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Hayley Sumner

5 Strategies in Multifamily Buildings

By Industry Insights

5 Strategies for Successfully Constructing Multifamily Buildings

The U.S. multifamily building market is moving at a dizzying pace. The global real estate giant CBRE recently reported record-breaking growth in the 1 st quarter of 2022 with a year-over-year increase of 56%, and a record four-quarter absorption total of 695,100 units.

Multifamily grabbed the highest percentage of total commercial real estate investment volume in Q1 2022 at 37%, followed by office at 21%, and industrial at 20%.

However, with all the multifamily construction activity taking place, it takes a lot of skill, diligence, experience, and hard work to deliver a high quality, on-time, and on-budget project.

The following is a collection of five best practices from preconstruction all the way through close-out.


When beginning a multifamily building project, it is essential that submittals are in early and the materials are procured right away. With an increase in supply chain delays, this has become even more critical to keeping a project running on time. For example, electrical switchgear and some roofing products have longer lead times and this must be accounted for.

In pricing a job, Summit Design + Build Project Executive Ari Killian stresses the importance of understanding how the materials and labor break down in each subcontractor’s bid. That way if there is an escalation in materials, for example, the impact on budget will be clear.

In addition, Senior Project Manager Kevin Criner explains that the budget must be realistic with contingencies built in to account for unforeseen circumstances as a project proceeds. If the job is priced too low, the team will constantly struggle with value engineering, scope removal, and alternate products. Furthermore, the contractor will be tempted to bring in unqualified subcontractors.

Bottom line, says Criner, “the budget needs to be realistic with scoped, vetted, and capable subcontractors.”

Staying On Schedule

As the project proceeds, the project managers have weekly coordination meetings with their subcontractors to ensure a flow in construction. This means the carpenters do their work on the first floor and then move up to the next one. The mechanical trades then do their installation work and move up the building. Next is the insulation, then the drywall, followed by the flooring, and so forth.

To support this workflow, the general contractor must have clear agreements on the sequence and durations with all subcontractors, which they will be held accountable for.

However, even with this pre-planning, material delays can be unavoidable.

For the 7-story, 42 unit 1400 Monroe project, the flooring tiles were delayed and the schedule had to be restructured to accommodate this. While waiting for the tiles, the team installed the switch gear and fire pump early, and started working on the elevators relatively early. Once the flooring arrived, Summit increased its manpower and worked a few weekends to help mitigate the delay.

Located near 911 emergency dispatch centers in the city, Summit also had to carefully schedule any street closures and cranes during 1400 Monroe’s construction.

Generally speaking, Criner says, “it’s a constant adjustment of the schedule. If you fall behind, you develop a recovery schedule. If you get ahead, you find ways to capitalize off those successes.”

For example, with the 6-story 6145 N Broadway, in demolishing an existing single-story building, a shared foundation wall with a neighboring building was discovered and the contractors were able to re-use that wall.

At the same time, the team had to deal with a delay in cold form metal studs. In this case, the carpenter was the driving force on the project, so much effort was put into keep this critical path contractor moving forward while waiting for the metal to arrive.

Building Enclosure


Significantly factoring into performance, energy efficiencies, and the building’s longevity is how well the building envelope is detailed and sealed. Consequently, Killian says they encourage building owners to invest in bringing in third party building enclosure consultants to investigate and test all the work and components installed by the subcontractors. This includes flashing, air and water barriers. “This will save a lot of headaches down the line,” he explains.

“A failed water barrier can be the death of a good build,” adds Kriner. “Make sure that all details are finalized and anything unclear is addressed when sealing up the building envelope.”

Pre-Drywall Walk Through

Before putting up the drywall, there are a number of items that must be checked and verified. This includes making sure the:

  • mechanicals are in the right location.
  • plumbing lines are by the sinks.
  • stack lines are where the toilets go.
  • gas lines are located where they’re needed for the furnaces, hot water heaters, and stoves.
  • electrical outlets and water lines are in place for the appliances
  • low-voltage wiring is in place for the under-cabinet lighting.

“We usually take photos of each wall and room to document this because you don’t want to have to go back in and cut out drywall to re-work these connections,” says Killian.

