Outlook 2018: Technology and building materials trends

In 2018, a number of trends in technology and building materials will significantly impact the architecture business. Here are just some of the new tools and materials that can help to streamline workflow, resolve potential issues and create renderings and models that clients can better visualize. 
Virtual reality: VR is proving invaluable at helping to assess design options, reduce rework on models and resolve construction issues before breaking ground. A 2016 survey showed that 69 percent of the professionals are already using VR or mixed reality (MR) in their workflow or plan to use it. 

3-D Printing: Architects have discovered the benefits of 3-D printing -- among them less time creating models, easier editing and a better visualization for clients. Farther into the future, we'll see 3-D printing used to print real, cost-effective homes at about one-third of the cost. 

Programmable Cement: Scientists are figuring out a way to program cement particles as the first step in creating stronger shapes that require less concrete. 

Resurgence in Wood Building Materials: Technologies like cross-laminated timber and nail-laminated timber are now offering a superior track record compared with reinforced concrete or steel for high-rise buildings. The first modern tall wood building building in the US was built last year: the seven-story structure weights one-fifth that of a comparable concrete building, reducing foundation size, seismic loads and embodied energy. 

For more details, check out the full article here by Lou Weinzelbaum, MB Financial Band Group President, Professional Services in the Winter 2017 issue of Licensed Architect. 


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