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4th year Civil Engineering student at Imperial College LondonStudent
For today's building to be resilient to tomorrows' challengers, we have to increase the adaptability of the buildings we construct. A lot of the buildings constructed today are fixed towards a certain specific design in order to drive down the construction cost and use the minimum amount of material. But that means these buildings will also lack the flexibility to face the changing environments of tomorrow. Though this is alternative to the viewpoint of the competition (where we should design fixed buildings based on our predictions of the challenges of the future), I believe a paradigm shift in the construction mindset is needed in order to most effectively face the challenges of the future. And that mindset is the adaptation of flexibility in the internal constructs of a building. This is because though we have made predictions for many of the challenges for the future, they are still predictions, so while we should be designing buildings today to be congruent with those predictions, we should still include inherent flexibility in the buildings to adapt for any errors in our predictions. This is because the average building lifespan is normally 60 years*, but the rate of technological growth vastly exceeds that timescale. Thus many of the products and potential building techniques have not be dreamed of yet. Therefore, the development of adaptability in buildings should be the ultimate aim for the future of building design.
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