Here is an interesting article that talks about the emerging trends in the architecture-engineering-construction sector. Mentioned in the article are trends towards more green and sustainable buildings, an industry-wide adoption of LEEDS, implementation of building sensors to monitor a building’s stability (among other things), greener building materials, and a growing trend towards modular construction. The author noted that trends towards modular construction seem to come in waves, but are now really taking hold for good due to economic reasons. Definitely an interesting analysis.
Housing is making its slow recovery as well, thanks to cost-effective modular houses and a growing demand for green, energy efficient, low-maintenance residences.
Another trend that could take hold is that of the modular nuclear reactor. We talked about this concept in a previous post. Nuclear reactor technology is growing cheaper to manufacture due to modular construction methods, and the reactors themselves have become much more safe according to a scientist in this article. Nuclear reactors will be smaller and modular in nature, so that reactors can be added or relocated if need be. They will also feature underground facilities, further reducing risk of disaster.
After Fukushima, it will be interesting to see how the public handles that proposal. But proponents are insisting that the modular reactors are an economically viable source of energy that is green and safe, and that the facilities at Fukushima were old designs that weren’t maintained as well as they could have been. So time will tell on that one.
All in all look for a future of green modular building designs that are seeking to improve building sustainability. Of course, not every building is going to be a modular building, but we will definitely see a higher proportion of them. Also we will be seeing smart, self-regulating, net-zero energy buildings that will handle the self-regulating and energy-saving tasks with built in sensors and computer systems. These trends will continue into the future and don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.