It is an inevitable truth that the world population is growing exponentially. Higher numbers can only lead to a higher demand for resources, food, and housing. By the year 2100, the 7.6 billion people currently living on earth will reach, according to the UN, a whopping 11.2 billion.
This increase can only mean that the need to accommodate these people will become an urgent priority, innovating and shifting from the household system that is present nowadays. Soon enough this will be a global pressing issue.
The size of apartments has been decreasing for the past half-century, making way to efficient and affordable tendencies, especially in the urban realm. In fact, this is also related to a global trend of a decline in fertility rates.
On another hand, the average life expectancy is extended, mainly in developed countries, making older households less available, and the demand for new constructions to accommodate the fast-growing population higher. This can be directly highlighted through the recorded need for one or two-person residences, new housing requirements. In fact, on a rough average, we will need more than two billion new homes by the end of the 21st century, raising the question of availability of material for such a massive demand.
A factor often forgotten is human migration, displaced individuals and refugees due to natural disasters, wars, etc. This can only shake the existing paradigm, and demand new and unexpected supply for housing.
New strategies in housing started to look at alternatives solutions especially for faster construction procedures. The prefabricated systems and offsite production are a booming market, that has grown rapidly over the years, speeding up the whole process. However, this method is far from easy and reliable. It has many constraints on a logistic level, in trained individuals, in the installation of amenities and in preparation period whether it is on-site for the foundations or in factories.
On the question of materials, efficiency and sustainability are the main headlines. Policies and strategies should help regulate and manage the use of construction supplies in order to avoid future problems of availability and pricing. In fact, new buildings being constructed should be able to guarantee future re-use.
News via The Conversation.
This article was originally published on December 24, 2019.