City Grill

Jim FontaineJim Fontaine
Tella Firma

Several factors are affecting the construction industry’s ability to keep up with demand, Fontaine notes. “These trends include a lack of affordable labor and availability of close-in building sites for new homes,” he says.

Fontaine sees cost containment and the availability of land affecting Dallas contractors. “There are fewer and fewer available building sites close in to the city, and what is left are areas with active clay soils, which are not particularly desirable for construction,” he says. “As builders move farther out from the city, [the presence of clay soils] means builders need to identify solutions to construct solid foundations in these conditions. In addition, builders are building on smaller lots to contain costs.”

Fontaine sees technology playing a bigger role in supplementing the lack of labor moving forward.

“We’ll see everything from better design and construction management software to prefab components and robotic construction—many solutions that attempt to bring techniques from the factory floor to the building site,” Fontaine says.