What to Expect for Construction in H2

When looking at the sectors in which we build (industrial, mixed-use, office, retail/hospitality, medical, and tenant improvement), demand still remains across almost all of them. There is an expected 14.3 percent growth in nonresidential construction expected for this year, before slowing down going into 2023.  Office, retail, and hospitality, in particular, are all expected to grow into next year, with warehouse construction slowing because of a drop in demand for household goods.

Construction Labor

Training and mentorship are filling the skilled labor gap, increasing team member retention. Additionally, compensation has been on the rise, making the construction trade a more attractive employment option. The construction unemployment rate is now well lower than the pre-pandemic levels and the sector is filling more positions. Skilled trades, however, continue to struggle to recruit the younger generation to fill the gap left by early retirees from the pandemic.

residential versus nonresidential construction employment chart

Supply Chain

Despite inflation, demand for construction remains high as recent developments in the shipping industry point to decongestion in the supply chain. Ports are seeing shorter wait times and the trucking industry appears to be rebounding with more drivers to share the load. Delays will continue to linger, and we can expect the construction of local semiconductor plants and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to be additional factors to consider for non-government projects that require the same materials, like concrete, for their buildings.

Shipping containers chart

Material Costs

Overall construction volume is expected to grow by 5% over the course of 2022. Final construction costs are expected to remain high for at least another quarter, but as more supply chain solutions are put in place, we can expect material costs to decrease even more. The cost of steel, specifically, is expected to continue its trend downward as 2022 progresses.

9 Key Architecture Terms to Know

The process of building a custom structure can be overwhelming on many levels, and some might even find it intimidating. If you have never been through the process before, it could elicit a little bit of fear and get you out of your comfort zone.

One of the ways to alleviate any anxiety you might have is to do your research, especially when it comes to the lingo used in the industry. To help guide you through this process, below is a list of architectural terms and some basic definitions you should familiarize yourself with prior to starting the journey of your build:

ARCHITECTURE
The art of designing a building that is to be constructed.

ARCHITECTURAL SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION (ASI)
These are additional instructions or interpretations added to architecture plans.

BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING (BMI)
The digital modeling of a building or structure, usually done on a computer. This model often gives you a 3D rendering of the project.

EGRESS
A pathway to exit a building. These are emergency escape routes from the inside of the building to the outside.

FAÇADE
The face or outside of a building. It could be used to describe all sides, but in some cases only refers to the side that faces the street.

OCCUPANCY
How the building is intended to be used once complete.

PIER
The upright support of a structure.

TIME AND MATERIALS
Time and Materials (T&M) contracts are drawn up to outline the project when it comes to pricing and timeline.

VENEER
A thin sheet of material that is added to the exterior of a building. This is often wood, metal, stucco, brick, or even plastic.

Making Your Custom Home Sustainable

One of the biggest misconceptions about those who are looking to build their dream home is that they have money to waste. They can obviously afford to build a custom home, so money is definitely not a concern, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only are custom home buyers often working on a tight budget, but many of them are very conscious about waste and its effect on the environment.

For the custom home buyers who are keeping an eye on their expenses, it is usually advantageous to incur upfront costs on sustainable features in order to save more money down the road. The most glaring example is the addition of solar panels, but there are a number of other ways that you can optimize your home to be efficient, both financially and environmentally.

TANKLESS WATER HEATERS

The number of benefits of installing a tankless water heater far outweighs the initial cost of the product. They are much more energy efficient than traditional water heaters and it will drastically cut down on your water usage as you won’t have to wait as long for hot water. They also last about twice as long as traditional water heaters and they take up much less space.

DUAL FLUSH TOILETS

With more than 80% of the toilets that are sold in North American being dual flush, it is safe to say they are no longer the future, but more the present. These toilets save almost two gallons per flush, accounting for literally trillions of gallons saved since their inception. They cut down on your water bill, and if you live in places like California or Arizona, where there’s a water supply crisis, they are a must-have to do your part in conservation.

NATURAL LIGHTING

The design of your custom home, in itself, is another way to save money and energy.  Adding additional windows to allow for more natural light can considerably cut down on your monthly electric bill. The evolution of modern architecture has made way for concepts like full-glass facades and storefront glass systems to provide natural daylighting in buildings. These features can be complemented by automated shades that limit the amount of natural light and cut down on energy costs for buildings that get direct sunlight.

natural lighting in a dining room

Things to Know When Building a Custom Home

Starting the process of building your dream custom home can be both an exciting and daunting experience, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Aside from the necessary hoops you need to jump through to secure the needed financing for the project, there are still a number of additional steps that can become frustrating if you have not done your research.

The construction of any building is a very involved process, so the more you know about each step can help you avoid any pitfalls along the way. Those pitfalls usually translate to higher costs, and the more custom you look to make your home, the more you can expect costs to start piling up if you haven’t done your homework.

