At the Forefront: Our Top 5 Design Trends for 2016

At the Forefront: Our Top 5 Design Trends for 2016

For our first issue of 2016, CADdetails asks the question, what will 2016 hold in terms of global trends in architecture and design? Here are our top 5 predictions, in no particular order.  

© Barto920203

© Barto920203

Crowdfunded Architecture

Crowdfunding, the practice of financing a project by asking a large number of people for small amounts of capital, has quickly moved into the popular lexicon with the advent of popular Internet fundraising websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. What you may not know is that one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns ever came from a fast growing, New York-based real estate crowdfunding platform called Prodigy Network. In what the developers have called "the first skyscraper built by common people,” Colombia’s 66-story, 1.2 million square foot development, BD Bacatá Downtown, pictured at right, will be Bogota’s tallest building and Columbia’s first skyscraper to be built in 40 years, when the project is completed sometime in 2016. What makes the structure even more special however is that it was financed, not by a handful of real estate tycoons and big banks, but by ordinary Columbians. The ambitious fundraising drive was done primarily through a crowdfunding campaign on Prodigy Network, allowing organizers to utilize the local community’s interest in owning a share of the project. The 2009 campaign’s rules stipulated that anyone could buy shares in the building, which cost roughly $20,000 each. By the time the building was under construction in 2013, Prodigy had raised more than $170 million in cash using investments from nearly 4000 individuals. The intrinsic community spirit involved in the project will hopefully lead to a positive impact on Bogota, which has seen massive growth over the last ten years, but little progress in terms of effective urban planning. The multi-use development aims to not only bring real value to the city by creating comfortable living and working options for local families, but with its numerous sustainable elements including a building-wide efficient water management system and strategic climate control measures, the project also promises to minimize harmful impacts on the local. Adding to the project’s water conservation on the interior, the BD Bacatá will be equipped with a beautiful green roof with natural vegetation and a drainage system meant to collect rainwater for the building’s maintenance use as well as a potential point of hydration for migratory birds. Closer to home, the recent passage of the JOBS Act will make it easier for crowdfunding developments such as this to get off the ground, making it a potential new source of financing for innovative design projects in the US.


3D Printing

From automobiles to human organs, 3D printing is undoubtedly transforming our world. And although the technology is still relatively young, it has been making huge strides, fast. In March of last year, pioneering Chinese company, WinSun, printed 10 houses in 24 hours, using a massive 3D printer measuring 490 feet long, 33 feet wide, and 20 feet deep. The “ink” is a top-secret recipe of ground construction and industrial waste such as glass fiber, sand and concrete, around a base of quick-drying cement mixed with a proprietary hardening agent. Now, WinSun has further demonstrated the efficacy of its technology by constructing a five-storey apartment building and a 11,840 square foot, 2-storey villa, complete with decorative elements inside and out, on display at Suzhou Industrial Park and pictured above. Made up of six 3D-printed modules, the company completed approximately 90 percent of the construction in an off-site factory before shipping the pieces to the installation site, where the fireproof, earthquake-resistant villa was assembled like LEGO bricks before a live audience, who were then invited to explore the interior. As part of the 3D printing process, a CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material .The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation. According to the company, the 3D printing process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, decreases the need for quarried stone and other materials, and reduces production times by between 50 and 70 percent, and labor costs by between 50 and 80 percent. The villa pictured above was estimated to cost around $161,000 to build. In time, WinSun hopes to use its exciting 3D printing technology on much larger scale construction projects, starting with an office building in Dubai in 2016, and ultimately, bridges and perhaps even skyscrapers. The company recently announced partnerships with an unnamed American company to set up 3D printing factories globally; Nile Sand Material Technology to establish 12 desert factories within two years that use a sand 3D printer; and China Railway 24th Bureau Group to build five factories in China, Mexico, and Russia. These new partnerships may help ensure 3D printing is one day adopted into mainstream construction.


Floating Architecture

Scientific research indicates sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5 millimeters) per year since the early 1990s. This trend, linked to global warming, has, not surprisingly, resulted in a surge of interest in floating architecture. A handful of modern architectural designs are showcasing some wonderfully creative, futuristic concepts that will surely amaze even the most difficult to impress architectural enthusiasts. For example, the breathtaking conceptual project pictured above, designed by London architect and engineer Gianluca Santosuosso, explores the idea of a self-sufficient hotel with the ability to adapt and move with the ocean currents. Dubbed the ‘MORPHotel’, the floating ecosystem is developed with a linear, spinal structure about a half a mile in length and composed of individually connected capsules hosting guest accommodations and luxury amenities including theaters, gardens, restaurants and a swimming pool - not unlike a cruise ship. A helipad and detachable boats are included to give guests the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. MORPHotel is designed to be as self-sustaining as possible, with integrated solar panels, rainwater harvesting and floating vegetable gardens. In theory the game changing project - which has no estimated completion date as of yet - would be able to slowly drift around the world, docking in cities to let passengers board or disembark. But if Santosuosso’s project seems too far-fetched, check out The World, Dubai’s artificial archipelago of over 300 islands, which will soon be home to 33 luxury floating homes, each with its own garden, pool, and beach tailor-made to the client’s tastes. Created as part of Oqyana World First, these private island homes were recently given the go-ahead by the Dubai-based government entity Nakheel. Architecture firm Waterstudio.NL collaborated with Jean-Michel Cousteau to design the floating islands, which will also be engineered to provide new underwater habitat for sea life. The man-made floating islands will be completely stable on the water and will be built to last over a century. The Oqyana Real Estate and Amillarah Private Islands developers plan to offer similar floating homes in the Maldives and off the coast of Miami in the U.S. The luxury floating homes are not yet available for sale.

© S an editor

© S an editor

Urban Gardening

Over the past few years, we’ve featured several examples of green roofs and rooftop gardens from cities throughout North America and Europe in this space. The trend continues to evolve, with a new generation of designers eager to take urban agriculture to the next level, to not only add greenery to cities, reduce harmful runoff, counter the urban heat island effect and clean the air, but to also to produce food as locally as possible. By growing what we need near where we live, we decrease the "food miles" associated with long-distance transportation, while encouraging people to reconnect with the Earth. But if you are thinking that urban gardening is just another hip little eco-trend, you may be surprised to learn that, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply food to about 800 million people worldwide, producing an astonishing 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food,. That number is only expected to climb. A particularly ingenious solution has cropped up in Japan, where the East Japan Railway Company has collaborated with a station entertainment company to create a series of rooftop gardens atop train stations, where commuters can create their own tiny gardens and tend to them while they wait for their train to arrive. The clever Soradofarm project, which currently has thirteen locations around Japan with operating gardens or gardens in the works, including at Tokyo's JR Ebisu station, pictured above, allows people to rent their own garden allotment measuring just 10 square feet (tools, water, and garden equipment, and even seeds included) to try their hand at growing food, flowers, and more. Aside from the possibility of growing even a tiny amount of fresh food for themselves, these innovative urban gardens are an effective solution for decreasing commuter stress and increasing the amount of time spent out in the fresh air and sunshine, especially in areas where outdoor space is at a premium, and having a place to call your own is hard to come by.

What design trends do you think will take center stage for 2016 and beyond? Visit today to specify new and innovative building products for your own most awe inspiring project!

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