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Without even realising it, we’re all fighting for resources, space and the best standard of living. Human beings are a competitive bunch and as the world’s population continues to increase, so does our energy consumption. As a result, we are putting massive strain on our basic resources such as water and food, and not to mention the impact on the environment. There are many innovative constructions being made to make way for a brighter future.
With our changing environment and rapidly draining resources, there is a need for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. What if cities were built from bamboo instead of steel? Bamboo is a great resource as it’s fast-growing, reusable and stronger than steel. Architectural studio, Penda has unveiled plans for a city of 200,000 built from bamboo to be constructed in China. The city would be environmentally friendly and inexpensive, and the buildings would be constructed from interlocking bamboo rods.
It is estimated that 70% of the world's population will live in cities, by 2050 so the lack of space is a problem we need to overcome. There are ongoing plans to build vertical cities that would provide residences, shopping and workplaces. The structures would be self-sustaining and ultimately reduce air pollution, because there won’t be any need for automotive transport. With vertical cities, we would save energy and save our horizontal spaces for the production of food and other natural resources.
Smart Bricks would change how we build our structures. Construction company, Kite Bricks is developing a construction system that was inspired by Lego. Smart Bricks would use a double-sided adhesive instead of cement, so there’s no need for painting or to treat the outer and inner walls after the construction is complete. Smart Bricks would transform the way we assemble buildings, providing greater efficiency and versatility. Also, the bricks would lead to better thermal energy control.
The idea of timber skyscrapers may unnerve some people, but they could offer an eco-friendly future. Plans to build a timber skyscraper in Paris, are being developed by Vancouver architect, Michael Green. Steel and concrete produce a lot of carbon dioxide, whereas a building made from timber would contribute significantly less to carbon emissions. Timber skyscrapers could be revolutionary for the environment, as they would reduce the ‘urban heat island effect’, which is the occurrence of higher temperatures in cities as a result of tar and concrete absorbing thermal energy, and radiating it back into the atmosphere. So, timber skyscrapers will be healthier for humans, and producing effects similar to those being out in nature, such as lowering the heart rate and blood pressure.
The possibilities of translucent concrete are innumerable. Its light-transmitting properties can be used to illuminate buildings and structures, such as subways, and can offer insulating protection against cold temperatures outdoors. Translucent concrete can be used for a variety of purposes, including interior decoration. It could also provide safety on roads, as we could use the material to illuminate motorways.
At present, we can only imagine what our environment will look like with all these innovations in development. However, what is clear is that our environment is rapidly changing, so we need to adapt to ensure we don’t succumb to the changes. We could potentially fall victim to our own environmental influences, as the effects of humans on Earth is becoming more problematic each day. With these construction innovations on the horizon, we can look forward to a future that is energy sufficient and an atmosphere with less carbon emissions. In the meantime, we can all try to consume less resources and preserve more to help make way for a healthier environment.
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