Peter Arbour thinks his patented prefabricated cladding system, with an integrated solar-energy unit, will be a winner in the marketplace, not just the winner of a design contest. The architect expects the concrete-and-stainless-steel system to make its commercial debut in a year or two, after further development of the award-winning prototype. Photo: Courtesy Of The Center For Architecture/AIA NY Award-winning unitized cladding system needs more tweaking and testing before it is ready to be installed on a real building. Photo: Courtesy Of The Center For Architecture/AIA NY Arbour holds a patent on the system, which is cast using 20,000-psi concrete.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.