The way the construction industry responds to the current trends and challenges will shape how we design, build and inhabit our environment this year.
Let’s take a look at some of the trends that will likely emerge in 2023.
1. Sustainable and green building materials and techniques
As concerns about climate change continue to grow, more developers and architects are looking to incorporate sustainable and green building materials and techniques into their projects, including low-carbon and recycled materials, energy-efficient systems, and renewable energy sources. Some examples include:
- cross-laminated timber (CLT) – a low-carbon alternative to time-honoured building materials such as concrete and steel
- bamboo, cork, or adobe
- green roofs and walls that help reduce the urban heat island effect and improve air quality
- geothermal systems for heating and cooling.
- rainwater harvesting systems
- solar panels and wind turbines
- natural stone construction.
2. Biophilic design
Biophilic design is one of the most exciting trends in architecture and construction. It extends the idea of green design that is gentle on the environment. It incorporates elements of nature into the built environment to improve the well-being of the people who use the space.
In 2023, we’ll likely see more buildings with green roofs and walls, natural light, access to outdoor spaces and natural materials such as wood and stone.
3. 3D printed architecture
3D printing technology is used to create building components or entire structures and will likely continue to be maintained throughout 2023. It’s no secret that 3D printing has revolutionised the way we build by allowing for greater precision, faster construction times and reduced waste.
A perfect example is the UK’s largest printed staircase that was placed over the M8 motorway in Scotland.
4. More smart materials
Smart materials are becoming increasingly popular in the architecture and construction industries.
These materials, such as shape-memory alloys and smart glass, can change their properties (colour, shape or function) in response to external stimuli, such as temperature or light, thus making buildings more responsive to their surroundings. For example, smart glass that can change opacity will be used more frequently to reduce the heat or cooling energy needs of a building.
5. Prefabricated architecture
This report from Mordor Intelligence predicts a significant rise in the prefabricated buildings market in the UK in the next couple of years, and that is no surprise.
Prefabrication offers several benefits, including faster construction times, greater cost efficiency, improved quality control, reduced waste generated during construction, and the ability to address the housing shortage.
We will likely see more prefabricated buildings used for single-family homes, multi-family housing and commercial and industrial spaces.
Architects and designers are likely to continue to innovate and create designs that challenge traditional notions of what prefabricated buildings look like.
Other honourable mentions
Other honourable mentions include:
1. Adaptive reuse architecture – Repurposing existing buildings for new uses, is becoming more popular. This helps preserve historic buildings and reduces the environmental impact of new construction.
2. Scientific design – With the advent of new technologies, architects and developers can use data and scientific methods to optimise building design for energy efficiency, comfort and safety.
3. Artificial intelligence – AI will be increasingly used to create 3D models and simulations and analyse and optimise building design.
4. Transit-oriented design – Prioritising the development of sustainable, walkable and livable communities around public transportation hubs.
5. Design in the metaverse – The metaverse is becoming an increasingly important platform for architects and developers to showcase their designs, offering immersive, interactive experiences that allow clients to explore buildings in a virtual environment.
6. Participatory design – There is a growing trend towards community-centred design such as shared spaces, community gardens, and other features promoting social interaction and connection.
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