2021 Building & Construction Trends in Uncertain Times

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To be honest, compiling a trend report in the midst of a pandemic feels reckless. And yet, COVID-19 had caused such unprecedented disruption, that all small businesses are eyeing 2021 with cautious anticipation. 

For the construction industry, business shutdowns, social distancing, supply chain breaks, cash flow disruption, and low interest rates have spelled change at every level. Those trends will continue to impact the industry for the foreseeable future, but that’s not necessarily bad news.

Here are some of the most notable construction trends we’re watching carefully. 

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Why Seaming Tape Matters More Than Ever

In just about every climate in which we live and build, the No. 1 job of any building enclosure is environmental separation.

Keeping water, air, and heat locked in or out of buildings can make them more resource-efficient, durable, and safer for occupants.

The greatest challenge in this endeavor is maintaining the continuity of our air barriers, drainage planes, and insulation layers, particularly at penetrations, transitions, and margins of building assemblies.

The answer?

High-performance seaming tape.

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How Realistic Are Zero Energy Ready Homes?

ZERO.  As in net zero or Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH).

The watchword for the industry. A path forward for our buildings.

This type of home, which outperforms today’s standard to-code buildings and delivers the opportunity for ultra-low or nonexistent energy bills, is also an exciting growth industry. While a relatively small percentage of home builders are constructing them today, their popularity only keeps rising.  There are 18 local governments globally, including six in the U.S., with commitments to net-zero new buildings by 2030 and for all new and existing buildings by 2050.

But… is it realistic?

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What Will Japan Teach the USA About Homebuilding?

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Is the Future of American Homebuilding Japan? | via ECHOtape.comExpect the unexpected. That seems to be the encompassing lesson of 2016 and 2017, two years characterized by listings shortage, surging home prices, catastrophic weather events, stable mortgage rates, and relentless political noise.  And yet while housing analysts continue to obsess over the minutiae, one key trend seemed to escape notice:  The Japanese are coming. (more…)

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5 Home Building Industry Insights To Watch in 2018

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With job creation at record levels, unemployment at a 17-year-low, relatively steady interest rates and increased interest from Millennial homebuyers, the International Builders’ Show was awash in a rosy glow. But for home builders, this market is a long way from normal and some experts on the NAHB 2018 Home Building Industry Trend & Analysis panel are saying proceed with caution.  Here are our five top take-aways:

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Augmented Reality Is Here… Are You Ready?

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Smartphones. Driverless cars. Artificial intelligence. Streaming television. All part of our daily 21st Century lives. But no technology will change things quite as dramatically as augmented reality (AR), which overlays images, video and games on the real world. Apple’s Tim Cook has likened AR’s game-changing potential to that of the smartphone. At some point, he said last year, we will all “have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you.”

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Is Pre-Fab the Solution to Post-Disaster Recovery?

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It’s been a hot minute since we discussed off-site construction, but Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Michael are putting the “tiny homes” back into the spotlight. And for good reason.

Sure, tiny houses have become trendy in recent years, as people trade in traditional consumer lifestyles for a simpler option — a living space that’s no more than 500 square feet.  But that’s just one sector of the off-site construction trend. There’s modular, and pre-fab, and flat pack homes. All of which have suddenly become more compelling as thousands of friends, neighbors and family members struggle to put their lives back together after this hurricane season.

Are pre-fab tiny homes the answer to temporary house and rebuilding efforts?  We think so.

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Trend Report: Coping With The Labor Shortage

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Trend Report: Coping With The Labor Shortage | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blogAccording to a report in USA Today, a survey by the National Association of Home Builders in June pointed to a construction worker shortage. Seventy percent of home builders, for instance, said they were experiencing a shortage of carpenters, compared to 63% a year ago. The evidence of a labor shortage is hard to ignore.

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