Criner points out that the consequences of failing to do this can be dire if an outlet has been installed in the wrong place in all 100 units of a building, for example. “We do mock-ups of each unit to prevent this. You’re building 10 little houses and need to make sure you’re doing everything right on the first one,” he says.

Final Steps Before Close-Out

This part of the process involves going through the project’s punch list to verify that every aspect of the construction has been properly installed. To stay ahead of the game, Criner recommends addressing the punch list as the building is being constructed. This way the team won’t be faced with a long, comprehensive list at the project’s end.
For 6145 N Broadway, the project was just two weeks from completion in the spring of 2020 when COVID-19 hit. Fortunately, the team had been working on the punch list all along. Working diligently, Summit was able to finish the final punch list within 30 days and deliver the building.

For 1400 Monroe, the team was able to keep the vertical flow of construction moving so smoothly that renters could start moving in on the bottom floors while work was finished off on the top floors.

For both projects, construction was completed on time and on budget, which are defining characteristics in a developer’s assessment of a job well done. Add in great quality and achieving the design vision, and the architects added on their stamp of approval as well.

About the author

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a seasoned architectural journalist, covering the design and construction industry for the past 20+ years. She writes for numerous industry magazines and creates content for AEC firms and product manufacturers.

Austin Texas Construction

By Industry Insights, Texas

Spotlight on Austin, Texas Construction

As the nation’s most highly invested city, business is booming in Austin, Texas. Taking the #1 spot from Greater Los Angeles for the most preferred U.S. market, per CBRE’s 2021 investor survey, scores of companies are re-relocating to the Lone Star State’s Capital.

“Silicon Hills”

Fortune 500 tech companies like Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Dell, IBM, and Samsung are turning Austin into the new Silicon Valley, renamed “Silicon Hills” in reference to Austin’s spot in Texas Hill Country.

Folks are also attracted to the laid-back lifestyle, universities, music and tech festivals, and conferences like South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits.

Luring companies with its pro-business/lack of red tape philosophy, CommercialEdge reported in May that Austin is currently leading the country in new office developments, representing 7% of the nation’s office construction total pipeline with 10.3 million sq.-ft. of office space under construction. And this is for a city with less than 1 million people per the 2020 U.S. Census.

In addition to current construction projects even more companies are eyeing the city, including those from the industrial, manufacturing, e-commerce, and food sectors.

To help design and construct these projects, AEC firms like Summit Design + Build are opening up shop in Austin.

Austin Housing Crunch

While the growth is exciting, it’s not without its challenges. In addition to placing a strain on the city’s infrastructure, the city is practically out of office space and there’s a housing shortage.

“Companies want to be here, but getting their labor force here is difficult. Real estate prices have increased tremendously and we can’t build fast enough,” states Amber Autumn, Director of Business Development, Summit Design + Build, Austin. “Condos can sell out in a matter of hours.”

To help spur residential development, the city has set up an interesting business model where development companies coming in qualify for certain tax breaks, but they are also required to build multi-family housing projects.

Summit is about to break ground on two new construction condominium projects – 4315 S. Congress and 1619 South 1st St.

4315 S. Congress, Congress Lofts at St. Elmo, is strategically located in one of Austin’s fastest growing neighborhoods. Joining developer Intracorp USA and architects Pappageorge Haymes and Urban Foundry, Summit is building 148 warehouse style residential lofts with an art-filled lobby, library lounge, courtyard, pool, and outdoor kitchen. The building will also feature 3,800 square feet of office space.

The 4-story multi-family, mixed use 1619 South 1st St. will offer 35 residential units, ground floor retail, a pool and gym, designed by Sixthriver and developed by Chameleon Companies.

Autumn explains that generally speaking, condos pose a more complicated business model, complex delivery methodology, and more liability. Consequently, many contractors shy away from these undertakings, but not Summit Design + Build.

“Building condo buildings are for the brave, strong, and highly skilled, as they add additional risk, and require more attention to details. With an abundance of happy clients, we know our formula works,” remarks Autumn.

That said, material shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, and skilled labor shortages impacting every industry and every locale are affecting Austin as well.

