5 Minute Read

The Future of Commercial Construction in Dallas-Fort Worth

Written by
Nick Mourton
Published on
February 16, 2024


‍The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, a rapidly evolving economic powerhouse, is at the forefront of shaping the future of commercial construction. This article explores the emerging trends, technological advancements, and sustainable practices that are redefining the construction landscape in DFW, offering developers and stakeholders a glimpse into what the future holds.

Emerging Trends in DFW's Commercial Construction

The commercial construction industry in the DFW area is demonstrating several emerging trends, driven by various factors like demographic shifts, tech advancements, and economic changes. For example:

Diversification in Construction Sectors

The DFW construction market has seen growth across different sectors, with healthcare, education, and entertainment being key drivers. The entertainment industry, in particular, is emerging as an important part of the economy in Dallas, with significant investments in restaurants, shopping spaces, convention centers, upscale resorts, and shopping districts​​.

Industrial Construction and Rising Rents

The DFW industrial market is witnessing record-breaking construction, with over 60 million square feet in the pipeline. This growth is partly driven by the rise in online shopping, increasing the demand for storage and logistics facilities. The industrial sector's expansion is notable both south and north of Dallas and Fort Worth, extending into the suburbs. Industrial rents have nearly doubled in the last decade and continue to climb, reflecting the strong demand for industrial space​​.

Changing Landscape of Industrial Properties

The industrial property landscape is evolving, with rising expectations for amenities and higher standards set by municipalities. This includes the use of higher quality building materials, enhanced landscaping, and larger parking lots, which are contributing to higher rents for new builds and upgrades of existing properties​​.

There are several large-scale developments, especially in the entertainment and industrial sectors, that are driving growth and transformation. These include new convention centers, upscale resorts, shopping districts, and significant expansions in logistics and industrial facilities around key locations like Alliance Airport and the planned McKinney airport expansion.

[Insert Image: Modern commercial building incorporating smart technology]

Technological Advancements Revolutionizing Construction

‍Technology is playing a pivotal role in transforming construction processes in DFW. From 3D printing in building components to the use of drones for site surveys, these advancements are not only enhancing efficiency but also improving safety standards on construction sites.

For example, 3D printing significantly speeds up the construction process. Components can be printed off-site and assembled on-site, reducing construction time. This efficiency is beneficial in projects with tight deadlines or in areas where traditional construction might be hindered due to weather or other factors. What’s more, with 3D printing, architects and designers are not as constrained by traditional construction methods. This technology allows for more complex, innovative, and customized designs, which can be particularly beneficial in commercial construction where branding and aesthetics are important.

Choosing the Right Construction Partner under Technology and Innovation in Construction.

Sustainable Practices: A New Standard in Construction

‍Sustainability is becoming a key focus in DFW's construction sector. Developers are increasingly adopting green building practices, from using recycled materials to installing energy-efficient systems. These practices not only contribute to environmental conservation but also offer long-term economic benefits.

The DFW region has recently seen a rise in green building initiatives. For instance, the Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas achieved Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It features green roofing systems, solar panels, locally-sourced building materials, and a rainwater recycling system. 

Sustainable building practices are proving to be economically beneficial. For example, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the largest carbon-neutral airport in North America, has set a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 without offset credits. This ambition is not only environmentally responsible but also economically advantageous. The airport's sustainable practices have led to reduced emissions, lower operating costs, and have driven significant economic value.

Bush Library exterior, evening.
[Photo courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center]

Adapting to Changing Workforce Dynamics

The construction workforce in Dallas-Fort Worth is evolving to meet the demands of a modernizing industry, with an increased emphasis on skilled labor, continuous training, technology integration, diversity, sustainability, safety, and educational partnerships. 

Like many regions across the United States, Dallas-Fort Worth is experiencing a high demand for skilled labor. This demand is driven by a combination of factors, including an aging workforce, a previous emphasis on four-year degrees over vocational training, and the continuous evolution of construction technologies requiring specialized skills. To address the skilled labor shortage, there's an increasing focus on training and apprenticeship programs. These programs are often supported by local governments and educational institutions and aim to provide hands-on experience and education in specific construction trades.

The integration of technology in construction, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), advanced machinery, and digital project management tools, requires ongoing training and upskilling of the workforce. Workers need to be proficient in these technologies to improve efficiency and stay competitive. Developers must adapt to these changes by investing in workforce development and embracing new labor technologies.

Innovative Design Approaches in DFW

‍DFW is seeing a rise in innovative design approaches that blend aesthetics with functionality. From adaptive reuse of historic buildings to the creation of multi-use spaces, these designs are reshaping the urban fabric of the area.

There's a significant focus on mixed-use projects, which combine residential, commercial, and sometimes industrial spaces. An example of this is the Crown Centre at Castle Hills, a $1.5 billion effort by Bright Realty, which plans for up to 2,000 multifamily units, 3 million square feet of office space, and up to 500 hotel rooms. Another notable project is The Central in Uptown Dallas by De La Vega Development, a $2.5 billion mixed-use project including a multifamily tower, office space, a luxury hotel, and a large park​.

There is also an increasing emphasis on resilient design, healthy buildings, and sustainability in the DFW area. Designers and architects are focusing on creating spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also promote health and well-being, as well as being environmentally responsible.

Crown Centre at Castle Hills
[Photo: Crown Centre at Castle Hill Facebook Page]


‍The future of commercial construction in DFW is bright and full of opportunities. By embracing emerging trends, technological advancements, and sustainable practices, developers can create projects that are not only innovative and efficient but also contribute positively to the region's growth and sustainability.

[Insert Image: Innovative commercial construction project in DFW]

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Nick Mourton
Managing Partner, Ashton Commercial Construction

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