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 Industry Predictions
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

AECCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – Chaos

January 13th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Roderick Bates,

Roderick Bates

Building for climate change

“The topic of sustainability in architecture is not going away. A key driving factor is high energy prices, putting energy efficiency and insecurity top of the agenda. But beyond the pure performance concerns, architects now need to build for future changes in climate.

“This shifting climate has the potential to transform weather patterns in ways that could render buildings in the contemporary climate unsafe. This means the industry faces the challenge of designing buildings that are energy efficient and comfortable for the current climate, yet are also climate-resistant and able to provide protection under future conditions. For most firms, modelling future climate conditions are table stakes, but showing a proactive plan for how buildings will cope and can be adapted for their changing surroundings and purposes can help them take their designs to the next level.”

Renovation and retrofit

“We’re seeing a strong drive and interest in renovation, which is butting up against the fact that most older buildings were not initially designed to be resilient. For example, many office buildings have not been designed in order to be converted to another purpose. Zoning and code barriers are a major first obstacle. Zoning is already being addressed on a local level and grant funding is getting easier, but private funding continues to pose serious challenges – some firms are finding novel solutions to this, although not necessarily at affordable pricepoints.

“Even after this, a bigger challenge is the original construction itself – for example, in buildings with tensioned structural slabs, creating cuts for relocating plumbing and ductwork is almost impossible without knowing the exact locations of structural cables.”

“There’s a lot of interest in the architecture industry in exploring the potential of renovation, and we think this topic will definitely influence design thinking in the future. Renovation is a practice where the industry desperately needs to build its capacity.”

Immediacy in design

“We are reaching a turning point where everything now is expected in real time, and what this means for rendering is that it is also expected to occur in real time with the design process. Even client communication is much more real time than it used to be, and there’s an expectation that everyone is involved throughout the process. With so much collaboration and communication, there’s going to be such a need for efficient communication as we go into the new year, especially amidst a slight economic decline. The push for immediacy in all aspects of design, if properly enabled with real time technology, will help to ensure economic viability, rather than becoming an additional cost burden.”

Public health

“Our ageing global population does bring with it accessibility concerns. We’re going to see designs emerging that account for loneliness – people that are solitary need to have some level of social interaction to be healthy. Traditional designs and traditional architecture do not always address this need, but leading designers are tackling the issue head on, as seen through the John Morden Centre in London.

“I see this as being a trend that people will wake up to and understand the importance of in the next few years. It comes from a public health perspective, and will come to the forefront as we have a senior population wave starting to crest.”

Visualisation and economic downturn

“Resilience is becoming a key factor for businesses to consider when they are looking to achieve sustainability within their architecture. Buildings need to adapt and evolve over time otherwise the cost for them to be resilient is impossible. COVID, and the work from home shift showed everyone that building resilience isn’t just about extreme weather events. A truly resilient building needs to adapt to all forces that can obviate its function, which can include environmental, economic, and social disturbances.

“In addition to the buildings, the businesses themselves need to be resilient as well, leading towards an enormous demand to explore the capabilities of AI-supported solutions to drive efficiency gains. The usual solution to tighter project schedules and increased coordination is to increase staffing. However, high labour costs, and a focus on profitability means those solutions aren’t ideal.

“We will see businesses push more of their functionality to the cloud, where most AI solutions are hosted. This renewed push to the cloud means that there’ll be more collaboration in the cloud, also feeding into more immediacy and real-time design work, and further erosion of traditional desktop hosted software.”

About Author:

Roderick Bates has made a career out of seeking and developing solutions to complex design challenges. As the Director of Corporate Development at Chaos, he is responsible for tracking the industry and market trends shaping the way Chaos customers work, both today and in the future. He collaborates with technology partners, customers, and Chaos product and R&D leaders to assess new product opportunities that will shape the future design. Previously, as a Principal at KieranTimberlake, he led the efforts to develop and commercialize software and hardware tools used by the greater AEC community to improve the environmental and operational performance of buildings.

Category: Industry Predictions

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