“It’s important to have a team dedicated to advance procurement, and the ability to make value engineering pivots,” advises Autumn. “With so many materials not available, design assist and design build are the only delivery methods that work right now.”

Major Austin Construction Projects

Despite these hurdles, major construction activity is ongoing. Trammel Crow recently completed the 36-story Indeed Tower downtown and the 814,081 square-foot Google Tower is set to become the metro’s tallest office skyscraper.

The University of Texas Austin recently opened its new Gensler-designed 15,000+ seat Moody Center, a multi-purpose arena for the men’s and women’s UT basketball teams, concerts and events.

Under construction, Sixth and Guadalupe will be the first mixed-use high-rise in Austin with more than a million square feet of office, residential, retail, and outdoor space inside one building. The 66-story high rise will contain 589,112 square feet of Class A office space and 349 residences.

Another mega-development, East Village, is a 425-acre, $1 billion mixed-use property developing 810,000 square feet of office space, three hotels, 466 single-family homes, 2,000 multifamily units, a 1.5-acre park, and around 400,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.

In addition, Uptown ATX is a 66-acre area with 7 million square feet of office, multifamily, retail and hotel, and a new Metro Rail Station under development.

No Sign of Slowing Down

As all types of growth continue in the Texas State Capitol, it will be important for companies and developers to select the right partners to help them develop their offices, multi-family residential, industrial projects, and more. Working with experienced designers and contractors with familiarity with the area will be one of the best ways to accomplish this.

About the author

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a seasoned architectural journalist, covering the design and construction industry for the past 20+ years. She writes for numerous industry magazines and creates content for AEC firms and product manufacturers.

Bakery Expansion Kicks off for Eli’s Cheesecake

By News

Bakery Expansion Kicks off for Chicago Icon Eli’s Cheesecake

Dessert maker adding 42,000 sf to existing 62,000 sf Northwest Chicago Facility

Summit Design + Build has kicked-off construction at Eli’s Cheesecake in Chicago, IL. The Chicago-based cheesecake and dessert company is adding a 42,000 sf addition to its existing 62,000 sf facility. The addition marks the first expansion to the facility since being built in 1995.

The project was officially kicked-off with a ceremonial ground “baking” on Tuesday, July 26th, attended by the Schulman Family, Adam Miller, President – Summit Design + Build, Michael Aragona, Joel Friedland – Brit Properties, Juliana Stratton – Illinois Lt. Governor, Sylvia Garcia – Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Xochitl Flores – Bureau Chief, Economic Development – Cook County, Paul Goodrich, Chief Operating Officer – City of Chicago, Katherine Blonski, – Chief of Staff for 38th Ward Alderman Nicholas Sposato and Ben Van Vlerah, Commercial Regional Manager – Huntington National Bank, as well as Eli’s Cheesecake employees and numerous community members. The 42,000 sf addition also comes as Eli’s Cheesecake is celebrating its 42nd year of business.

The new addition will wrap around the west side and south side of the existing Eli’s Cheesecake building and will include interior spaces for general bakery use, general storage, bakery processing and a new mezzanine. The existing facility will remain open during construction.

Michael Aragona is serving as the project architect, he also served as the architect for the original facility in 1995.

4 BIM Enhancing Trends

By Industry Insights

4 BIM Enhancing Trends

Artificial intelligence, digital twins, building energy modeling and cloud technology are enabling greater design and construction efficiencies with Building Information Modeling.

Significantly boosting project design and construction efficiencies by leveraging the expertise of the full building team, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a game-changing technology.  

Global BIM adoption shot up from 11% of construction company utilization in 2011, to 73% in 2019, as recorded in the U.K.-based global technology platform NBS’ 2020 10th Annual BIM report.

Unlike traditional CAD design, each design element no longer exists in a two-dimensional vacuum and can be properly considered within the context of the full building design. With BIM, this means conflicts like an air duct running through a structural column can be identified and resolved early on in the design phase.

As the project takes shape, changes are updated in real-time, and easily coordinated across project teams.

Supporting the adoption of BIM are a number of technologies bringing its application and abilities to whole new levels.

