New found desire for sustainable living

We have all experienced the unexpected strain that living in isolation can have on, not only our mental wellbeing, but its impact on our physical health. If working from home is going to be adopted as a long-term strategy, then house building as we know it needs to evolve. There has been no shortage of images of the public using ironing boards as desks, creating make-shift offices in dining rooms and bedrooms, all the while trying to imitate everyday life pre-Covid-19.

SMART building, energy efficiency and greener living, are all initiatives that for many were once considered a luxury with added health benefits. However, homes across the globe are now ground-zero for every aspect of daily life and for that to be a long-term sustainable option, changes need to be made. Even as offices start to reopen and retail spaces go back to work, the way they were built is clashing with a new way of life.

Offices are going to get smarter

Whether we are ready for it or not, office automation is here to stay. From automated remote access, virtual reality assisted meetings, and workspaces that clean themselves, the technology is already available. Given new demands for less contact and more efficient ways of navigating the office, what automated tech could we see in the near future;

  • Remote access capabilities (beyond just logging into your emails and making changes to files)
  • Facial recognition technology (facial scans upon entry will remove the need for ID cards and limit contact)
  • Evolving workstations (a no-one-size fits all approach to how desks are laid out and positioned)
  • Tracking badges (giving management the ability to see where staff are congregating and breaking social distancing rules)

Home automation is increasing in its demand

For many tech companies, home automation has always been on the agenda, the only difference is, the demand has now sped up the process. Automating the ability to control items around the home, window shades, lights on or off, and advanced surveillance cameras are already on the market. Some inexpensive and available to the general public, other options are still being held exclusive for those who can afford it.

At Chandler Harris, we have been discussing how house building could change in the near future. There has been a huge emphasise on mental health and wellbeing now that many are spending 90% of their day indoors. Will the construction industry look to imitate more freedom? Will we see more glass used to let natural light in, desks built into a wall so it is easily accessible, energy efficient lighting to avoid the strain on our eyes? This could be the link between technology providers and construction companies we have been waiting for.

Changing our cities

Smart cities have increased in popularity for the past few years and there is a constant battle between rapid urbanisation, while trying to maintain an eco-friendly, green approach. Many countries across the globe are packed with ageing infrastructures, air pollution, increased traffic demands and a thirst for technological support. Up until the end of 2019, Asian countries were taking the lead in implementing a Smart city strategy for future development.

The aim of a smart city is to leverage data and tech to address the challenges in improving life for its residents, all the while streamlining functionality of its buildings and transport systems. London for example is a jumble of historic buildings, overused run-down office blocks and new glass skyscrapers that are trying to find room to grow. Covid-19 has now thrown another challenge into the mix, as the need for space is now paramount and the desire for green areas is urgent.

What would a smart city involve?

  • An increase in an automated tech approach will mean cyber security defences built into infrastructures and homes
  • Car-free zones and alternative means of transport in cities will be provided (scooters for examples)
  • Run-down buildings replaced with green, open spaces

There is a lot of research and speculation around what should and shouldn’t be implemented. The construction industry is facing a very real shift in the way it needs to operate and tech companies are seeing this a prime opportunity to build a long-term relationship. Whether it is changes that are made to homes, offices or entire cities, we are extremely interested in what the next few years will hold. Our question; how will this change the expectations of candidates entering or progressing in the sector?

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