SOURCE LOCAL BUILDING MATERIALS

One of the ways future custom homeowners drive up the price of their builds is by choosing materials that need to be sourced overseas. With the recent backlog in the supply chain, you could be waiting on materials quite some time. Not only will this add to the timeline of your project, but shipping costs have skyrocketed over the past two years. Securing materials from outside of the United States will weigh heavily on your bottom line.

stacks of plywood at a store

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT GOING IN

To put it simply, do your research. Understand what you want going into the process and make sure that you can not only afford it, but that it is a decision with which you are comfortable. Last-minute changes at any step of the project can be costly on a number of levels. Design or material changes, as well as additions can cause significant delays, and therefor drive up the cost considerably.

choosing a floorplan

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BUILDER

Making the commitment to building your dream home should be reciprocated by a builder that is committed to doing it right. Not only that, but you want to make sure whatever construction firm you choose, they have experience in the residential sector. Since this home was originally your vision, you will have to work hand-in-hand with this general contractor, so it may be a good idea to choose one that has an in-house architecture department. This will ensure the process is not only streamlined, but done in a seamless way where the architect and general contractor are always on the same page.

Commercial Interior Design: The Shift to Minimalism

Most people have heard the term “minimalism” and are very familiar with at least a basic understanding of it. The term is very popular in the world of interior design where it refers to a prominent style for furnishing commercial spaces like hotels, restaurants, and offices. What many do not know, however, is that another concept exists called “maximalism”, and while it was once the more prevalent, its popularity has waned.

It is no secret that minimalism has become the more dominant of the two, especially over the last couple of decades. A majority of hotels, restaurants, and offices have made the shift to minimalist interior designs, and it is even evident in the rebranding of their logos. The 21st Century has brought with it the need to be more sleek and polished.  

Put simply, minimalism is done with purpose through clean lines and open spaces, while maximalism can often give the impression of clutter through the use of space for decorative elements. Evidence of the shift from maximalism to minimalism can be seen in the following areas:

HOTELS

It doesn’t take long to notice the minimalist décor of a hotel, in fact, the moment one enters the lobby, it’s evident all around them. Without stripping the necessary amenities, hotels have taken their lobbies and created open spaces that serve as communal areas. Inside the guest rooms, there are simple color schemes between the different elements of the room. The patterned wallpaper and carpeting have either been replaced with a single color, or the patterns are much more simple. The same applies to the bedspreads and curtains. The furniture often has a smaller footprint, and it is purely there for functional purposes or not at all. Take for example the nightstand. What was once a full piece of furniture has been replaced by sometimes just a single drawer that is attached to the wall.

RESTAURANTS

The food service industry is, perhaps, where one can see the most drastic shift when it comes to interior design. During the 1980’s, it became very popular for restaurants to fill almost every inch of their walls with décor. Even hospitality concepts like T.G.I. Friday’s have exchanged their trademark flair for a more smart look. From high-end dining to fast food, there have been almost no exceptions for this shift to minimalism. Restauranteurs have even scaled back on the amount of tables and chairs to create a more open, breathable atmosphere – a strong testament to the idea that less is, in fact, more. 

modern architecture at a sushi restaurant

OFFICES

Team morale and productivity are certainly two of the most important factors to consider when designing an office. Fortunately, the concept of minimalism lends itself to both. Because of this, many businesses have adopted an open floor plan to increase the amount of collaboration and general interaction between team members. The simplistic, no frills approach also conveys an air of professionalism and efficiency, which is another reason for the shift to a more minimalist office theme.

modern architecture in an office lobby

Bringing Light to Those in Need

For nearly 70 years, there has been a “Miracle in the desert” in east Mesa. Over the course of that time, Sunshine Acres has provided a loving home for more than 2,000 disadvantaged children in the Phoenix Valley, and they continue to do so to this day.

During the month of August, the David R. Sellers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of LGE Design Build, set a goal of raising $10,000 for this amazing organization to continue their mission. For every donation made this month, LGE will match it dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 in an effort to double the impact made by the DRS.

Founded by Jim and Vera Dingman in 1954, Sunshine Acres was an abandoned boarding school on 125 acres that they purchased for $29,500. In the years since, the organization has grown to operate with more than forty buildings, on what is now 109 acres. Seven of these buildings are modern homes that house approximately ten children each. An eighth house is currently under construction.

Each of the homes at Sunshine Acres has a set of parents who take on such responsibilities as driving them to school or even taking them to the doctor. Sunshine Acres provides all of their meals so that these parents can focus on spending quality time with these children whose real parents may be in prison or deceased. Some of the children even come to Sunshine Acres after failed adoptions, amongst various other reasons.

Providing loving and stable homes for these children is at the core of Sunshine Acres’ mission, however, much of what makes this place so special happens outside of the houses. Among the many initiatives at Sunshine Acres are a karate program, music lessons, along with a choir and drama program. They also offer a Junior Harvester Program in their green house, as well as a Horse Program and Livestock Show Team to teach proper care for animals. On their property, you will also find a large in-ground pool, a skate park, a small zoo, and a baseball field.   

While part of their funding comes from two resale boutiques where they take material donations, they also accept monetary gifts from private donors, which is crucial to their operation, as they do not receive any government funding.

Please join us in supporting this wonderful organization and help them provide loving and stable homes for these underprivileged children. Click here to make a donation and LGE will match it dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 until the end of August!