Artificial Intelligence

This advanced technology studies design details and applies this intelligence to project designs. For example, AI is used for task automation, recognition of design intent and auto-completion of repetitive tasks.

Provided with a dataset of “rules,” an AI engine within BIM can create accurate models and floor plans. If a design parameter changes, AI will adjust all other variables within the full design and workflow.

The technology assists with automatically classifying BIM elements, auto-completion of connection details and model and drawing clean-up. 

As articulated by BIM Today Digital Content Editor Lydia Bamford, “AI is a particularly useful tool because it allows construction processes to become more streamlined by reducing the cost, time and risk of the project lifecycle by exploring all available avenues and processes of a construction project.”

The technology’s level of accuracy and ability to anticipate outcomes also mitigates construction risks and enhances safety.

Digital Twins

Powered by AI, digital twins are defined as virtual models designed to reflect a physical object accurately. This highly advanced technology is considered the new rage in the world of BIM.

A physical object or design is outfitted with sensors, drones and other digital technologies. This data is then used to create an exact digital replica, i.e., a twin, which can then be used to run simulations and gather data on improving performance.

As the hyper-accurate virtual model continues to gain intelligence through advanced analytics, machine-learning algorithms and AI, when it comes time to build, project teams can save costs and time with more accurate designs.

Building Energy Modeling 

Another way BIM is being used to optimize designs is by exporting the models directly into energy modeling software, where parameters like window-to-wall ratios, building forms and construction types can be evaluated. 

Advancements in BIM technology support these direct exports and eliminate the extra, time-consuming process of performing area takeoffs and geometric modeling before running the energy software.

Performing simulations on different design parameters helps the project team fine-tune the design based upon a pre-determined set of values such as thermal performance, daylighting levels, energy costs, life cycle costs and carbon emissions. 

Taking this a step further, digital sensors and smart meters can record actual performance data once a building is up and running. The building’s HVAC systems can be properly calibrated for enhanced performance by feeding this information into the original BIM model.

Cloud Technology

To store BIM models and all this amazing technology, cloud providers offer a central portal where project collaboration and coordination can occur in real-time. With access to cloud-stored databases and analytics, architects, engineers, contractors and sub-contractors can work anywhere, anytime to revise, mark up, and update designs.

The result is better communication, enhanced productivity and fewer mistakes as all team members access the same working model.

More Technology

In the next few years, BIM is anticipated to continue growing at quite the pace. A recent report from the global market research firm Technavio Research projected year-over-year growth of 18.36% through 2026, with the North American market contributing to 40% of that growth. Inevitably, technologies bound up with BIM are also anticipated to expand, not to mention new technological developments likely around the bend.

About the author

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a seasoned architectural journalist, covering the design and construction industry for the past 20+ years. She writes for numerous industry magazines and creates content for AEC firms and product manufacturers.

4 Key Industrial Construction Trends

By Industry Insights

4 Key Industrial Construction Trends

With large retailers expanding their e-commerce operations and companies looking to stock up on and goods and materials to help mitigate supply chain bottlenecks, the industrial supply demand formula is currently demand heavy. In fact, real estate giant JLL’s recent research report “The Rice for Industrial Space, Can Supply Keep Up?” estimates an 87% year-to-year increase in the number of 1-million-sq.ft.-plus projects under construction.

To deliver these warehouses and manufacturing facilities, contractors are embracing the latest technology to capture cost and project schedule efficiencies.

Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a 3D shared design platform where architects, engineers, and contractors can collaborate on developing building designs. Constantly updated in real-time, building teams can easily visualize how the building looks from all angles and easily detect and correct any clashes between different building elements.

Particularly beneficial for industrial facilities where buildings are larger and more complex, BIM supports enhanced building owner input as these folks can more easily visualize how their evolving building with look and function. Buildings designed and built with BIM significantly reduce Requests for Information (RFIs) and change orders. With the collaborative BIM models revealing any problems or issues, these can be resolved on the front end and ultimately support a more streamlined, cost, and time-effective building process.

