. Modular construction, also known as pre-fabricated wall systems, offers the perfect solution for lack of labor and tighter schedules. Manufacturers such as Dirtt Environmental Solutions offer phenomenal products that provide a virtual walk-through of the floor-plan design as well real-time pricing of their wall and raised floor packages. Imagine that all the general contractor provides is a shell of a space complete with an acoustical ceiling, painted exterior walls and lights. The entire wall, glass, casework and door package arrives and is assembled within days. All components are custom built to the owner’s exact specifications and can include all electrical outlets, switches and data.
In an effort for all stakeholders in a project to better understand the intricacies of the design and final look, Building Information Modeling (BIM) applications will be utilized. BIM allows for real time collaboration among all parties to evaluate the design and make timely decisions that will save weeks if not months frpm the planning and design process. This will also reduce changes in the field that often add weeks to the schedule and countless dollars.
Open Office Construction
The trend for years has been open offices versus private offices because a combination of these types of meeting spaces are essential for productivity. However, because of the labor force shortages and an increase in material costs, the open office construction provides a less expensive design than fixed conventional metal-stud and gypsum walls. It also allows for future reconfigurations, reducing impending costs in remodeling expenses. The use of limited private offices, numerous open office stations and several small team huddle meeting rooms are essential. Large conference rooms are obviously a need, but end up being wasted space most of the time. Smaller groups typically meet on a more regular basis and require a four to six person huddle area for collaboration.
If you are one the stakeholders of a project, ask the question of how you will overcome the skilled labor force shortages and increase in material costs. Using these three simple concepts will help your project succeed and come in under budget and on time.
Construction DesignWorks uses its hands-on approach and design expertise to create and develop a winning design build team that is specialized for each customer. Their complete turnkey solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. Construction DesignWorks, LLC. is located at 21961 West 83rd Street in Shawnee, Kansas. If you are looking for a building contractor or for more information about interior design-build, call (913) 745-4727 or visit their website https://constructiondesignworks.com.