Big is Back, Wooden Skyscrapers and Other Emerging Construction Trends
As the gloom of the UK economy starts to lift and the world of construction starts to get back into its stride, here are the trends you can expect to see in the next 12 months and beyond...
Big is Back
The past few years saw several large scale projects slow down and in some cases halt altogether. The recovery of the economy is bolstering investor confidence and accelerating the spend of both private and public money on a number of larger, high profile projects across the UK.
Sustainability Reaches New Heights
Eco has been the buzzword of both residential and commercial projects for some time, but expect to see sustainability at the very top of the agenda. Award-winning Scandinavian architects C.F. Møller, in collaboration with Dinell Johansson, recently designed the world's tallest wooden skyscraper to a superb critical reception. The trend looks set to continue so expect to see more tall buildings constructed using sustainable materials in the coming months and years.
Wearable technology is a hot consumer industry right now, with new gadgets arriving weekly that help us sleep, stay healthy and access data instantly whilst on the move. This year is likely to see the emergence of companies tailoring wearable technology to the business world and construction in particular seems to be a good fit. Google Glass is just one of the wearable devices that tech developers are particularly excited about for the building sector. Imagine construction professionals walking around a jobsite whilst having live project data (drawings, measurements and materials etc.) stream onto their glasses as they look around. This year could see huge steps towards this vision becoming a reality.
The Rise and Rise of the East
India, China and the Middle East will continue to grow during the next 12 months. India's government has embarked on a mission to promote the country's tourism so expect to see exponential growth in terms of infrastructure, commercial development, and large construction projects in the coming months. China's reputation for continous growth and development will continue to be well founded and a wealth of opportunities will continue to emerge in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai and Qatar.
High End Hospitality
The past few years has seen the rise of casual restaurants and smaller scale hotels at the boutique end of the spectrum. This year is poised to see a resurgence of high end restaurants and larger hospitality developments, both in the UK and construction hotspots across the world.
Curves and Waves
As technology and materials advance, so does the appetite for rounded and curved structures. Architects seem more comfortable than ever proposing drawings without a straight line in them and thanks to innovative techniques like Post-Tensioning, the reality of creating these softer, rounded spaces is much more straightforward. Due Residences (main image) in Singapore is a prime example of this style, which you can expect to see much more of during the coming months and years.