By 2050, the world’s population is expected to exceed 10 billion people, making overcrowded cities one of the most pressing issues of the present. Data analysis, machine learning, transportation developments, and the rapid development of new social technologies are changing the needs of people and communities, which will have a direct impact on the issue of overcrowding and on our built environment more largely. As a result, our profession is changing more than ever. Jakob Strømann-Andersen shares how.
Buildings and construction together account for 38% of energy-related CO2 emissions. The simplest and most impactful issue to consider regarding climate change is that the most sustainable building is the one that is never built. Refurbishment is one of the most relevant trends to look at since it not only saves money and time but also eliminates/decreases the building process and demolition itself.
Future cities are smart cities that will operate as one big data-driven ecosystem. Our interactions and data are constantly being recorded, and several companies are already using this data to extrapolate and project smarter design to better fit our needs. Some of the most important aspects that could be affected include walkability, accessibility, mixed uses, fluctuating usage levels at different times (good cities should never have ‘dead’ spaces or moments), and the integration of different cultures and communities - a current pressing matter that grows bigger every day.
The world is ready for innovation in construction materials and digital production technologies. The smartest way to address this issue is systematical: instead of devastating forests, beaches, and riverbanks, we should be reusing, recycling, and upcycling what would otherwise be wasted. Some of the most interesting options here include plastic waste-based materials, CO2-absorbing materials (such as CLT), renewable materials, and biomechanics. 3D printing creates new opportunities in construction with enhanced performances and optimization of the amount of material used in construction. In the case of concrete, it can reduce use by up to 40%. This excess occurs today because there's currently no penalty for over-design, encouraging designers and engineers to err on the side of safety and aesthetics over material efficiency.