The Future of Construction vis a vis the Changing Environment

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Although, in general, people want to save costs in construction, the practicality and flexibility of the building are the priority. With extreme weather conditions occurring more frequently now, building needs are more rigorous.

Designs have adapted to the changing times. For example, simple box houses are more energy efficient in the summer if they have higher ceilings and have full windows. On the other hand, the walls need to be more insulated to protect against the colder winters.

We have compiled some developments that would affect how construction will be done in the years to come.

Use of bamboo as a construction material

Bamboo, because of its fast growth, has been considered an environmentally friendly construction material. In South America and Southeast Asia, where it’s abundant, it is already widely used to build support and construct homes and even bridges. It has its disadvantages, however. It’s prone to shrinkage over time, and it needs maintenance so that it wouldn’t rot fast.

The flexibility of the bamboo makes it easy to shape according to construction needs. In places where water systems are not yet developed, bamboo is even used as a simple aqueduct. Over time, water could weaken it, but there are already discovered methods in protecting it from decay.

Drainage planning

Because of the changes in the weather, rains have become heavier. More water in a shorter period means the old drainage systems might not cope with the volume. Even high areas where the drainage system is not good could experience flooding.

Therefore, it is important that when constructing, a building should not be dependent on the public sewers and other government-maintained structures alone. Try to have uncemented surroundings so the water could be absorbed. At the same time, make sure water coming from the roofs, and other areas would drain into the sewers without obstructions. Even the manholes around the area should be checked. Because they are exposed to corrosive elements more frequently now, they might have gotten damage quicker. Rehabilitate them and get a more durable manhole coating.

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Insulation and ventilation

Even these basic aspects of a building have to be reviewed. What had been effective to warm or cool a building before may no longer be as effective now. Energy consumption is high if the occupants will have to rely solely on heaters and air conditioners.

Because winters are colder, you would need more protection to generate and seal in warmth. Hotter summers also need structural features to let in the breeze into the building to help cool it down.

Modern designs had incorporated old techniques that were used when people had not relied on electricity. For example, inner courtyards are used to encourage the movement of air in buildings, especially when the exterior walls are too closed-up. Awnings are also used to keep out the sun without using blinds that would consequently hinder the movement of air. Clay bricks that have become an uncommon building material are slowly coming back as these hold in the heat in winter and are cooler during hot temperatures.

Building designers also pay more attention to windows both for their aesthetic and utilitarian values. Windows could provide natural lighting and air to interiors. But to direct air, there has to be cross-ventilation usually achieved by having vents at the opposite wall.

Independent power supply

Although most places would have reliable energy sources, power outages could happen because of weather disturbances or for some other unexpected reasons. A smart building would have a backup energy source incorporated in its design. Previously, households and establishments would rely on generators in case of power outages. However, with the clamor for clean energy, these fuel-powered machines are becoming obsolete.

On the other hand, solar power is becoming more popular. Partly because of the surge in interest in outdoor activities and mobile life, people also started to look for portable electricity sources. Instead of relying on the batteries of vehicles to recharge gadgets, frequent campers are going for solar-charged lamps, radios, fans, and other appliances. People have also tapped solar power to provide some electricity for recreational vehicles as a panel or two could already power-up lamps and could charge phones. Buildings have layered their roofs with solar panels so they could save on electrical bills. This source of energy is continuing to evolve still and has a lot of potentials.

The future of construction is not only influenced by technological developments. Environmental changes are also greatly affecting the industry. Whatever the future trends would be, for sure, they would be leaning towards building durability and, more importantly, resiliency.

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