Automation and Robotics

As a highly labor-intensive industry, construction firms are shifting physically challenging, repetitive tasks to robots and automated machines. From bricklaying to welding to rebar tying, robots are performing these tasks faster and with greater accuracy. For jobs requiring great human strength, automated equipment is being deployed for excavation, demolition, and concrete works. Robots are also being used to detect faults in structures, for example, with greater precision than manual inspection.

In addition to protecting worker safety and reducing the risk of on-site injuries, the use of robots is assisting with the skilled worker shortage issue contractors and subcontractors are struggling with nationwide.


Another technology advance making a big splash in construction is the use of drones to quickly and easily survey a construction site and collect key data. Particularly valuable for larger industrial sites, these flying robots are being deployed to track a building’s progress and provide real-time updates.

At the onset of a project, drones can assist with visualizing the site’s topography. As construction progresses, high-resolution pictures capture exactly what is happening. These images can then be uploaded into the BIM models, enabling teams to pinpoint any mistakes or clashes. In addition, the imagery can be analyzed with thermal sensors to detect heat leaks, cold areas, or any electrical issues. With the ability to address these anomalies right away, this saves time and money.

Eliminating the need for construction workers to climb scaffolding in an attempt to photograph aerial views, drones significantly reduce safety risks and provide more comprehensive imagery.

Modular Construction

Projected to develop at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% for the next five years in North America according to market research firm IMARC Group, pre-fabricated modular construction is a sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective building strategy.

From larger building structures and pods, to panelized components like walls and roofs, systems are fabricated in high quality, controlled environment and delivered on-site ready for erection. Significantly reducing labor and materials, modular construction speeds up project delivery schedules and enhances safety. According to the Modular Building Institute, projects can be delivered 30% to 50% faster than traditional stick-built construction.

The Outlook

With ongoing demand for industrial space and the challenge of finding skilled labor continues, building teams are turning to technology to more efficiently deliver these large projects. Consequently, the application of BIM, robotics, drones, and modular construction will continue playing a significant role in executing these complex developments.

Are you considering an Industrial construction project?

Give our multifamily construction experts a call. We are happy to help guide you through the process, walk a prospective property or give an initial construction budget. 

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a seasoned architectural journalist, covering the design and construction industry for the past 20+ years. She writes for numerous industry magazines and creates content for AEC firms and product manufacturers.

Meet Our Construction Management Interns

By Industry Insights, News

Meet Our Construction Management Interns

An internship with Summit Design + Build is a great opportunity for college students to learn first-hand what a career in construction is all about! Our internship program is designed so that our interns gain the most valuable, impactful experience while having more fun, in the hopes that they come back to grow their careers with us. From day one our interns are immersed in our active construction projects, working side-by-side with our project managers, project engineers, estimators, and superintendents. Over the course of their internship, Summit Design + Build interns also get to conduct multiple site visits followed by intern team lunches at Chicago’s hottest spots. Interns also participate in intern happy hours, lunch and learns, Summit social gatherings and Summit team-building events!

Get to Know Our Interns

This summer Summit Design + Build is excited to have three interns on board, Ben Kossack (Majoring in Civil Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), Jake Duerr (Majoring in Finance at University of Dayton) and Michael Murray (Majoring in Construction Management at Purdue University). We sat down with our interns to learn what intrigues them about the construction industry, what makes them thrive and what their future construction goals are.

Ben Kossack – University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

What interests you about the construction industry?

Ben: “I find it interesting just how adaptive the industry is becoming with all the new tech that is constantly being created.”

Jake: “The idea of buildings/complexes being built from the ground up. I have also grown up in the construction industry, but at a smaller scale because of my dad. He had taken me to his renovation projects ever since I was younger and has actually used me to demo the houses he was working on. I very much enjoy this side of the industry a lot more than being part of the demo side.”

Michael: “How diverse it is and how every project has its different challenges to face.”

What are you most excited about for this internship?

Ben: “I’m very excited to be working on a project as it is starting out (Stadium Lofts), going from seeing almost nothing on the ground to having a new structure there should be really cool.”

Jake: “I am most excited to work on a variety of different projects awarded to Summit and to visit them in person. I am also excited to learn from the project managers and project engineers that work at the company.”

Michael: “To learn firsthand about the industry and get more hands-on experience.”

