By staff writer

June 2019

Philadelphia’s construction sector has been experiencing a boom over the last couple of years. The influx of millennials and a mix of renovation and new construction projects have been altering the city’s construction industry. Along with these changes, industry professionals are seeing a variety of new trends in the market. Invest: Philadelphia met with local industry leaders who shared some of the new construction trends that are having the most impact on the city.  

Among the leading growth drivers is prefabricated modular building, Robert Cottone, president and CEO of IMC Construction, told Invest:. “IMC is engaged in a number of applications for prefabricated hospital rooms, bathrooms and panelized construction. This type of construction has significantly increased compared to years past. Modular construction can be efficient; often, quality control is improved, and deliverables are expedited,” he said.

Todd Lofgren, executive vice president and general manager at Skanska USA Building, Inc., agreed with Cottone. “There is a lot of opportunity with innovation and prefabrication in our industry,” he said in a separate interview with Invest:.

Also trending is the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method, which is a collaborative approach that integrates the owner, design and construction teams and key subcontractors to optimize project results, increase value, reduce waste and maximize efficiency.

“We’re seeing that clients are looking to partner with construction managers earlier in the construction project where the construction manager can have an influence on the design of the building, the budget, and the schedule,” Lofgren said. “This allows the construction manager and the architect to work together as a team to ensure the quality of the project. Skanska’s Inspira Health hospital is being built under the IPD method and is Skanska’s largest IPD project in North America,” he added. The Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill is a $349 million hospital project in New Jersey.

Philadelphia’s history is reflected in its diverse historic and modern architecture. The Comcast Technology Center, the Laurel apartment building in Rittenhouse Square and uCity Square Philadelphia are just some of the examples of the most recent innovative projects in the city. The University of Pennsylvania is also working on a state of the art hospital facility to offer improved healthcare delivery. “We are also on Penn Medicine’s New Patient Pavilion, Penn First, which is a $1.5 billion high-tech hospital. We have one of our top budget managers working in that project and we aim for Penn First to be the most modern hospital in the country,” Blane F. Stoddart, President and CEO of BFW Construction Project Management told Invest:.

Another example is the DWELL apartment complex at 2nd Street, which is expected to be completed by December 2019. “The project will include 198 apartments and 120 of the units will be modular, which is a concept that seems to be getting more of a push in Philadelphia because of increasing construction costs,” Scott Zuckerman, principal at Domus Construction told Invest:. “Modular construction and smaller, efficiency-style apartments are trends we’ll continue to see in Philly.”

The modular process not only reduces the time frame and costs, it is also friendly to the environment since it generates less waste, creates fewer site disturbances and allows for tighter construction.

Renovation projects that are turning existing spaces into new inventory are another trend, particularly in Center City’s retail construction segment. Converting existing warehouses into spaces with other uses is also gaining steam as the construction boom continues to build momentum.  

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

IMC Construction: http://imcconstruction.com/

Skanska USA Building, Inc.: https://www.usa.skanska.com/

Domus Construction: http://www.domusinc.net/

BFW Group LLC: https://bfwgroup.net/