What does the Future of Sustainable Architecture Look Like?

As the demand for sustainable design intensifies, architects are moving in lockstep with technology firms to produce innovative, beautiful buildings which not satisfy both heart and mind. 2016 was a watershed year for sustainable building projects, with incredible designs popping up around the world.

Each has enhanced their local area, and many have contributed greatly to the continued advance of sustainable design. However, there’s no doubting that the future brings with it a great many riches in regards to sustainability.

But what does that sustainable future look like? Here’s what we think.

Sustainability as standard

Some notable exceptions aside, sustainability has yet to truly catch on in the wider construction community. Architects might wish to bring elements of sustainability, but the present costs and compromises required often make it unpalatable to clients with a keen eye on the bottom line.

As with all technologies though, the future will bring the cost of building sustainable structures right down. Indeed, a broader shift in the way we think of sustainability will take place, meaning that rather than thinking of the cost of, say, an energy recovery ventilation system, you’ll think of the longer term savings such an investment can accrue, alongside its benefits for the consumer.

Biomimicry will take centre stage

Biomimicry, at its most basic, involves taking the lessons learned from natural organisms and applying them to architecture. It’s not a new concept by any means, but as we learn more about how the natural world survives, thrives and functions, we can begin to take these lessons at the behaviour level into our construction.

Discussing biomimicry with leading architects of today leads down some fascinating paths, and we simply can’t wait to see what the architects of the future utilise in their designs.

The greenification of architecture

No, we aren’t making use of that catch-all eco term ‘green’. We’re talking about the physical greening of architecture, by way of adding plant life to the outside and top of buildings. It’s a trend that’s seen ‘green’ buildings pop up in Singapore, California, Lucerne, London and countless other cities. More and more, architects are getting to grips with the demands of introducing living matter to the overwhelmingly man-made nature of architecture.

These green walls generate oxygen, absorb C02, dampen street noise and even insulate the buildings they live on – helping to perform an important, non-aesthetic function.

A renewed focus on water consumption

With almost 7.5 billion people alive on earth and almost 9.5 billion expected by 2045, the pressures for resources are expected to become incredible. Despite our advances in technology, we’re limited by what the earth can give us.

Water, in particular, is scheduled to become incredibly scarce in certain areas of the world, and it’ll be down to architects (in part) to help reduce individual water consumption. The future of architecture will take into account the value of water in both construction and usage post-delivery, with high performance water solutions becoming the norm.