The Future Of Construction

Written by: Fargo Inc Staff


Paula Klein

Owner of Smartt Interior Construction (exclusive DIRTT partner for ND, SD and Western MN)

The conventional approach to construction, with studs and Sheetrock, for your office, clinic, hospital or school has been around for the last 50 plus years. This conventional way of framing walls divides space, creates circulation and offers structure where needed. You can clad these conventionally built walls with stone, wood or technology to further your design. It’s a proven process that works and creates great results. 

However, how does this approach to construction react to change in the future? The way we work, learn, heal and live will not be the same in five years, let alone 10-20 years. Is there a method, process or solution that can provide the same design you want today and adapt in the future? The idea of prefabricated flexible construction has been around, but with the impact of technology, this idea has created the ability to get the design you want, and customize a space suited for your organization and still reap the benefits of a future-proof method of construction.

These innovations have evolved due to the increasing demand of organizations asking for the following:

1. Hyper-Smart Workplaces with Integrated Technology

We’ve adapted to using more technology, and it’s important to consider how technology has shaped our physical environment because it will continue shaping it in the future. Classrooms used to be equipped with chalkboards. Now, we can give school children personal devices and classrooms can be equipped with interactive screens for information sharing. Workplaces are also taking advantage of interactive technology, intelligent room schedulers, and bring-your-own-device conference rooms to increase productivity for their employees. Thinking about new technology brings value to real estate when planning for construction and having the architecture that can respond quickly to the changes in technology is a luxury that drywall can not do.

2. Personalized Work, Healing and Learning Environments

Flexibility and choice are gaining more traction in workplaces, healing environments, and learning spaces. Every employee, student, and patient is different. We can incorporate intentional features and technology for learning, focusing, collaborating and socializing into our environments to help each different person do what they need to do in their best way. Planning spaces with flexibility allows for personalization to help your space work today and work in the future. 

3. Sustainability and Reduction of Waste During Construction

Building sustainably and reducing waste has been at the forefront of global discussion for a while. According to a World Economic Forum report on shaping the future of construction, 40 percent of US landfills is construction waste and debris. By considering sustainability while building, not only can you help the planet, but you can greatly benefit your return on investment. Modular options, like pre-fabricated flexible construction, cabinetry, ceilings and floors can evolve with your company – saving the earth and your pocketbook from buying new. 

4. Designing for the Next Generation Workforce

Millennials and Generation Z crave experiences, purpose and choice over where and how they work. Thoughtful customizations throughout the workplace such as planning for a variety of environments, art, fixtures and technology will create a branded space to engage both employees and customers in these new generations. The ability for buildings to adapt as new generations enter the workforce will help attract and retain talent.

5. Speed of Schedule and Certainty of Cost

Change orders and onsite surprises – inevitable with any project – cost money and end up stretching a schedule. New planning tools like virtual reality let you experience a space and make changes before building instead of issuing change orders as you’re building. Pre-fabricated construction will keep your schedule moving and modular components help adapt to unforeseen site conditions and reduce waste. Speed of schedule and project costs can be kept under control with proper attention and new tools during planning.

Smartt Interior Construction In Use

Bell Bank

Smartt Interior Construction recently renovated Bell Bank headquarters at 3100 13th Ave. S, Fargo. With the addition of DIRTT walls, the space is now more adaptable, efficient and aesthetically pleasing. 

TVs can be recessed into the DIRTT wall assemblies to make it blend in seamlessly with the wall. When the TV isn’t turned on, you don’t even know it’s there. It also protects the technology you invested in. 

This breakroom gives each booth its own TV so employees can unwind during their breaks. The booth is also ideal for an impromptu meeting.

Breakroom with TVs

These offices are made with DIRTT wall assemblies so they can be changed depending on the needs of Bell Bank. If they add more employees, the walls can be adjusted relatively easily with less disruption than conventional construction. 

Office space

The DIRTT walls separating these individual meeting rooms can be retracted to create a large conference room that’s capable of holding over 100 people. When you don’t need that much space, you simply pull the walls back together and you have individual meeting rooms. 

Office space

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