Trends in Metal Construction: 2024 and Beyond

Credit: Metal Construction Association; Project in Storage Warehouse Market: Vaultra Storage by Kingspan Insulated Panels: View The Case Study

As 2023 unfolded, several predictions materialized affirming the important role of metal in the construction landscape. Shifts in construction spending favoring metal buildings and suppliers, an increased emphasis on the urgency of construction timelines, and the influential role of mandates and market dynamics in driving decarbonization initiatives all materialized as anticipated. As we look ahead to 2024, according to the Metal Building Materials Market Report, “the Metal Building Materials market is poised for continued expansion in the coming years due to the increasing demand for sustainable and innovative products and the widespread adoption of technology.”

As we move into the New Year, some of the trends that will continue to move the metal construction industry forward include a focus on sustainability with more green construction, metal building color trends, and a continued integration of technology.

More Green Construction

US Green Building Council’s State of Decarbonization Report

One notable trend within the metal building materials market is the growing preference for sustainable and eco-friendly products. According to the US Green Building Council’s 2023 report, sustainability came out on top for most surveyed E&C firms, as it aligns with their organizational mission and business strategies. With the growing adoption of efficient building materials and sustainable construction practices, the industry is expected to be better positioned to accelerate changes and align with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, which requires all new buildings and 20% of existing structures to be zero-carbon-ready by 2030.

Design firms will need to balance sustainability and efficiency. According to Deloitte’s 2024 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook, “Strategies such as reducing the embodied carbon of key construction materials, passive design principles, and the use of energy-efficient equipment to accelerate decarbonization by minimizing the overall carbon dioxide emissions associated with both the construction and operation of a building,” will trend in the New Year. Green construction practices are gaining momentum, and metal offers a range of environmentally friendly features including recyclability, energy efficiency, and solar integration.

Metal Building Color Trends

Credit: Metal Construction Association; Cubesmart Project showcasing use aluminum and steel and vibrant color panels by ATAS International, Inc.

Colors play a crucial role in the aesthetics of metal buildings. Look for these evolving trends in the New Year in color choices to reflect the dynamic nature of architectural design:

Bold and Vibrant — Modern metal buildings are embracing bold and vibrant colors to break away from traditional, neutral tones. Eye-catching hues like deep blues, rich greens, and striking reds are becoming increasingly popular, adding a touch of personality to architectural designs.

Natural Finishes — Earthy tones and natural finishes are gaining traction in metal construction. Colors inspired by nature, such as warm browns, muted greens, and rustic reds, create a harmonious blend with the environment and contribute to a more organic feel.

Sustainable Coatings — The use of sustainable and eco-friendly coatings is becoming a significant trend. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) coatings not only contribute to a healthier indoor environment but also align with the overall shift towards sustainability in construction.

More BIM Dimensions

Another trend for the new year is a continued integration of technology in metal building design and construction with Building Information Modeling (BIM) leading the way. BIM is revolutionizing the way construction projects are planned, executed, and maintained. As design technology moves toward 4D, 5D, and even 6D capabilities, companies can vastly improve estimating and planning processes with improved access to data.

According to Revisto, the complex design of the Statoil Regional and International Offices was successfully completed as a BIM project. Photo credit: Archinect.

With the ability to see geothermic, thermal, and acoustic properties with advanced BIM technology, builders can be more proactive in planning. Cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain are being leveraged to develop innovative products that outperform traditional alternatives in effectiveness and efficiency. BIM technology is poised to positively impact across all building sectors incluidng architecture, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical & plumbing (MEP), and structural engineering.

As the metal construction industry continues to evolve, embracing sustainable practices, exploring new color palettes, and integrating advanced BIM dimensions are key trends shaping the future. These trends not only contribute to the environmental and aesthetic aspects of construction but also enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall project success.

METALCON at the Forefront

As METALCON continues to be the only global event dedicated exclusively to the application of metal in design and construction, it provides a platform for industry leaders to showcase the latest advancements in these evolving trends. From the year-round online programming including METALCONLive! to the annual tradeshow, the metal construction industry can witness firsthand how METALCON is not only a reflection of the current state of the industry but also a glimpse into its future, where sustainability, aesthetics, and technological advancements converge to help move the industry forward.

Join us for the next METALCONLive! scheduled for January 10, 2024, when industry expert Gary Edgar of PPG speaks on the “Architectural Applications for Liquid and Powder.” And make plans to attend METALCON 2024, scheduled for October 30 – November 1, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia. If you would like to speak on any of these evolving industry trends, learn more or submit your presentation in our call for presentations.

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