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Ben: “Funny, enthusiastic and hardworking”

Jake: “Hardworking, determined, curious”

Michael: “Outgoing, nice, careful”

What are your hobbies/interests?

Ben: “I like to play video games, play tennis and get together with my friends”

Jake: “Fantasy Football (even though I am very bad at it), video games, White Sox baseball, rugby, concerts (especially early 2000’s metal) and pickup Basketball”

Michael: “Fishing and being with friends”

Cubs or White Sox?

Ben: “Cubs everyday”

Jake: “White Sox”

Michael: “WHITE SOX!”

Jake Duerr – University of Dayton

Michael Murray – Purdue University

What is your favorite Chicago summer activity?

Ben: “Probably going out and trying all the different things the city has to offer.”

Jake: “Going to White Sox games at Guaranteed Rate Field.”

Michael: “The beach.”

If you woke up as the President of Summit DB, what would be the first thing you would do?

Ben: “Everything in my power to, if it happens, secure the bid for the Chicago Bears new stadium in Arlington Heights.”

If you could have a superpower, what would you pick and why?

Ben: “Flying, it would make getting around so much easier.”

Michael: “To fly, can get places fast and it’s just cool.”

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Ben: “Kevin James”

Jake: “I would like to see Ryan Gosling play the lead role because he is one of my favorite actors and co-stars in my #1 movie of all time, “The Nice Guys.” He is surprisingly funny as well.”

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

Ben: “Probably “Life is a highway” because the movie Cars is great.”

What would be your dream construction project?

Ben: “I would love to work on a sports stadium of some kind.”

Jake: “Working on the Chicago Bears new football stadium at the old Arlington Racetrack.”

Michael: “Some type of skyscraper or a neat art museum.”

What animal would you compare yourself to and why?

Ben: “Probably a penguin, mostly because my friends for the longest time compared me to one.”

What do you hope to do post-graduation?

Ben: “I hope to secure a job in either the construction management or structural engineering field.”

Jake: “I hope to work in construction management focusing on cost estimation or project management.”

Michael: “Work in the construction industry.”

Learn More About Our Intern Program

It’s going to be a great summer with Summit’s interns in the office! We love the energy they bring and we love seeing them learn first-hand what it’s really like to work in the industry.

Are you interested in an internship with Summit Design + Build? Check out our internship program page to learn more and to apply for open opportunities.

4 Trends Shaping Multifamily Construction Today

By Industry Insights

4 Trends Shaping Multifamily Construction Today

Rewind to early 2020 – Health and wellness, outdoor spaces, hybrid work environments, and technology were already trending in multifamily construction. Now, in post-pandemic 2022, these design trends have taken center stage.

Health and Wellness

As the world continues to grapple with the ever-evolving COVID-19, the need for healthy environments, both physically and mentally, is at an all-time high. Today’s multifamily residents are not only interested in swimming pools, fitness facilities, childcare services, and dog parks, but meditation rooms and yoga classes as well.

Units and communal spaces are incorporating proper air filtration, touchless fixtures, easy-to-clean surfaces, paints and materials with no/low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and circadian lighting fixtures in tune with the body’s natural cycles.  And biophilic design strategies connecting people with the natural environment are a priority. This includes large windows and open floor plans bringing in lots of daylighting, balconies, plants, and natural materials like wood and stone.

For example, the 7-story boutique condominiums for Chicago’s new 1400 Monroe property features 9-foot ceilings, oversized loft-style windows, recessed balconies, and large terraces.

Outdoor Spaces

Through lockdowns and unprecedented time spent at home, access to the outdoors essentially transformed from a want to a need.

Rooftop amenities, pergolas, gardens, and walking trails are attracting renters and homeowners. In addition, people want to gather and socialize by fire pits, BBQ grills, wine bars, and large flat-screen TVs.

On point, the Luxe on Madison in downtown Chicago incorporates a dog run and rooftop terrace with a patio, fireplaces, and grilling area.

Within individual units, 73% of those surveyed by the New Home Trends Institute desire covered outdoor rooms/open-air rooms, 68% are interested in patios, and 55% want decks. Another 58% identified connection to the outdoors/nature as an important influence on their design choices in the coming years.

