Three Takeaways from Chicago Build

Dec 8, 2022

The annual 2022 Chicago Build Expo came to town this October at McCormick Place. Considered to be the largest construction, design & real estate show for the Midwest, it was only appropriate that it was hosted at the largest convention center in the country. Thousands of visitors from around the Midwest, including contractors, architects, developers, engineers, government, and more - gathered together to collaborate & showcase what their companies have to offer. Along with a plethora of companies and products to explore, the Expo also featured 4 separate conference stages with panels where visitors could engage with experts in their respective fields - including CDA's very own CEO Lauren Chipman, and Design Manager Julie Babcock.

While there were many wonderful things to see and experience at Chicago Build, for us here at CDA there were three main takeaways:

– Technology-Aided Site Survey

– Eco-Friendly Design

– Organic Textures

Technology-Aided Site Survey

Technology is becoming a prerequisite in the field of architecture and design. Nowhere was this more prevalent than in the prime placement of tech-heavy resources at the entrance to the conference.

We appreciated the drones that can easily survey from heights and perspectives that would be significantly more costly to obtain via more traditional methods. 3D laser scanners from FARO make precise site data collection significantly faster and easier to obtain and process, and the integration of collected site survey data into tools like Autodesk and Bluebeam bring the architecture and design process truly into the 21entury.

As one of the first firms to adopt VR visualization almost a decade ago, CDA is always looking for ways to streamline our process without losing the human elements of design and architecture. Integrating our creativity with cutting edge technology lets us streamline the enormous task of site surveillance, pre-visualization, construction, and design, allowing us to bring projects to life for our customers before a shovel ever hits the ground.

Eco-Friendly Design

We’ve been thrilled to see vendors embrace eco-friendly design throughout professional conferences in 2022, and Chicago Build was no exception. From green walls to rooftop gardens, to new ways of waterproofing, we saw it all. Perhaps our favorite was the innovative tile from ColdHarbour that takes waste from discarded fishing nets and recycles them into beads, giving a problematic waste product a whole new life and usefulness.

Fishing nets are one of the largest contributors to ocean pollution and every square meter of Coldharbour Tiles repurposes 4.5 kilos of fishing gear. The color of the tiles comes from the color of the nets. These tiles are a great way to repurpose a waste product, and designers can feel good about their eco-friendly nature - but it also helps that they look gorgeous!

Organic Textures

As we emerge from the pandemic with a renewed focus on living in harmony with our environment, Eco-friendly design isn’t the only thing that’s been an area of increased attention. Humans are seeking balance with the natural world and references to flora and fauna indoors are increasingly becoming part of that expression. From tiles to textiles and even countertops, Chicago Build boasted an impressive array of patterns and textures influenced by our natural world.

Bonus takeaway: Networking

Chicago Build Expo has always been one of the best hubs to connect with colleagues involved in all aspects of design and construction. Contractors, real estate developers, designers and engineers - an entire industry comes together to share innovative ideas, intentions, products, and thinking. At many professional conferences, individual disciplines are often set up in their own areas. Not so with Chicago Build. One of the things we look forward to and took advantage of is that everyone is together in one big space. This allows for a lot more interaction between vendors, visitors, and professionals.

We had a great time at Chicago Build Expo and are already looking forward to next year! If you’re looking for more of the top architecture and design trends of 2022 check out our recaps of HD Expo 2022 and NEOCON 2022.