According to one recent study, the price of building materials in the United States was up more than 19% year-over-year as of 2023. So not only are commercial construction companies regularly dealing with increased competition and labor shortages, they also have to deal with increased costs for essential materials as well.
This is why choosing the right materials at the outset of a project is of paramount importance. A little bit of additional research and effort today can help save an enormous amount of energy (and money) later on. Thankfully, selecting those materials isn’t necessarily as difficult as you might think – you just need to keep a few key things in mind.
By far, one of the most important qualities to look for when choosing materials for any commercial construction project has to do with durability.
Note that this requires you to begin not with the materials, but with the project itself. What is the intended use of the project in question? What type of environmental conditions will it need to stand up to? An office building in California will have very different requirements and considerations than one located somewhere in the Midwest, for example. That includes considerations of not only extreme temperatures in the latter, but also the potential for events like earthquakes in the former.
If you’re working on a project near the ocean, for example, you’d also need to pay particular attention to materials that can withstand significant winds and also corrosion from salt water.
In essence, you need to start with the unique requirements of the project and work your way back to the appropriate materials. Don’t start with the materials and hope that they meet the needs of the project.
Don’t Skimp on Cost-Effectiveness
Naturally, it’s important for the materials used in any commercial construction project to be as cost-effective as possible. This does not negate the need for quality, nor does it mean that cost-effectiveness should supersede all other considerations like those outlined above. It simply means that, given the budget you’re working with, you must work to find materials that help you preserve your profit margins as well.
This doesn’t mean looking for the “cheapest” materials from the project’s outset, however. To continue with the example of a building located near the ocean, you also need to think about the long-term costs associated with maintenance. If you use cheaper materials now to save a bit of money in the short-term, you may end up spending more when maintenance is factored in due to the premature corrosion (and eventual replacement) of materials that can’t stand up to those environmental conditions.
Keep an Eye on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
Finally, when selecting building materials for a commercial construction project, always keep energy efficiency and sustainability in mind.
Remember that the more energy efficient materials are, the less a building will consume in terms of energy. This means that it will be far cheaper to operate in the long-run. You should pay special attention to elements like energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and insulation for that reason.
With regard to sustainability, try to use recycled materials whenever possible. Oftentimes, recycled materials have the same quality level that “new” options do, but are less expensive and thus are more cost-effective. Procuring materials that are locally sourced will also help with sustainability.
In the modern era, energy efficiency and sustainability are two essential values that a lot of organizations share. This is because they’re top priorities for many consumers. According to one recent study, about 78% of people say that they actively want to by from environmentally friendly companies. This means that they will both be a top priority for your commercial construction clients, which means that they need to become a top priority for you, too.
In the end, understand that there isn’t necessarily a “one right way” to choose the right materials for commercial construction because every project will be unique unto itself. Having said that, factors like durability, cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness can and should be at the top of the list of things to look for. By starting with the needs of the project and working your way back to the materials, you put yourself in the best possible position to meet your needs and to exceed the expectations of your client as well.
If you’d like to find out more information about how to best go about choosing the right materials for your various commercial construction projects, or if you just have any additional questions that you’d like to go over with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Level X Supply today.
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