February 2, 2021

Post-COVID Construction Will Continue to Adapt

By Paul Daniels

Last week I read several articles talking about future trends in construction now that the COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out. The title of one article in Forbes started with the headline “For Productivity and Career Growth the Office Is Best: Here’s Why According to Science.” It goes on to stress how important working in an office is and assuring that working in a group setting will be part of the future. Office and educational construction may evolve but will remain an important part of our cities.

An article in Bloomberg CityLab, How Empty Shopping Centers Could Be a Housing Fix – Bloomberg, talks more about the residential side. In California, Senate Bill 6, introduced in December, would make it easier to turn land zoned for commercial use into housing. They believe “Especially as pandemic-fueled e-commerce and remote work trends continue to empty brick-and-mortar stores and business parks across the state” these properties could be converted to affordable housing units. They say that in California alone there is a need for 1.3 million units. The article shows several abandoned malls with giant parking lots that could be rezoned for residential use. A lot of these abandoned malls are in areas that are ideal for affordable housing, where there is little available vacant land.

Another group is looking to build a small city exclusively for the new workforce that can work from anywhere as long as they can connect to Wi-Fi. Their idea is to build communities in low tax states, where housing is more affordable, but offering culture and entertainment that will attract city dwellers.

Urban planners, architects and the design community are busy thinking out of the box. This will change the way we live, learn and work, also pushing local governments to be willing to change their thinking as well. No matter what the future holds it will be good for the glass and construction industry as this pandemic is pushing us all to be more creative and ready for change.