HFA Architecture + Engineering Explore Design Flexibility and Automation in Industrial Spaces in Recent Webinar

Designing industrial sites for present and future tenants allows for growth opportunities for developers and accommodates the desire for increased robotics and automated technology.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Last week, HFA Architecture + Engineering hosted a free webinar, “Designing for Future Flexibility: A+E Best Practices for Industrial Development,” hosted by Marc Jennings, NCARB, VP of Industrial + Logistics, and Garrett Small, P.E., Civil + Landscape Lead.

The webinar combined the decades of experience that Jennings and Small bring to the table. Specifically, emphasized today’s push to evolve the industrial sector in response to customer demands for faster, more efficient offerings from retailers. In today’s constantly changing industrial landscape, Jennings and Small know that it is now more crucial than ever for developers to invest in facilities that can remain relevant and adaptable in the face of emerging technologies and market demands.

Jennings and Small discussed practical ways that developers and those working in the A+E industry could be responsive and proactive to these needs, setting themselves and their upcoming projects up for success.

Jennings and Small discussed how power players in the logistics sector, like Maersk and Amazon, adapt to changing consumer behaviors that focus on speed and cost-effectiveness, leading them to delve into the 3PL space, as well.

“Contrary to popular belief, 3PL is not solely utilized by smaller companies. As you look at Fortune 500 companies, you’ll see that more than 85% of them use 3PL, and amongst Fortune 100 companies, 96% utilize third-party logistics,” said Small. 

Other topics covered:

  • Where the 3PL market is headed
  • How post-COVID market forces are affecting the logistics + automation sector
  • Trends in the industrial space (elastic warehouse capacity, warehouse automation, etc.)
  • Designing flexible industrial spaces fit for future uses and users
  • Meeting the needs of a challenging labor environment

“We’re seeing a need for amenities in industrial developments for two reasons: an aging labor force and an insufficient labor supply recovery. Many workers close to retirement age during the COVID-19 pandemic elected not to go back into the workforce once the pandemic was over, and the ones that did are quickly aging out of the job market. The number of eligible younger workers is not filling that gap as quickly as we’d like,” said Jennings.

He continued, “Those factors have left industrial space operators with a much more challenging labor environment. Even with automation reducing some of the more common tasks, we still need people in these facilities— automation will only reduce, not eliminate, the need for humans in the industrial space. And those people, rightly so, want to work in environments that are much nicer and more hospitable than facilities they would have worked in 20-30 years ago. That’s where AEC firms come in, to supply these facilities with the amenities needed to make them better to work in.”

The industrial and logistics sectors continue to grow and evolve and are bolstered by consumer trends that are rapidly changing, as well. Jennings and Small reiterate that almost every discipline within a multi-disciplinary AEC firm has a substantial role to play here. Strategic collaboration between architects and engineers throughout the process is essential in maximizing project efficiency for these massive, intricate projects.

To watch the recorded webinar, click here: https://www.hfa-ae.com/blog/logistics-webinar

About HFA Architecture + Engineering: HFA is a nationwide architecture and engineering firm with offices in Bentonville, AR, Fort Worth, TX, Franklin, MA, and Mexico City. With over 30 years of experience, HFA has become a trusted partner for a diverse range of clients, providing comprehensive services that combine design innovation and project delivery excellence. The studio’s portfolio includes commercial projects in retail, industrial, mixed-use/office, restaurants, hospitality and entertainment spaces. To learn more about HFA and their work, visit their website at https://www.hfa-ae.com/

Media Contacts: At Jaffe Communications, Elisa Krantz, (908) 789-0700,

SOURCE HFA Architecture + Engineering