homepage home
subscribe to Midwest Construction magazine subscribe
newsletters free e-newsletter
advertise
industry jobs industry jobs
Mcgraw Hill Construction
Midwest Construction Logo
Order Your RISK FREE Subscription
comment

Office Construction Trends

Sustainability, flexible open spaces, branding, slow market head the list

Text size: A A
[ Page 1 of 2 ]

To find out what trends are at work in the office-construction market, Midwest Construction talked to a leading developer, two noted architects and three major general contractors.

Companies are creating positive working spaces that reflect their cultures and brands. Above, an HOK-designed project provides an example of branding, where a company builds a space that sends a certain message to its employees and visitors.
Companies are creating positive working spaces that reflect their cultures and brands. Above, an HOK-designed project provides an example of branding, where a company builds a space that sends a certain message to its employees and visitors.
A growing trend for owners is to put office space in mixed-use buildings that also house retail, hotel, condominium, parking and entertainment space, such as in the recently completed Aqua Building in Chicago.
A growing trend for owners is to put office space in mixed-use buildings that also house retail, hotel, condominium, parking and entertainment space, such as in the recently completed Aqua Building in Chicago.
----- Advertising -----

Here’s what they told us.

Green Continues to Grow Call it sustainability, green construction, energy efficiency or any other synonym, but the trend of building ecologically sound and energy-efficient buildings was the one trend mentioned by all six of the industry experts we interviewed.

Ryan Freeman, director of business development at McCarthy Building Cos., St. Louis, says that although “green” continues to be a buzz word, tightening budgets have recently reduced building owners’ willingness to pay a premium price for more environmentally friendly products.

Brian Gordon, vice president of Chicago’s Magellan Development Group LLC, a building owner, says sustainability is currently a hot button even for small deals. “Even office leasing tenants want to know whether the space meets LEED standards,” he adds.

LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) is the U.S. Green Building Council’s system for rating the sustainability of a building. Building points are earned by using sustainable materials, construction practices and operating systems. Total points accumulated determine a building’s score, ranging from silver up to platinum.

Frederick Schmidt, principal in the interior design practice at Perkins+Will architects in Chicago, agrees that sustainability is a strong trend among clients, whether they are building owners or tenants doing build-outs. “Some clients want to be part of the sustainability trend because they feel it is the right thing to do,” he says. “Others also want the additional benefits that having a ‘green’ image gives them in marketing and recruiting.”

Tom Polucci, group vice president and director of interior design for the Chicago architectural firm HOK, says so many clients are interested in having sustainability in their spaces that his company now designs all projects to meet LEED standards.

Rick Blair, manager of business development for general contractor Turner Construction Co., Chicago, says that the vast majority of projects now have some sustainability component to them. “It’s become standard in the industry,” he says.

General contractor Hunzinger Construction Co., Brookfield, Wis., has eagerly embraced sustainability. The company’s headquarters is LEED gold, and its training center has earned the LEED platinum rating.

“Owners of existing buildings of all types, including offices, are asking us to upgrade their building’s sustainability by making them operate more efficiently. It’s kind of like tuning up a car so that it runs better.”

Hunzinger so believes in sustainable construction that it has started a Sustainable Building Solutions, an advisory company whose experienced LEED accredited professionals help clients identify and implement sustainability objectives.

President John Hunzinger says that “retro-commissioning” is a growing trend within the scope of sustainability. “Owners of existing buildings of all types, including offices, are asking us to upgrade their building’s sustainability by making them operate more efficiently,” he says. “It’s kind of like tuning up a car so that it runs better.”

Mixing Business With Pleasure, Retail and Residences Magellan’s Gordon says a growing trend for owners is to put office space in mixed-use buildings that also house retail, hotel, condominium, parking and entertainment space. “We did it in our recently completed Aqua Building, and we plan...

 

[ Page 1 of 2 ]
----- Advertising -----
Blog: ENR Midwest Musings
ENR Midwest Musings delivers the latest news, insights and opinions about construction & design in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri, as well as Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.
Reader Photos
Photos from ENR Photo Showcase
Dodge Lead Center
Search for local construction projects OR CALL 877-234-4246 and get a FREE Lead Now!
Search by Project Type & State





----- Advertising -----
 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.