Why the World Economic Forum is Urging for AEC Innovation

The World Economic Forum is urging for innovation in the AEC industry, releasing two reports on the topic. “That moral obligation is what is driving the overall initiative, and those behind it are determined to push principles of sustainability and resilience, as well as the wide application of emerging technologies, all of which are now seen as essential pillars of productivity and efficiency.” writes BuiltwWorlds in an article on the WEF initiative. “Working in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), WEF also has launched an online ‘knowledge-sharing platform,’ Future of Construction, to make its research available to industry, owners and government agencies, and accessible for updates, ongoing analyses, and expert assistance for public and private visitors seeking process and/or policy solutions.”


How Retail Investment is Revamping the Shopping Experience

“Redevelopment is turning old, tired malls into retail destinations,” writes Bisnow. “Two West Coast investors are finding ways to bring customers back to malls and shopping centers by reinventing the shopping experience. Pacific Retail Capital Partners focuses on value-add core plus space and prefers opportunities that lack active management, but the retail property has a clear reason to exist, according to Pacific Retail Capital Partners managing partner Steve Plenge.”


Why Companies are Flooding into the Windy City

“As a result of drawing in a slew of companies, Chicago is seeing a boom in commercial construction,” writes Construction Dive. “The city currently has the second-highest number of cranes of any U.S. city, behind Seattle. But why are so many firms choosing to head for the Windy City? Experts point to the area’s relatively low cost of living, proximity to young, talented workers, and access to transit options as factors contributing to the growing trend.”


Rethinking Outpatient Healthcare Design

“Healthcare facilities are now looking to retail and hospitality design to give their facilities a fresh look that caters to the new lifestyle design trend that is sweeping the nation,” writes Building Design+Construction. “To address this new demand, many healthcare centers are moving closer to the patient’s home, in a neighborhood retail community center making it easier for patient access. Healthcare centers are also updating their interior design, with emphasis on better lighting and fresh interior design elements and furnishings. Patients want a more relaxed ‘spa like’ experience to soothe and calm the patient while they wait.”


Chicago’s Status as a Tech Hub is on the Rise

“Chicago’s reputation as a tech center is on the rise,” writes Crain’s Chicago Business. “It ranked sixth among cities around the world among executives asked by KPMG to name three locations outside San Francisco/Silicon Valley that will be seen as leading technology innovation hubs in the next four years. Shanghai ranked first, followed by New York, Tokyo, Beijing and London. Also tied with Chicago were Washington, D.C., and Berlin, followed by Tel Aviv and Boston. That’s a big step up from last year’s survey, when Chicago was tied for 18th.”


Employment and Demand Drive Midwest Development

“In an unusual shift, jobs in the Chicago area are moving where the talent is rather than the other way around: companies are relocating from the suburbs to downtown seeking to attract millennial workers and spurring the development of multifamily and office projects in the city,” writes Urban Land, the magazine of the Urban Land Institute. “Real estate activity in America’s heartland is growing at a solid clip, driven by increases in employment, a recovering economy, and pent-up demand for new product.”


Chicago’s Commercial Real Estate Market in 2025

“Chicago’s commercial real estate markets are thriving as educated millennials continue to drive business toward the city’s expanding core, seeking the uniquely urban life of the Windy City,” writes JLL. “Look beyond the CBD, River North and West Loop to see where Chicago will be in one short decade. Learn about the evolving trends that are driving development in top submarkets such as the Clybourn Corridor, Fulton Market, Goose Island and River West. Read all about it in our Chicago 2025: Dynamic Expansion report.”


Commercial Real Estate to Remain Steady in 2017

“The commercial real estate market should remain steady in 2017 as demand grows in smaller markets, according to the quarterly forecast from the National Association of Realtors,” writes Bisnow. “National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said the nation’s economy could see slight improvement through steady hiring and low unemployment leading to higher wages and increased spending — all factors that support CRE demand.”


Gensler Releases 2017 Design Forecast

Gensler released its 2017 Design Forecast exploring trends that will shape the future of design. The forecast focuses on four major themes:  the experience-driven life, liveable cities, everyday impact and responsive design. “Through the lens of these themes we examine how design will shape the human experience in the next year and beyond,” writes Gensler. Visit gensler.com to view the whole Design Forecast.


Want to Take a Class Taught by Frank Gehry?

“For anyone who has ever been interested in getting a glimpse into the creative process of one of the world’s most famous living architects, a new seminar from the digital education platform MasterClass will allow you to do just that,” writes Building Design+Construction. “Frank Gehry will provide a comprehensive look into his creative process and provide insight into how and why he did things the way he did throughout his career. For $90, those who enroll in the class will hear from Gehry himself about topics ranging in breadth from his design philosophy to his fascination with the fold as a design element to how to deal with a client’s rejection.”