20 Jul 20 construction trends for 2020
Hotel Management, July 20, 2020
Technology and new guest demands are changing the way hotels are imagined, designed, developed, constructed and outfitted. Here are some notable trends.
- Mixed-use development: Adding other uses such as entertainment, social, retail or themed areas to create a mixed-use development is gaining steam, said Ken Colao, CNY Group president and co-founder.
- Shorter life cycles: A hotel room life cycle is 10 years on average, said Randy Shelly, EVP of hospitality at Shawmut Design and Construction—and less in high-end hotels. “We anticipate that this renovation life cycle will shorten after the pandemic and have staying power as hotels compete to stay relevant.”
- Modular construction: Off-site construction, in which modular units are assembled in a factory and later transported to be installed on-site, is growing in popularity, said Blair D. Hildahl, CMO and principal of Base4.
- Owners get involved: Landlords are realizing they need to be partners in the development process in order to add value to their properties and ensure cash flow, said Shelly, splitting costs or contributing to the build-out of spaces.
- Cross-pollination: Today’s hotels are incorporating more residential-style amenities and taking cues from cultural institutions, Colao said.
- Up-front collaboration: Engaging the general contractor during the design phase provides constructability reviews. “Early budgeting also occurs, which leads to cost certainty,” said Shelly.
- Designing for manufacture and assembly: These processes simplify production and assembly of factory-manufactured goods—ultimately reducing time, waste, cost, and labor while increasing quality and efficiency, said Hildahl.
- Maximizing small spaces for revenue: “Our project at The Hoxton, Downtown LA [has] a narrow, long lobby with a restaurant, Sibling Rival, at one end, and a coffee and soft-serve bar at the other,” said Shelly.
- Multipurpose development: Today’s customer isn’t seeing their hotel as simply a “crash pad,” said Colao. “In fact, they use their room and available facilities to conduct business and/or entertain.”
- Engaging public spaces: With travelers looking to limit the number of places they go, hotels will want to create public spaces that provide a “one-stop, all-inclusive option,” Shelly said.
- Green focus: Hotels are becoming much more environmentally conscious and responsive to [environmental, social and governance] criteria, said Colao.
- Industrialized construction: The adoption of industrial, prefabricated and manufacturing techniques is an emerging way to realize efficiency gains while improving profitability, project quality and even skilled-labor shortages, Hildahl said.
- Design upscale: More properties are incorporating luxury brands into their programs, said Colao, including celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, lounges, co-working spaces, exclusive performance venues and flag-specific technology and design.
- Revenue-focused design: “Hotels are … turning lobby, meeting and banquet space into bars and restaurants,” Shelly said. “It’s important to activate the hotel separate from the guest, and carve out public spaces such as a rooftop, which also provides additional sources of revenue.”
- Location-centric: Cookie-cutter layouts won’t cut it anymore, Colao said. “Many of today’s consumers want an experience that is unique to the city or neighborhood they are staying in.”
- Robotics: This branch of engineering involves the conception, design, manufacture and operation of robots, and interplays with factory-built Design for Manufacturing and Assembly processes, Hildahl said.
- Tech-focused design: Business customers require access that accommodates cloud computing, video conferencing and online transactions as well as unencumbered cell service, Colao said.
- Automation: Automated technology can control and monitor production and delivery of various construction services, said Hildahl, covering manufacturing, transport, utilities, defense, facilities and operations.
- Augmented and virtual reality: This ever-evolving technology lets hoteliers experience their unbuilt project in three dimensions while making more tangible decisions on questions of interior layout and finishes, Colao said.
- Artificial intelligence: Smart machines can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. “Through the capabilities of AI, data collection and analysis lead to ever-improved efficiency and accuracy,” Colao said.