No matter where you go in the world, building is important. The need for new houses, schools, hospitals and shops is constant – whether to replace old structures or deliver new facilities for a growing population. Not only that but there’s a constant drive to find new ways to deliver these projects, making them quicker, cheaper and greener than ever before.
Yet while society celebrates and venerates the rise of digital technologies, we don’t necessarily heap as much praise on the property pioneers and construction crusaders as we should (well, not us of course, but society in general). No matter what your level of expertise – whether you’re a master builder employed in the industry or a DIY enthusiast not afraid to build your own garage – we should all sit back and applaud those people pushing the boundaries.
With that in mind, here are three new designs that are revolutionising the industry:
Think 3D printers are just a gimmick? Or maybe that they’re only good for small parts and components? Think again. Chinese firm Winsun is leading the way when it comes to large-scale 3D printing projects, having created its first printed house back in 2014. Since then it has delivered a whole housing estate as well as an office building in Dubai, purportedly saving about 80% on the cost of construction and 60% on labour and waste. Other companies have used the technology to deliver other structures – such as a bridge in Amsterdam.
Shipping containers might seem to be a fairly one-dimensional product with one clear purpose in life. Not to those with an innovative eye for construction, however. There are many great examples in which ‘retired’ shipping containers are reborn with a fresh focus – including sheds, shops and schools. Tempohousing in the Netherlands has perhaps undertaken the most innovative projects of all, however, with its work including a container campus for students to tackle a shortage of accommodation in Amsterdam and a homeless shelter in Brighton.
The $2 billion Central Park development in Sydney has proven, beyond all doubt, that eco-friendly development can be exciting. The complex, which includes more than 2,000 homes, has won a whole host of awards and features the world’s largest vertical garden (it’s 116 metres tall, features 35,000 plants and was the work of French botanist Patrick Blanc). Other innovative features include: a cantilevered heliostat to help attract more sunlight, a spice alley featuring an array of Asian food stalls and Australia’s largest pod of GoGet share cars.
Sydney showcases how to innovate with scale and an eco-friendly mindset, Tempohousing shows how to do this by breathing new life into older unloved materials and Winsun shows how cutting edge technology can be harnessed to innovate too. These are just three of the ways in which the built environment is revolutionizing how we work, rest and play. Take a look around you and appreciate how creative construction is changing our world for the better.
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