Like every industry, architecture must evolve to meet demand. Evolving trends shape the way architects think about their craft and the products used to build their creations. According to a recent AIA Foresight Report, there are a few key trends that are driving change in the architecture industry. Here is our take on a few:
Technological advancements continue to change the way architects work by altering nearly every stage of the design and delivery process. The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is greatly impacting the way architects plan, design and construct a building. And this innovative modeling approach is no longer just for the big firms. Small firms are also adopting emerging technologies to stay competitive. According to The Business of Architecture: 2014 AIA Firm Survey Report, “over the next year or two, the share of firms using BIM in some capacity should exceed 50 percent.”
The green building movement continues to grow at a rapid pace, especially as continuously evolving building codes and standards are becoming more stringent. There is no slowdown for the use of environmentally-friendly building products, and architects are at the forefront of specifying the right sustainable products to their green building projects. A recent BCC Research study shows that the U.S. market for green building materials reached nearly $43.8 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach nearly $69 billion by 2019. This reality creates a real opportunity for sustainable building products to appeal to not only environmentally-responsible architects but also those in regions that have the most advanced building codes.
As clients demand more unique building designs, architects are being forced to break out of their comfortable, creative bubble and collaborate with experts outside of the building industry. For example, NBBJ, a global architecture and design firm, launched of a fellowship program that integrated external research experts, including a molecular biologist, with the firm’s design practice. This nontraditional approach to the design process is bound to lead to more inspired results. Partnering with outside experts allows architects to incorporate a more holistic perspective into their work and make a greater impact.
Building products brands must take note of the trends impacting the architectural industry and appropriately position their products and brands to help architects stay on the cutting edge.