Trending in the right direction

Trending in the right direction

2022-07-12T07:31:09-04:00February 2nd, 2022|Charlotte, Construction, Economy, Real Estate|

Writer: Alejandro Sanchez 

2 min read February 2022As the demand for their services continues to grow, architecture and construction firms in Charlotte are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and ensure sustainability. Invest: spoke with local leaders within these sectors about the emerging trends, innovations and technologies that they are currently capitalizing on.  

Michael Byrd, Regional Vice President & Division Manager, Brasfield & Gorrie

“Prefabrication is becoming more prevalent. A lot of it started in an effort to control labor shortages and it has continued. Anything that can be prefabricated allows you to be more efficient and have materials ahead of time. Depending on the job, you can store it or go straight into the building. Prefabrication has allowed us to combat inflation, stay on schedule and provide competitive prices. It has also been an opportunity for the minority and diverse communities to get involved with projects in a controlled environment, where they can learn about the construction industry.

Greater use of technology is another trend that has allowed us to do our jobs better and faster. We are using some technologies to increase our efficiency and safety, and this trend will continue. Finally, repurposing and land-use changes have become a way to tackle land scarcity.” 

N. Eric Laster, Chairman, EDIFICE, LLC

“The use of technology is improving the construction business. For example, Charlotte is at a point where there is a huge amount of reuse of buildings and we have the technology to scan the interior and laser scan every surface, which is very useful to develop budgets when determining how to reuse these types of facilities. We are also using technology to increase the communication between everybody on the team, where the owner, architect and subcontractors have access to all files immediately.

Online meetings are here to stay, as we can increase efficiency without having everyone drive to a particular site, which is very helpful to the industry. On the flip side, it puts a lot of stress on people as it speeds up processes where people must make accurate decisions within a short time.

Another trend we are seeing is the use of prefabrication pieces, which are becoming more prevalent as it is more convenient to make them off-site and transport them. I’m not sure if it is currently more economical but I’m sure it will eventually become a better value alternative.”

Timothy O’Brien, Studio Manager, LaBella Associates 

“We’re looking for environmentally conscious ways of generating energy. We have solar in the Northeast, we’re getting into wind, and on the single-building level, sustainability has always been a part of it. We hold ourselves as good stewards of our clients’ resources, and those of the communities in which our clients work and live, and, in the broadest sense, the resources of the planet.”


Irene Vogelsong, Associate Principal & Practice Leader – North Carolina, Perkins&Will

“Clients are seeing the value in evidence-based sustainable design that has a direct impact on employee well-being and the conservation of natural resources. As for certifications, they hold us accountable for the work we are doing and therefore I would advocate for pursuing 3rd party certifications when possible. Our focus on sustainability is present in our platform called Living Design. This is an all-encompassing program that promotes human and ecological well-being at every level – integrating elements – such as sustainability, resiliency, regeneration, equity and inclusion, and well being – that impact design decisions and strategies. We are researching and implementing more carbon neutral and carbon zero approaches in architecture and interiors. All of our projects are required to go through a Sustainable Performance Review at the end of the year, and now Perkins&Will will begin evaluating every project through the carbon impact lense.”

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