Architectural Innovations – With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been another factor thrown into the architectural mix. Usually, there are plenty of variables to account for when architects are designing the buildings of the future. From environmental sustainability to the ethical sourcing of materials and the time it takes to complete the project, architects now need to consider the future use of buildings.

As many office spaces are sitting unused, having been that way since the start of 2020, there needs to be more focus on the likely future use of buildings. Will more residential buildings be required if working from home becomes increasingly normalized? Should large office parks be redesigned into buildings with different functions?

Architects are always looking to innovate and bring new architectural innovations. Despite the effects of COVID-19, they are aiming to begin a new age of building design with these five factors in mind, amongst others.

Here are five architectural plans and trends that are going to become more prominent over this decade.

#1: The job of an architect becomes much easier.

Of course, the brain of an architect is their ultimate strength. The need for talent in designing buildings and homes that best suit the needs of the occupants will never cease. However, there is a theory that artificial intelligence (AI) will make the job of an architect increasingly more efficient.

Consider the idea that AI can combine the most important variables when it comes to designing a new building. The program might take into account: the occupants, the purpose of the building, the space available, and the materials available. These factors, of course, need new architectural innovations by human architects.

However, AI could prove valuable in terms of providing inspiration for architects. Intelligent machines could spit out vast numbers of potentially brilliant designs for professional architects to pass judgment.

#2: Even more important is sustainability.

The world is becoming increasingly aware of the need to construct buildings that are energy-efficient and made with a higher proportion of sustainable materials. In the US, 60% of cities surveyed have launched or agreed to a plan that will see them take increased measures to combat climate change.

Consider the location of future runways in airports. Duluth Airport Authority has already taken action to relocate a runway at Sky Harbor Airport to protect the surrounding 27 acres of forest.

Architects will need to work hard into the future on the following issues:

  • Selecting eco-friendly materials to work with, wherever possible.
  • Protecting the surrounding environment and ecosystems when proposing a new building.
  • Designing fortified buildings that are capable of withstanding a changing climate. An increased risk of severe weather events should play a part in the thinking of all architects.

#3: An increase in investment into ‘healthier’ transport alternatives.

By ‘healthier’, we mean in two different ways. Similarly to trend #2, we need to ensure that we reduce our carbon emissions from vehicles wherever possible. Building new cycle lanes or walkways encourage more people to travel by foot or bicycle instead of a car or public transport.

At the same time, constructing more areas where people can travel by bicycle or on foot will encourage a more active population. Imagine being able to jump on a purpose-built cycle path between two local communities.

In the future, there will be increasing demands for structures that promote this kind of behavior.  As a result, we can eliminate the days of consistent car travel and the pollution that brings with it.

#4: Residential developments become more creative and unique.

The days of residential developments in which all homes bear a striking resemblance to each other could be gone. Increasing complex housing needs and a younger generation more comfortable with renting, require new architectural innovations. This, in turn, needs architects to design communities complete with very different types of housing.

This type of housing has not gone through proper developments for around 80 years. However, we could be seeing a comeback as people’s needs continue to differ.

Architects will need to become comfortable with building a high-rise block of apartments next to some family bungalows, for example!

#5: More demand to deliver on tight budgets and strict deadlines.

The arrival of COVID-19 has taught us some lessons. Architects may find that they are under increasing pressure from project managers to deliver projects with less funding or in a shorter time period.

Developers and managers might become timider with their funding, particularly with such a disruptive pandemic front of mind.

As a result, engineering plans of the future are likely to somewhat change due to imposed constraints by those at the top, who may fear these circumstances repeating themselves.