2022 Commercial Construction Trends
Construction trends come and go shifting one year to the next, with changing sensibilities and product innovations. In addition, thanks to the ongoing pandemic and demand for greater sustainability, many of the most profound trends over the past two years have arisen out of sheer necessity. As 2021 comes to a close, it is worthwhile to look ahead and see which commercial construction trends are out, which are in, and which are here to stay in 2022 and beyond.
Open floor plans with clear lines and unobstructed views have been a hallmark of interior design over the past several years. Not only do such layouts create a more pleasant and inviting ambiance, but the increased natural light flow is a major benefit to buildings looking to cut down on energy consumption and become more environmentally friendly.
However, with the lingering pandemic, commercial facilities have been given a painful lesson on the importance of having private, socially-distanced spaces in their building, as well. Rather than construct a series of cold, gray walls to form offices and private meeting areas, commercial buildings will continue to leverage the benefits of glass curtain walls in 2022. These innovative partitions help maintain the advantages of an open floor plan while also creating the separation necessary to keep all customers, clients, and employees socially distanced. In addition, glass partitions are highly customizable, giving designers the ability to add, remove, or modify interior spaces, as necessary.
As sustainability becomes an increasingly popular topic as we move into 2022, many designers and contractors are looking into ways to renovate and repurpose historic buildings, as opposed to demolishing and starting fresh. Not only can this help a construction project save on building materials, but it reduces the amount of energy and resources consumed during construction, as well.
However, to achieve a quality restoration, all adaptive reuse projects must be performed in a way that ensures the aesthetics, functionality, and energy efficiency of the restored structure. To this effect, correctly implementing historical windows is one of the greatest challenges contractors face. Not only can it be difficult to use modern products to create a look consistent with a historical aspect, but poorly-performed window retrofits can be a disaster for energy efficiency. Therefore, it is critical to deal with contractors that are experienced in the field and can effectively install and seal contemporary materials into a historic substrate.
Smart technology is not only helping society with entertainment, leisure, and household tasks–it is set to explode in the construction industry as an increasing number of projects break ground with an eye toward creating smart neighborhoods and cities. Some of the ways that smart technology is being incorporated into construction include:
- Window glass that can change its transparent or translucent properties based on the exterior temperature
- Shading devices that automatically adjust themselves based on the angle of the sun
- Smart concrete that can monitor changes in stress and alert contractors to where the trouble may arise before a major renovation is necessary
The shift to remote work and the skyrocketing cost of rent has changed the ways in which businesses utilize their commercial spaces. For example, many businesses are trying to find ways to sublet their facilities when not in use, looking for events and functions to come in during the evenings and weekends to make use of their space. In addition, groups of restaurants are teaming up to operate under the same roof, using a central kitchen and shared dining space in the face of decreased demand for in-person dining.
Therefore, facilities must be more versatile than ever. Modular partitions are a great way to create customized spaces under one roof. Polished concrete floors can also provide durability in the face of frequent furniture shifting and reorganizing. Finally, floating ceiling panels are important for maintaining stunning aesthetics while stifling noise transfer within shared spaces.
Sanitize-able Central Hubs
Another byproduct of the pandemic is an increased focus on creating easy-to-sanitize spaces, especially in central hubs such as dining halls, recreation centers, and postal facilities for apartment mailboxes. In such high-traffic areas, materials must be nonporous, resistant to damage from tensile blows, and capable of withstanding frequent application of cleaning products. Some trendy materials that check all of these boxes include:
- Quartz and solid surface countertops
- Stainless steel doorknobs and fixtures
- Terrazzo floors
Commercial Construction Trends to Watch in 2022
Each year, commercial construction trends will shift based on changing consumer sensibilities and the unveiling of innovative new products. In 2022, sustainability and the lingering, rapidly evolving pandemic are going to keep construction professionals scrambling to keep their facilities ahead of the curb. With this in mind, glass partitions, historic retrofits, smart features, multi-purpose facilities, and easy-to-sanitize central hubs are set to be 5 of the most prevailing commercial construction trends as the new year unfolds.
Natalie Akins is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. She is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.