Whereas these types of features were more common with luxury housing, the trend has now expanded to affordable housing as well.

Hybrid Work Spaces

One major lesson learned from the pandemic is that employees can productively work from home. While many have returned to the office, the predominant mode is a hybrid set-up where folks split their time between the home and the office. The upshot is that multifamily homes and properties must be better equipped to support work settings.

In addition to creating spaces within the units themselves for daylit, technology-equipped working nooks, developers are revamping communal areas to provide workplace amenities such as co-working spaces, meeting/conference rooms, business centers, and lounge areas.

In addition to a rooftop terrace, dog run, and a fitness center, The Clark in Chicago offers a business center and a café.

Already in late 2020, the global real estate services company Newark reported that 14% of multifamily units had been renovated to accommodate more space for working. In all likelihood, those percentages have increased.


Following the touchless trend, multifamily properties are incorporating features like keyless locks and smart elevators. Many units have automated doorbells, security and lighting systems, and Alexa or Google Home speaker integration. Buildings are outfitted with intelligent building management systems and some properties are considering electrical car charging ports.

Whereas smart technology was previously relegated to upscale single-family homes, building owners are looking for ways to differentiate their properties and these technologies are emerging as a way to achieve that.

For instance, at 1400 Monroe, the units are equipped with smart home lighting technology.

Attracting Consumers

As multifamily properties continue competing in a tough market, the incorporation of health and wellness, outdoor amenities, work spaces, and technology will be key. Aligning these offerings with strong consumer preferences in 2022 must be a fundamental aspect of these project designs.

Are you considering a Multifamily construction project?

Give our multifamily construction experts a call. We are happy to help guide you through the process, walk a prospective property or give an initial construction budget. 

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a seasoned architectural journalist, covering the design and construction industry for the past 20+ years. She writes for numerous industry magazines and creates content for AEC firms and product manufacturers.

Construction Kicks-off for Stadium Lofts

By News, North Carolina

New Kannapolis, NC Multifamily Project to Overlook Cannon Ballers Baseball Stadium

Summit Design + Build has kicked off the construction of a 69,000 sf ground-up multifamily project in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Once complete, the project will overlook the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (a minor league baseball team affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) baseball stadium. The 7-story building will have two floors of retail/office space and five floors of 43 residential apartments. The building will feature a lobby, fitness center, club room, residential unit balconies and a parking garage. The project is expected to wrap up in Spring 2023.

This project marks the first construction project for general contractor, Summit Design + Build, in the state of North Carolina. The company has entered the North Carolina market encouraged by the massive growth of the area. Summit Design + Build focuses on providing a sophisticated construction management approach to make the construction process as painless and smooth as possible. The company’s construction services include Preconstruction/Planning, Construction Management, Design/Build, General Contracting and Sustainable Construction.

The developer of the project is Lansing Melbourne Group and Built Form is the project architect.

Summit Design + Build Completes 1400 Monroe

By News

1400 Monroe • Luxury multifamily condos completed in Chicago’s West Loop

The seven-story, boutique luxury condominium building is located on the corner of W Monroe St and S Loomis St and is directly across from Skinner Park. Featuring a collection of 42, two- and three-bedroom residences, 1400 Monroe sports a gray brick cladding and matte metal exterior accents to reflect the industrial aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood. Each unit features designer-quality finishes with 9-foot ceilings and oversized loft-style windows. The luxury building and units also feature:

  • Bathrooms with Kallista and Kohler fixtures, quartz countertops, and porcelain designer tiling,
  • Custom-designed kitchens with Thermador, Bosch and Franke appliances,
  • Lutron Caseta smart home technology,
  • Recessed balconies,
  • large terraces,
  • Onsite parking,
  • A bike room,
  • Tenant storage.

Booth Hansen served as the project architect for 1400 Monroe. Unit interiors were designed by Mojo Stumer Associates.

1400 Monroe Imagery

2022 Construction Trends

By Industry Insights

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.

Glass Partitions

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.

Adaptive Reuse

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 Features

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

Multi-Purpose Facilities

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.