Cotswold Architects: 2019 architecture predictions
29 Dec '18
With the country’s population consistently growing, the need for housing has never been more in demand. As Cotswold architects we are always conscious of finding ways to keep new homes eco-friendly and sustainable, and ensuring renovations and extensions made to existing properties meet with the latest economic technologies. In doing, so we will often investigate proposed energy efficient ideas and inventions to keep one step ahead in the industry. Whilst we can never be one hundred percent sure of the success of innovations, here we take a look at just a few of our 2019 architecture predictions.
Shipping container houses are not a new invention, Beautiful, bespoke homes made from the shells of second-hand containers, which once sat unloved in a warehouse, adorn the pages of ‘Pinterest’. However, up until now they have been just that, stunning examples of private, architecturally designed homes. It is predicted that the containers should now play a larger role in conceptual housing, with many grouped together to produce unique accommodation for large numbers of people; apartment blocks based around integrated courtyards and gardens, offering an eco-friendly example of recycling, and the greenspace needed to maintain all round good health.
It is very early days for this innovation, so certainly not a prediction for 2019 itself, but we are excitedly watching this invention unfold. Students and their lecturer in South Africa have invented the first ‘bio brick’ made from human urine. The process itself is very similar to the way coral and seashells are formed, through a process called microbial, carbonate precipitation. The urine is mixed with sand and bacteria to produce a substance not dissimilar to limestone, and the bricks are simply ‘grown’ without the need for ovens and greenhouse gas emissions. The bricks are as strong as normal building materials, the only problem holding up the circulation of the product is the expense and the amount of urine required for each.
Bio bricks from plastic
2018 has seen the world become more aware of the plastic crisis our planet is faced with. Social media is rife with videos of huge expanses of ocean awash with litter, plastic that will not biodegrade or simply, ‘go away’. The only foreseeable outcome is to reuse the plastic we have created. Like the urine bricks, bricks made from plastic are a sustainable option we should be seriously considering. Eco bricks from plastic, once again, are not a new idea. Waste Aid has been promoting leaflets on how to create your own bio bricks from old water bottles, and many homes have been built this way in countries such as Algeria, to house homeless refugees. However, many companies are now refining this technique by packing large amounts of shredded plastic into brick like shapes, suitable for building. The plastic bricks are very tough, but much lighter than conventional ones. They are also extremely effective at insulating a property, five times more efficient than standard materials.
The recycled concept continues to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The goals are put in place to address all the global challenges we face including poverty, climate change and environmental degradation. In the hope of tackling these problems the UN has approached nations to try and come up with solutions to combat the issues. Denmark is the first country to face the challenge with a 35,000 square metre eco village. The ‘village’ will consist of four hundred new homes made entirely from recycled concrete, wood and glass, incorporating rain saving technologies and biodiversity with roof top gardens.
The predictions for the future not only consider spectacular architectural design, but also the need to create eco friendly homes that are sustainable to the environment we live in. We will watch these innovations with growing interest and, as always, endeavour to ensure our designs are sustainable, functional and a stunning example of architecture.