On January 26, 2021, the AIA/GBCA Joint Committee and COAA PA brought together over 90 architects, contractors, construction-related suppliers and service providers, and real estate owners and developers to contemplate the upcoming trends in the building industry for 2021. In particular, they discussed how the building process and industry will change more permanently for designers, builders, and owners.

The event featured the following speakers:

  • John DeFazio, Senior Vice President, LF Driscoll
  • Susan Smythe, ADA Program Director and Senior Project Manager, Swarthmore College
  • Terry Steelman, Senior Principal, Ballinger
  • Moderator, John Bechtel, Assistant Director, Design & Construction, Penn State Office of Physical Plant


The speakers and attendees discussed changes and innovations developed in 2020 that will likely remain even after in-person activities are again permitted. They noted that some of the changes, such as continued regular, virtual team meetings and individual check-ins on the jobsite, will impact how building industry organizations and firms will operate.

The discussions from the event will be summarized in the next issue of Construction Today!