Skender releases ‘101 Ways to Build Smarter’ eBook

build smarter

Construction costs have been consistently rising just when the industry can least afford it. Today, a new report from Skender offers “101 Ways to Build Smarter.” The 18-page eBook is a resource filled with quality-enhancing and value-optimizing possibilities for building owners, developers, architects, brokers, contractors, corporate real estate and workplace executives, and all those involved in the building process.

Skender, a fully-integrated construction, design and manufacturing firm with offices in Chicago and San Francisco, has amassed this list of insider tips, industry secrets and best practices through their work building for some of the world’s largest companies and most innovative brands. Working with their trade partners, end-users, vendors and global industry experts, Skender’s eBook uncovers practical ways to drive quality up, without a similar increase in cost. Driven by Skender’s commitment to the high-efficiency, waste-reduction principles of Lean construction, the eBook conveys the value of collaboration and transparency.

“It is essential that everyone involved in a new building look for innovative ways to deliver high-quality projects while stemming the tide of rising costs,” said Mark Skender, CEO. “In this eBook, we are sharing some of the best practices we’ve learned with our clients and project partners over the past six decades. Many of these ideas have inspired us to revolutionize how the industry builds through our recent vertical integration.”

While the eBook delivers high-level concepts specific to several project types—including corporate interiors, affordable housing, senior living, new office buildings, multifamily, hospitality, higher education, retail and healthcare—more than half of the tips can apply to any construction project. The following four ideas, sampled from the eBook, can enhance efficiency and improve quality across all commercial developments.

  1. Lock in pricing to hedge against rising interest rates. In an inflationary environment, lock in materials and equipment costs as soon as possible. As prices escalate, it often pays off to pre-purchase materials to avoid price hikes.
  2. Build lighter and smarter. Sometimes owners ask for materials and equipment that are larger or more powerful than the anticipated use requires. Your contractor may know of a less expensive way to get the job done.
  3. For owners, installing smart tech now can mean big facilities management savings later. Installing certain technologies that represent cost increases during construction can deliver large future savings, such as remote programming of HVAC and security systems.
  4. Go Lean. Start by hiring an integrated design and construction team with experience in Lean Construction, our industry’s take on the Toyota Way. These pros will share a focus on reducing wasted materials, time and labor costs.

Skender recognizes that firms looking to build new facilities, expand their footprint or renovate existing spaces must collaborate and crowdsource ideas from industry veterans, including design gurus, construction experts, end-users and developers alike. According to a corporate real estate end-user client, “In days past, the building process was very linear: everybody handed something off to another. But now it’s got to be more collaborative, to adhere to our budgets and timeframes.”

These ideas and tips are more than theory, vetted through hundreds of projects and field experience with Skender’s myriad corporate real estate and developer clients, and they can relieve the shared burden of escalating construction costs. Download the free “101 Ways to Build Smarter” eBook at

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