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Human-Free Construction: How BuildTech’s Evolution Impacts Design

The construction industry has evolved throughout time, but always by way of builders. What happens when people are no longer part of building and construction? This is the question asked by British multinational infrastructure company Balfour Beatty, and they’ve published their answer in the 2050 Innovation Paper. The industry report has become a reference point to those looking at the evolution of buildings and design.

ArchDaily Topics - October: Innovation

The digital revolution coupled with the unforeseen environmental, economical and social challenges our world face today, urge architecture to shake much of the traditions and basis upon which it operated for the last decades, if not centuries. 

How Will Home Automation Affect our Future?

Once restricted to luxury or super-tech buildings, home automation is proving to be an increasingly fundamental and affordable addition to architectural projects, whether to new buildings or renovations. While understanding how they operate can be extremely complex, the primary purpose of technology is to make life simpler, safer, and easier. By definition, home automation seeks to be globally intelligent, functioning as a system that facilitates processes without unnecessarily complicating the user's life. The idea is to connect devices, which in turn connect and talk through a centralized control unit, accessible by computers, tablets, and mobile phones. These include lights, appliances, electrical outlets, and heating and cooling systems, but also alarms, doors, windows, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras, and many other sensors and devices.

How to Design Comfortable and Efficient Offices: Individual Workspaces

Many people's way of working has changed, but most offices remain the same.

What Materials Keep Buildings Cool?

Air-conditioning isn’t just expensive; it’s also terrible for the environment. Accounting for 10% of global energy consumption today, space cooling in 2016 alone was responsible for 1045 metric tons of CO2 emissions. This number is only expected to increase, with the International Energy Agency estimating that cooling will reach 37% of the world’s total energy demand by 2050.

Is Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) the Concrete of the Future?

Concrete, an essential building material, has for decades offered us the possibility of shaping our cities quickly and effectively, allowing them to rapidly expand into urban peripheries and reach heights previously unimagined by mankind. Today, new timber technologies are beginning to deliver similar opportunities – and even superior ones – through materials like Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT).

How Can We Reduce Carbon Emissions in Architectural Projects?

Since the 1970s, humanity’s resource consumption began to exceed what the planet could renew in a year. That is, we are withdrawing and polluting nature more than it can naturally recover. According to the World Bank, if the world's population reaches even the projected number of 9.6 billion people by 2050, it will take almost three Earth planets to provide the natural resources needed to maintain humanity's current lifestyle.

Could 3D Printing be the Future of Social Housing?

This is all quite recent: less than a year ago, a French family became the first in the world to live in a 3D printed house. Short of 20 years, this seemed like a distant dream, this new technology has developed quickly, and it arises as a possible contribution to the housing crisis around the world.

Adaptative Plans: An Algorithm That Predicts Spatial Configurations

Automation has finally reached our desks. If just a few years ago we believed that technology (including robots) could replace the work done by humans, minus the design specifications and some 'creative' aspects, we were wrong.

21 Projects Where Kengo Kuma (Re)Uses Materials in Unusual Ways

Kengo Kuma uses materials to connect with the local context and the users of his projects. The textures and elementary forms of constructive systems, materials, and products, are exhibited and used in favor of the architectural concept, giving value to the functions that will be carried out in each building.

From showcases made with ceramic tiles to the sifted light created by expanded metal panels, passing through an ethereal polyester coating, Kuma understands the material as an essential component that can make a difference in architecture from the design stages. Next, we present 21 projects where Kengo Kuma masterfully uses construction materials.

These Smart Megalithic Stones Are Moved And Assembled Easily With The Hands

Matter Design Studio has partnered with CEMEX Global R&D to challenge the relationship between the mass of materials and the physical effort of contemporary construction practices, exploring the movement and assembly of heavy objects on a real scale, manufactured using advanced computing. The objective of Walking Assembly is to eliminate the crane from the constructive equation, transferring the effort from people to objects, freeing them to play with the mass.

Cardboard: From Industrial Workhouse to Shigeru Ban’s Master Material

Cardboard tubes are so commonplace that we may no longer even notice them. Yet they are everywhere: in a roll of toilet paper, in the packaging of the college diploma, in fireworks, and in the tissue and paper industries. And now, more and more, they can be found in unusual places, such as on the walls of houses and buildings. The material is part of modern life and is being produced for a multitude of industrial applications and consumer products. The vast majority are used as structural cores in winding operations. Immediately after manufacturing, paper, film or textiles are rolled directly onto cardboard tubes resulting in a stable roll that is easily stored and transported.

Sidewalks That Generate Energy Through The Steps

When we think of energy from renewable sources, the first that probably come to mind are solar and wind. And decentralizing power generation is something that has inspired engineers and inventors from all over the world.

So what about turning the mechanical energy generated when people walk into electrical energy? It can be done thanks to technology developed by Laurence Kemball-Cook,founder of Pavegen. Using platforms inserted within sidewalks Pavegen converts steps into electric power (while also generating data and even rewards). But before you go out there feeling like Michael Jackson in Billie Jean, you should understand how this system works.

Solve Complex Architectural Details With This 'Contour Duplicator Gauge'

Most of the materials that we use in the construction of our projects have shapes and dimensions that seek to facilitate their storage, transfer, and installation, being constituted in its majority by orthogonal modulations. These straight angles don't always fit with the irregularity of our designs, nor do they coincide exactly when encountering more organic materials or other specific elements such as ducts, pillars, or furniture.

Degrowth: the Radical (Re)Action Needed to Avoid Total Economic and Environmental Collapse

ArchDaily is happy to announce our Media Partnership with @Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019! Throughout 2019 we will be sharing stories, interviews, and content related to the Triennale, which this year revolves around the theme of Degrowth. The interview below introduces Degrowth in the context of practice today - and hints at how this radical idea could irreversibly change how we value architectural production.

Will Automation Affect Architects?

According to The Economist, 47% of the work done by humans will have been replaced by robots by 2037, even those traditionally associated with university education. While the World Economic Forum estimates that between 2015 and 2020, 7.1 million jobs will be lost around the world, as "artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human employees."