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Innovative Building Materials Trending in 2023

Rendering of a theater entrance hall

MAD Architects

The New Year is always a time when people take a moment to assess their goals, priorities, and objectives for the coming 12 months. In the world of commercial real estate, this often involves taking a look at what trends are fizzling out and which trends are set to catch fire in the new year. To help put this into clearer focus, keep reading for a detailed breakdown of 6 key building material trends taking shape in 2023. 

Energy Efficiency Features

As in all walks of life, energy efficiency is at the forefront of commercial building design in 2023. While adding solar panels and PV window treatments are the most bold measures building owners can take to get their net energy consumption closer to zero, there are plenty of other steps to take to create an energy efficient structure. Some ideas include:

  • Choosing insulated concrete forms (ICF) framing over less airtight prefab tilt-up panels during construction
  • Installing larger windows to increase the transmission of natural sunlight
  • Weatherizing doors and window frames to help seal the building envelope

For those building owners looking to go the extra mile in creating a green building, hemp, sheep wool, cork, and denim are some increasingly popular insulation products due to their sustainably-sourced characteristics. 

Aesthetically Pleasing Facades

The days of the cold, gray commercial building are a thing of the past. Numerous studies highlight the importance of creating commercial spaces that employees and patrons take pride in entering, so building owners are going the extra mile to create aesthetically pleasing facades in 2023. New windows, architectural metal grilles, and a modern brick cladding system are just a few ways to add a bit of architectural intrigue to the building’s exterior. In addition to the pleasing aspect, these types of materials also give the building a boost in the realm of air and moisture resistance. 

Polished Concrete Floors

Building a commercial structure requires incorporating floors that can withstand heavy foot and machinery traffic. In many cases, aesthetics get sacrificed in the name of durability, with some of the most rugged floors usually offering a cold, utilitarian look for the space. While this may work for warehouses and self-storage facilities, buildings with a more public face need to choose a more pleasant flooring option. This is where polished concrete comes in. Providing all of the durability that makes concrete the world’s most prevalent construction material, polished concrete floors can be stained and sealed in a wide variety of colors and designs that make the floors both attractive and nonporous. They also are a great option for receiving non-slip treatments, helping ensure the safety of building visitors. 

Rendering of a green facade of a commercial building with stairs

Rooftop Decks

Thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial building owners are on the lookout for ways to add functional space to their exteriors. For those structures short on adjoining lawn space, rooftop decks are trending as a popular choice for creating an exterior change of scenery. After testing the roof to be sure that it will support the additional load, some of the most vital components to add to a rooftop deck include railings that protects users without obstructing views, roof deck pavers that boost aesthetics while allowing proper drainage, and pergolas for weather protection and shading. 

Hurricane Grade Windows

Although adding windows to increase natural light transmission is a major trend in creating energy efficient commercial buildings, the increased usage of exterior glass may put the building at increased risk of damage if not adroitly executed. To help mitigate this concern, it is worthwhile to incorporate hurricane grade storm windows. Using sleek and stylish steel frames, sashes, and grilles that enhance the building’s facade, the best storm windows employ reinforced glass that can withstand winds of up to 250 MPH and projectile impact up to 100 MPH, guaranteeing that the eyes of the building remain intact even in the harshest conditions. 

Mobile Glass Partitions

With skyrocketing inflation making it increasingly difficult for tenants to make their rent, many businesses are looking for creative ways to share costs with other organizations. Therefore, any features that can facilitate the sharing of space will be extremely attractive to potential tenants. Mobile glass partitions that make it convenient to customize space, acoustic ceiling clouds that absorb sound and prevent its transfer within the building, and rugged floors that can withstand frequent furniture shifting are just a few of the materials that can give the building higher marks for versatility. 

Every new year comes with a resetting of goals and priorities. In commercial real estate, this usually involves keeping a building current with the prevailing trends. From energy-efficient features such as exterior insulation to mobile glass partitions to help improve the structure’s versatility, choose from any of the 6 ideas listed above to keep any commercial building up to par.