Custom Exterior Finishes Giving Commercial Buildings a Competitive Advantage
Once a commercial building is erected, whether it’s a shopping center, office building or medical park, the race is on to fill the space in a commercial real estate market that is more dynamic and competitive then ever before. In fact, during 1Q16 commercial occupancy peaked at 93.1%, its highest level since 1Q10, according to Morgan Stanley Research. So stakeholders are pulling out all the stops to give their commercial building a strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace and are nailing custom exterior finishes right down to the paint and materials for a unique and trendy appearance.
Designing with Metal
The use of metal works in building design is one of the biggest trends shaping the construction industry. It’s a low maintenance product that is easy to keep clean, can be molded into any shape, and painted in any color to serve a variety of purposes. Depending on how it’s fabricated, metal can give a building either a luxurious or futuristic appearance. One of the best examples of this is the newly constructed control tower at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The award-winning futuristic design incorporates sweeping curved metal panels throughout the 221-foot tall tower. The project was awarded the “top engineering project” in the country by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).
Trendy Colors and Facades
Many exterior finishes including trendy custom colors and fabricated exterior finishes are as diverse as their location. In West Palm Beach, for example, stucco facades with unique geometric patterns and bright custom pastel colors connect the building with the local marketplace giving it a sense of identity in a sea of similar structures. In other markets like in the Rocky Mountain West and Midwest regions, faux woods and masonry exterior finishes are often blended with subtle earth tones to create a trendy brick, rustic or historic looking structure with an appealing modern twist. Retailers including McDonalds and Starbucks as well as modern plazas, strip malls and mixed-use residential and commercial projects are incorporating trendy colors and exterior finishes in new construction projects around the country.
Windows and Frames
In the past, windows on commercial buildings were considered mainly for the function of bringing light into the building. But windows and frames, especially those manufactured with environmentally friendly uPVC are now trendy and are considered an important element of the building design. This trend is contributing to the explosive growth of the windows and frames market which is expected to climb to $130B by 2024. You can change the entire look and feel of a building simply by changing the type of windows and frames. Many trendy buildings including medical offices are installing picture windows in black frames to create an aesthetically pleasing facility with a smart appearance.
Architectural accents are one of the more exciting trends in custom exterior finishes. Commercial construction projects are incorporating a combination of intricate and unique design patterns, canopies and hardware to create a vibrant and trendy architectural masterpiece with an impressive custom appearance. The way architectural accents are used can completely transform a structure. And one of the best uses of architectural accents to create a custom exterior finish is exemplified in the Camp Verde Community Library. The 17,000 square-foot facility in a small Arizona town incorporated a unique stonework exterior with bronze accent panels and a second floor railing supported by wood beams from native timber to create an impressive structure that is as authentic and unique as the community it serves.