Across the country, office construction has seen a recent boom, thanks to technology companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. These multi-billion dollar firms are expanding rapidly, and looking for more space for offices and data storage.
A recent article, titled Demand from Tech Sector Helps to Reboot Office Market, from Engineering News Record (ENR.com), took an in-depth look into the recent “reboot” of office construction, highlighting cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and even Des Moines, where Facebook recently began construction on a massive data center.
The article mentions that of the 75 metro areas that McGraw Hill Construction tracks, office construction is up by 100 percent in 19 of them. Tech isn’t the only industry driving the numbers, but many of the big tech players are opening offices in smaller cities as well as the main tech hubs.
Major tech companies are also setting a trend for new, innovative buildings. For instance, when completed, Amazon’s new Rufus 2.0 office complex in Seattle will include three, 38-story office towers, fronted by three interconnected glass and steel spheres with retail, office, and green public spaces inside. These spheres are made of conjoined Catalan-sphere modules, creating three large domes that will span an entire city block.
The Rufus 2.0 project incorporates modular construction. Like other modular buildings, the parts of each sphere were prefabricated and then connected on the site to create an eye-catching, permanent structure.
Tech companies want their buildings to stand out. After all, there’s so much innovation going on inside, it stands to reason innovation should be apparent on the outside.
Modular design can be very innovative. In fact, if a company can dream it, nearly any design can be carried out using modular construction. Modular buildings range from complexes made from recycled shipping containers, to purpose-built modules designed to withstand the inhospitable climate of the Antarctic.
As the trend toward more innovative construction continues, we expect to see modular office construction leading the way in state-of-the-art building design.