What Does the Future of Construction Look Like?

What Does the Future of Construction Look Like?

We’re always looking for ways to upgrade or enhance our lives. Whether it’s researching an alternative mode of transport or taking a new approach to construction or how we pay for things, the race is on to become bigger and better.

Construction can also be added to that list.  Although a shortage in skilled workers is the current talking point for the construction industry its future still looks bright. While housing developments are rolling out more slowly than we expected, the government is throwing out incentives and apprenticeship schemes to entice people into skilled trade roles.

Whether these people move into quantity surveying or work installing products for an underfloor heating company, they are all needed. Industry leaders are now putting forward a multitude of ideas for the future. In the end, the lack of skilled workers probably won’t be an issue anyway. That’s because we’ll have robots to do the jobs for us.


Seriously? Robots?

That’s right. Researchers at Harvard University have created the TERMES system. This involves a robot crew working together and assembling complex 3D structures. Inspired by termites that define the word teamwork and create huge structures for their nests, the robots will more than likely shape the way construction is completed in the future.


Ease and Customization

Ease and customization will be the two main themes in the construction industry’s future. These themes have already kicked off with the offering of prefab, flat-pack homes. These homes are proving popular in Germany and the US. They are also growing in use over here in the UK.

The TERMES robot crew will probably be assigned the role of constructing these houses. We humans will put our feet up, like the characters in Wall-E, and watch them work. However, we will have to go about creating new job roles for the skilled workers who have been made redundant by their robot replacements. But don’t worry. We’re not quite there yet.

These flat-pack, prefab properties are made with the environment in mind. They can be plopped down anywhere you choose, then deconstructed and moved somewhere else when you fancy a change of scenery.


How About a 3D Printed House?

From innovative Lego style houses to 3D printed ones, now. Should this idea catch on the construction industry’s future looks innovative and customizable. However, it’s definitely not environmentally friendly and sustainable.

A Chinese construction company has already proved it can be done. They have already printed walls using a concrete material that were then built up in layers. In the end, they constructed a 1,100 square meter house.

Such a real construction project won’t be underway anytime soon. All the same, it simply proves that through trial and error the future of the construction industry could be anything but bricks and mortar. Instead, we could opt for multi-layered, 3D printed walls for our properties.


Can Wood Be a Sustainable Choice?

A more sustainable method of future construction might well be wood as a material for houses and even skyscrapers. Okay, it’s not an entirely new concept. However, architect Michael Green believes that wood should in future be chosen over concrete and steel.

At a TED talk (which you can watch here) Green detailed how using wood will help reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint. He explains that it can be sustainably sourced and used to create mass timber panels. Architects can use Green’s building schematics for using wood in buildings now. He hopes that in the future developers will move away from traditional building materials and get back to nature.

The future of the construction industry looks to be an innovative one, as we start to really dabble in new ways of building and the materials we use. Let’s just hope those termite-style robots don’t become self aware and cause carnage.

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