The past few years have seen interest in combining a natural and modern elegance growing exponentially each year, with the biggest movement towards this lifestyle in the past two years. Our preferences as a global community are changing and the aesthetics of our cities are going along with it of course. The emergence of the smart city and carbon-neutral individuals has certainly pushed for this radical and needed change. We take a look at three popular buildings trends to keep an eye on in 2022.
Modular buildings have grown in popularity in recent years. Residential modular homes offer advantages to younger populations that improve their security in shelter and freedom in finances. Which is fantastic, but what is a modular home, and why are people interested in them versus buying a home traditionally?
A modular home is a home that is built in segments off-site that is to then be assembled at your premises. Once installed the electrical and plumbing services are connected and then you are ready to go. Many companies offering modular homes also offer fully kitted homes, everything except your clothes and toiletries essentially. From a convenience perspective, it is already a rather attractive proposition. Especially of you are someone looking to get straight to settling in.
Commercial modular buildings are also rather popular as the savings cost alone is enough to warrant using this method. In the same vein as the residential buildings, they are constructed offsite in a controlled environment The modules make up between 60% to 90% of the completed structure, with the building being finished on site. The site needs to be prepared with a concrete foundation before the modules are transported to their destination. This method allows for faster delivery, reduction in needed resources, and less impact on the environment. Commercial modular buildings can be found in two main variations.
Permanent Modular Construction (PMC): buildings built in the modular method with the intention of being a permanent structure.
Relocatable Buildings: buildings built in the modular method with the intention of being able to move the structure when required/desired.
Overall, these buildings constructed in a modular fashion are more affordable and are much less chaotic at the building site. Modular buildings are also flexible in design. This makes them easily adaptable to the location. Plus, the build time is much less reducing labour costs as well.
Green buildings are popular in both residential and commercial properties where entire blocks have been built with the green home’s philosophy. This type of building style is designed to use eco-friendly, reclaimed, and/or sustainably sourced materials. Incorporating sustainable energy systems such as solar and rainwater collection. Some are designed to be a part of nature and almost indistinguishable from the building’s surroundings.
The whole purpose of green homes is to be environmentally sustainable so there are a number of different structures that can fit within the green home definition. Including buildings that have been retrofitted with sustainable systems. One of the more popular and more extreme versions are the well-known earth ships that are made entirely from recycled material and are fully enclosed systems. You can expect to see some of these green apartment buildings and singular homes with rooftop gardens or vertical gardens. Providing an interesting look into the future of city and plant integration.
Geodesic domes have been around for quite some time. Over the years this type of structure has taken on many roles. From the beauty aspect all the way to purely functional. A geodesic dome is a hemispherical structure that has a lattice shell based on a geodesic polyhedron. This makes for a very strong structure that is scalable.
Though mostly popular in the Americas and Europe, their popularity is gaining in South Africa too. Some lodges have started using them in place of more traditional lodge tents. They offer great protection, a unique experience, and a fantastic panoramic view. The largest of the geodesic domes are mostly used for events and studios. Smaller domes are often used in bed and breakfast settings or what is becoming known as “domesteading”. Living as one would on a homestead just with a geodesic dome for a farmhouse. Being that they can be moved they are also popular amongst groups that have a slightly nomadic lifestyle or business model.
All of these new building styles are going to change the way we see homes, commercial areas, and public spaces. We will move towards using alternative methods and materials to ensure that we have a sustainable future. This will simply alter the way materials are used in buildings. Right now, though, practically speaking, much of the world still needs concrete and rebar. Particularly for commercial buildings and high-rise apartment buildings. Even for these new building styles, many still need a foundation to stand on that will be able to withstand the elements. Large buildings and parking blocks represent the other side of the coin. These huge structures will continue to require the benefits of rebar for some time to come. Ultimately though it will be about adaption and innovation for the construction industry.
Now, more than ever, it is about strategic placement for a sturdy building and dependable future.