The Impacts of Climate on Commercial Construction

The United States faces a vast array of unique weather patterns depending on the state and region, and in recent history natural disasters, or the threat of natural disasters, have been at the forefront of contractors and designers’ minds. There’s no doubt that weather, mild or severe, can greatly impact how commercial buildings are designed and constructed.

While climate patterns are inevitable, there are numerous ways to best prepare for the unexpected and ensure that your commercial project aligns with the weather and conditions in your geographic region. Firstly, the materials used must be able to withstand any extremes that the building could potentially encounter. For hotter climates, one might choose to work with durable materials that repel heat, while cooler climates might call for highly insulated materials more resistant to snow and rainfall. The design of the building itself must also reflect the surrounding climate. For example, in areas close to water, climate-safe designs must include the consideration of a rising sea level, while areas prone to strong winds must include a sturdier foundation.

Lastly, the timeline for commercial construction is also incredibly reliant on the surrounding climate. Often, an unexpected storm can cause significant delays that can domino into multi-day or multi-week delay holdups. As a contractor or project manager for a commercial construction project, it’s important to have a plan of action in case these delays occur. This might include planning construction during the mildest months of the year, utilizing automated workflows to ensure prompt communication of any delays or issues, and allowing appropriate buffer days in the project timeline to accommodate potential weather-related setbacks.

Michigan itself is home to many large-scale commercial construction projects, from university residential housing units to inner-city apartment complexes, to numerous resorts and hotels. However, while there’s a large market for commercial construction in Michigan, there’s also several unique climate considerations. As every Michigander knows, the weather in this state can be incredibly unpredictable and varied, which can greatly impact the materials and timeline of construction for any commercial project. Working with a trusted construction company with experience navigating Michigan’s weather patterns and climate is key to ensuring your commercial construction project is completed seamlessly.

For 125 years, GCI has worked to carry on our commitment to provide our customers with the best in construction services despite the many changes we have faced over the decades. To discuss your next project, contact us at

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