Over at Superdraft, we always look to innovate, and we welcome new architectural technologies to improve our design process. These are the technological trends in 2016's architectural industry that we see rising in Australia pretty soon.
Engineering services today often consider automation in the home's design. Home automation technologies have evolved in the last few years to become smarter by allowing programming from smartphones and tablets. Homeowners can connect devices such as thermostats and light switches to their home Wi-Fi, then use their smartphones and tablets to remotely tweak their homes’ lighting and climate controls. Services like SmartHome make it possible for entire homes to be fully automated; through integrating the entire home’s features and all its devices – lights, climate, entertainment, and security – into a single controllable interface.
Architects have for a long time used 3D Printing to create detailed architectural models for presentation purposes. But recently, 3D Printing has been used to create actual structures with recycled construction material.
Superdraft is looking to be one of the pioneers of building with 3D Printing in Australia, as we diversify into modular construction.
Developers have long spotted the opportunity to employ robots in the building process of complex structures. And as time passes, robots are growing in building capability. The world has now seen robots that can lay bricks, and we're about to see one that can build a steel bridge in mid-air.
The interest in using robots in architecture continues growing, as shown in the yearly conference specifically for architectural robots. This year’s ROB|ARCH will be held in Australia.
The engineering of new materials has led to more building possibilities. One such engineered construction material is the increasingly popular cross-laminated timber or CLT. Made of layers of timber stacked in alternating diagonal directions, CLT is stronger than normal wood and lighter than steel. It is also comparatively fireproof and earthquake-resistant, making it a great material for both low-rise and high-rise projects.
While concrete is not new material, more architects favour precasting concrete in a factory, as opposed to pouring concrete in site-specific moulds or forms and cured on-site. The controlled environment allows for more versatility, faster construction, and less chemical treatment for maintenance, resulting in fewer emissions.
Virtual Reality is not a new technology, but it is continuously being developed, and recent developments have made it suitable for architectural use.
Using gaming software, we at Superdraft use virtual reality to give our clients a photorealistic experience of their project even before construction. Through the virtual tour, they can provide us with feedback and make design changes in real-time, via their phone, their desktop, or the web.
We aim to stay ahead of trends in architectural technologies.