Commercial Real Estate News Brief: September 2018

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Every month, JLL’s regional team curates the top commercial real estate industry articles to keep you in-the-know on the latest trends. In this month’s edition, JLL spotlights 3D printers, the data center market and worthwhile office tweaks.

3D Printers Offer Faster, More Cost-Effective Construction

3D printerJLL Real Views recently reported on how 3D-printed buildings are pushing construction boundaries by offering a faster, more sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods.

3D printers are becoming a viable solution to the global housing shortage as startups compete to cut printing times from days to hours. These startups are stretching beyond the traditional use of modified concrete into other materials, such as steel and sand.

Additional benefits of 3D-printed construction include:

  • Filling the gap caused by the global skills shortage in construction.
  • Improving safety by limiting the number of people on site.
  • Increasing productivity by continuing production outside of typical work hours.
  • Integrating more skill levels into the construction workforce by removing traditionally labor-intensive elements.
  • Introducing newer, more complex building shapes.

While 3D-printed buildings are still in early stages and we await more regulations, there is a promising future for this technology and the real estate sectors in need of scaled, affordable housing.

The Modernization of Data Center Contracts

According to Commercial Property Executive, cloud activity is driving demand in the data center market. New construction is claimed in major U.S. markets and secondary markets often before it can deliver.

The article noted two major trends pulled from JLL Research:

  1. Recent changes in the data center industry call for modernizing data center contracts.
  2. There is a growing acceptance of blockchain.

There is an increased demand for flexible leasing agreements, and because the data center industry has changed, expect renewals, new leases and new service agreements to continually evolve and restructure.

As for blockchain, the technology is attractive to various verticals and has the potential to change how transactions and data are shared and organized. We anticipate this technology will drive data center demand.

Office Tweaks That Help Employees Thrive

Inc. shared three unexpected office tweaks for happier, more productive employees:

  1. Create an active workspace.
  2. Control the office temperature.
  3. Select the right color palette.

Employee happiness and productivity are key areas of focus in the midst of the current talent shortage. Small measures such as moving trash cans to the center of the office to encourage movement can improve employee healthiness and in turn, happiness.

While adjusting the thermostat can be viewed as an easy way to save a few dollars, it can also be costing employers when it comes to employee productivity. Think about your performance when you are spending the day covering your hands from frigid office temperatures or days you are sweating in your seat. Optimizing the office temperature can keep your employees on pace.

The color palette in offices is also a factor in employee happiness and productivity. However, every company has different branding and colors to consider, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The general rule is to avoid using all the colors on a spectrum and carefully consider secondary colors.