Leading engineers give their predictions for 2016, including Trip Advisor for buildings, living roofs, and a “harm tax” on fossil fuels.
The predictions form part of Engineering the Future: Max Fordham’s Predictions for 2016 and Beyond.
A team of experts at leading environmental engineering firm Max Fordham compiled a list of their predictions for the coming year, with a focus on reducing energy consumption and ensuring that building designers put the health and wellbeing of the people who use that building first.
The full list of Max Fordham’s predictions is as follows:
- Infrastructure-scale solutions to climate change
Governments will be forced to tackle the problems caused by climate change by introducing infrastructure-scale solutions. Hopefully these will give way to exciting examples of urban design, such as the $335 million scheme to upgrade Lower Manhattan’s storm defences.
- A “Trip Advisor” for buildings
The development of a ‘Trip Advisor’ for buildings and building comfort. Users will be able to rate office, retail and hospitality buildings on a number of criteria such as temperature, daylight, acoustics and ventilation that will then be fed back into the building management systems for efficiency based on big data. Enabling consumer pressure to drive improved performance.
- More plants on buildings
The increased use of living roofs on commercial and domestic buildings, and an increased awareness of the role buildings can play in maintaining biodiversity.
- Global harm tax on fossil fuels
The introduction of a global harm tax on both the extraction and use of fossil fuels which makes visible the damage caused by these sources of energy and also encourages the development of alternative forms of energy production.
- Population control
The need for action on global population growth will be addressed by ensuring universal access to contraception. This will provide positive impacts in terms of both economic growth and public health.
- Wider awareness of carbon impact of construction
In design and client teams, we’ll see a wider appreciation and understanding of embodied energy and the total carbon impact of the construction process.
- In-building energy storage
The development of In-building energy storage systems or daily heat stores to spread the peak energy demand of a building over a day.
- Energy Performance Contracts become the norm
Energy Performance Contracts become expected for more new builds. Better prediction of actual energy consumption and then having to deliver on this in practise. It will put a much better focus on the way we design and the way we build.
- Death of “tick box” sustainability
The death of BREEAM and ‘tick-box’ sustainability with a move to a more appropriate choice. We will see an even greater rise in the employment of sustainability matrices such as the one developed by Max Fordham.
- Greater recognition of the impact buildings have on health
Comfort, health and well-being will become a much larger part of considerations when designing and building non-residential, commercial lettings.
The predictions were assembled by the team including engineers Thomas Greenhill and John Gunstone, sustainability consultant Elinor Huggett, and Phil Armitage and Guy Nevill, both Senior Partners at the Practice.
The predictions include the development of a kind of “Trip Advisor” for buildings, where users rate how comfortable they are in terms of temperature and acoustics, which is then fed back into the building management system.
Large scale infrastructure projects will become necessary to combat the effects of climate change and to avoid a repeat of the flooding recently seen in the north of the country.