Today, professional training is very important to the human society. It significantly determines how human beings will live and interact with the physical and social environments in the future.
However, it is important to note that the society is changing rather rapidly and training has to change in the same direction and at the same speed (Johnso & Vignos, 2008). Some of these changes will be addressed in this course. In this course outline, three main change factors are identified.
The changes identified will impact on the built environment in the future. As a result of these changes, it is important to carry out training on future architecture.
Changes that Will Impact on Built Environment
As already indicated, three major change factors will impact on future built environment. The three are analyzed below:
In the quest to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (herein referred to as GHG) and dependence on nonrenewable fuels, nations have overlooked the major energy consumers and sources of emissions.
Buildings are the major consumers of energy and major sources of greenhouse gases. In Australia, for instance, buildings consume close to 50 percent of all energy used in the country in one year (Butler, 2008).
The percentage of energy consumed globally to produce and transport building materials to the construction sites is very high. The energy consumed in operating the buildings is even higher than that consumed in the construction process.
In addition, the building and construction sector is the largest consumer of materials that produce GHG as byproducts. The sector will increase energy consumption in Australia in the near future.
To this end, it is estimated that in the next two decades, the annual consumption of energy in Australia will go up by 38%.
Similarly, the annual emission of GHG in Australia will go up by 37%. The developments in Australia are a reflection of what is taking place on the global arena. For example, within the same period, the global energy consumption will go up by 53% (Johnso & Vignos, 2008).
The average lifespan of a building is fifty to a hundred years, within which it uses energy and releases GHGs. In this regard, the building and construction sectors are significant determinants of climate change. For instance, Australia will need at least 1000 more power plants to provide energy in the next two decades.
The largest portion of this energy will be used to operate buildings. The operations consuming energy in the buildings include lighting, supplying water, and powering such machines as computers and elevators. Within the same period, at least seventeen million buildings will be constructed.
The increase in the number of buildings will in turn increase the consumption of electrical energy. Increased consumption of electrical energy translates to an increase in the burning of fossil fuels. The vicious cycle of energy consumption and emission of GHGs will continue unabated (Johnso & Vignos, 2008).
According to environmental scientists and other experts, global warming should remain below 2 degrees Celsius ‘beyond pre- industrial levels’ (Johnso & Vignos, 2008, p. 34) to save the universe from the severe impacts of climate change.
Today, global warming has reached 0.7 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels. Measures should be put in place to remain below the threshold. An example of such a measure includes the promotion of sustainable building designs through resource conservation.
The measure will reduce by half the energy consumed in the construction and operation of new buildings by 2015. The second measure that should be put in place is to maintain at least a 10% reduction in energy consumption for a period of five years.
The reduction over the five years is broken down into 60% in 2015, 70% in 2020, 80% in 2025, and 90% in 2030. The implication is that by the end of the year 2030, it will not be necessary to use fossil fuels in the construction and operation of buildings in the world (Goodsite, Armstrong & Nielsen, 2009).
The reductions noted above will be achieved by constructing high standard buildings. The design of such buildings must adhere to the regulations governing the construction of structures in the private sector.
In addition, the design should adhere to the provisions of the various building codes. There is need for the government to enhance the efficiency of public buildings as far as energy consumption is concerned.
In addition, it is possible to reduce the emission of GHGs from buildings if the government formulates building regulations based on incentives (Johnso & Vignos, 2008).
Research has shown that it is possible to design buildings that use only a fraction of the energy consumed by buildings today at a very small additional cost. It is proven that an appropriate construction design can reduce energy consumption.
The design includes the use of appropriate building materials, manipulating the sitting positions in the building, altering the location of glasses in the building, using the right types of glasses, and building on the right location.
Other factors include selection of building materials, formulating day-lighting strategies, use of natural ventilation, and altering the cooling and heating systems (Goodsite et al., 2009).
Change in Future Lifestyles
It is estimated that by 2025, 70% of all people in the world will be living in cities. Consequently, architectural designs will have to change to make the people comfortable in the city. The lifestyle of individuals all over the world is evolving with changes in technology, politics, economics, and the environment.
Architecture is expected to evolve at the same speed to avoid a strategic drift, where future houses and other structures fail to meet the needs of future humans. To capture this idea, N55 (an American architectural firm) has built a “walking house”.
The house is designed in such a way that it is possible to move it from one location to the other. As a result, the design enhances the freedom of the client. The major aim of the project is to investigate nomadism in the context of the current static surroundings (Butler, 2008).
Change in Future Technology
The evolution in technology has invariably affected practice in many fields, including architecture. Some of these changes include design technique, production processes, and architects’ thought process.
Technological developments have reconciled some of the most divergent relationships with regard to virtual and material production and presentation.
In addition, changes in technology have realigned the relationship between construction and design. Disciplinary shifts have altered how architects approach design. The shifts have enhanced the sophistication of contemporary designs (Johnso & Vignos, 2008).
Nanotechnology is one particular technological aspect that will determine the built environment in the future. The technology has found wide application in the creation of everyday articles, such as clothing and sunglasses.
In the near future, it will be used in the construction of enclosure materials, which will be very efficient in terms of energy consumption and security. In the mid-future, it is expected that the use of carbon nanotubes will dramatically change the performance and design of buildings.
For example, the distinction between the structure and skin will disappear. The distinction will disappear because buildings will be constructed using super-strong, ultra-light materials, which will provide both structure and skin nanotechnology (Goodsite et al., 2009).
Following is a course outline and course expectations:
The following subjects will be covered in this course:
- First Year
- Future production processes
- Technology and design
- The role of government in the future of architecture
- The impact of lifestyles and identity on architecture
- Second Year
- Values and objectives of contemporary design
- Introduction to nanotechnology
- Spatial explorations and transformation
- Architecture and climate change
- Third Year
- Nano technology and architecture: Possibilities (Nano-architecture)
- Nanomaterials and nanostructure
- Energy efficiency and sustainable architecture
- Materialization in the future
- Fourth Year
- Techniques of nanofabrication
- Strategies to improve energy efficiency in architecture
- Fifth Year
- Effects of carbon nanotubes on design and construction
- Density and typologies
After completing the Future Architecture course, students are expected to have developed the skills and competencies to understand:
- The production processes used in the construction and design of buildings in the future.
- How nanotechnology has impacted production.
- How nanotechnology will impact architecture in the future, especially the use of nanotubes.
- How nanotechnology is used to reduce the negative impacts that buildings have on the environment.
- How the government can intervene to reduce the negative impacts that buildings have on the environment.
- Changes in lifestyle and how the changes determine the built environment of tomorrow.
Butler, D. (2008). Architecture: Architects of a low-energy future. Nature, 452(7187), 520-523. doi:10.1038/452520
Goodsite, M., Armstrong, R., & Nielsen, O. (2009). The nautilus: Evolving architecture and city landscapes for future sustainable development. Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, 7(2), 105-115. doi:10.1386/tear.7.2.105/1
Johnso, J. G., & Vignos, R. (2008). Fit for the future. Civil Engineering (08857024), 78(6), 38-79.