Four Components Shaping Commercial Construction


Construction remains a major contributor to the U.S. economy, employing over 7 million workers and creating nearly $1.3 trillion worth of new structures each year. The industry spending notched its 7th consecutive year of growth in 2018 and in Indiana, construction contributed $13.4 billion of the state’s GDP of $352.3 billion.

Furthermore, revenue for the commercial construction industry has grown substantially over the past five years. In an effort to provide better construction solutions and reduce waste, the industry is seeing more and more companies implement new, innovative strategies and protocols that are beginning to change the trajectory of commercial construction. As we enter the third quarter of the year, these are the four major trends making the largest impact on commercial construction today.

Offsite Construction

Growing in popularity, offsite construction has already begun to improve efficiency on a massive scale as it helps eliminate hazards like weather conditions during the development process and improves productivity. In the National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council’s recent report of the 2018 Off-Site Construction Industry Survey, more than 87% of participants — construction managers, general contractors, engineers, trade contractors, architects, owners and developers — claimed they had used offsite construction in some form in the previous 12 months and more than 81% plan to do so again in the future.

By designing and manufacturing the building elements in a controlled environment, companies are capable of accomplishing more with fewer skilled workers and less dollars. In fact, a study shows transitioning to offsite manufacturing has the potential to reduce the labor costs on a project by up to 25% while accelerating project timelines by 20–50%. Offsite construction also helps companies better calculate material requirements with the added technology and resources, saving them hundreds by allowing them to buy in bulk. When you combine all the benefits of offsite construction, including faster turnaround time, we’re confident more developers will look to adopt the strategy moving forward.

Advanced Technology

In a world increasingly influenced by technology, the adoption and implementation of construction tech was inevitable. Many companies are now embracing numerous technological advancements and thus reaped substantial rewards.

For instance, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are being leveraged to more precisely scale projects - allowing teams near and far to fully immerse themselves into the virtual space. VR is completely changing the game by making it possible to create detailed, accurate models in the beginning stages of development, at a fraction of the cost.

Construction has also seen a spike in the usage of cameras and drones for project management, site monitoring, progress updates and even marketing. Companies like Truelook are providing live updates and added security, while drones superior endurance and intelligence are changing the way sites operate. From eliminating much of the human error involved in the process and elevating onsite security and safety to even improving infrastructure by almost completely removing the need for onsite skilled labor, as the construction industry continues to evolve, corporations are beginning to acquire and invest more into construction tech -- making us believe that technology is the future of construction.


The design-build method has quickly gained more traction throughout the construction industry. Instead of contracting both a designer and construction contractor, this method allows a company to contract a single entity to perform both design and construction of the project. The method has become more attractive to construction managers and general contractors because they help tighten both budgets and timelines. From start to finish, designers and contractors share decision-making and project recommendations with the owner - cultivating a more collaborative environment in comparison to traditional contracting arrangements.

For the past 10 years, our company has utilized design-build to deliver developments as it establishes a more unified and overall efficient experience - and others agree. According to the June 2018 “Design-Build Utilization” report, the design-build method is expected to represent 44% of construction put-in-place (CPiP) spending across many market segments by 2021.

Lean Construction

In an industry where budgets, time frames and safety is critical, lean construction accomplishes savings by allowing teams to complete jobs faster with less material and labor waste. With property costs rising and consumers demanding higher value to housing, lean construction is becoming more and more relevant in the construction industry. It brings together all parties in an effort to ensure the project is of high value, delivered faster and at a less costly rate.

Focusing on sustainable practices, lean construction takes advantage of pro-environmental materials, like solar power panels, to maximize energy consumption while designing the building footprint. With 70 percent of a craftspersons day wasted on field coordination, this method also helps reduce motion waste by leveraging previously mentioned construction tech. The end results are convenient to both direct and indirect community stakeholders.

A common theme amongst these four components is their exceptional ability to increase efficiency. Given the rapid development of emerging commercial construction opportunities, we expect to see an influx of these variables leveraged in future developments to both streamline operations and deliver better buildings.

  • Perspectives

    • Circling Back on WeWork

      Back in July when we first discussed WeWork, this fast-growing but money-losing venture was one of the most talked-about IPOs in years. At that time, we noted that it was too early to say what would happen, but “it should be very interesting to watch it all play out.” Turns out, that was a massive understatement!



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Photo courtesy of MutualBank

      MutualBank President Dies

      The President and Chief Operating Officer of Muncie-based MutalBank Pat Botts has died. In a statement on Facebook posted Sunday, the company said the passing was unexpected.

    • Artist rendering of proposed headquarters for Ruoff Home Mortgage in Fort Wayne.

      Ruoff to Build New HQ in Downtown Fort Wayne

      Fort Wayne-based Ruoff Home Mortgage has announced plans to build a $43 million corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. Plans call for a 110-thousand square foot, nine-story structure, at the corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The building would include leasable office and retail space, as well as a parking garage. It would overlook Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps minor league baseball team. The company is currently located on...

    • Photo courtesy of Indiana Premium outlets

      Simon Announces New Name for Shopping Center

      Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) has announced Edinburgh Premium Outlets will become Indiana Premium Outlets. The company says extensive enhancements are currently underway to reflect the new name and are slated for completion by Holiday 2019. 

    • (image provided by Purdue University)

      'PlaneEnglish' Technology Lands U.S. Air Force Funding

      Technology intended to help young pilots learn how to better communicate with air traffic controllers has caught the attention of the United States Air Force and earned the two Purdue University graduates, who developed the software, a $50,000 federal grant. The creators of the simulator technology PlaneEnglish have been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research award. 

    • FDA Approves Lilly Migraine Drug

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given another approval for a drug from Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY). The approval of REYVOW is for the treatment of patients with acute migraines.