High-rise buildings are a high-risk game, but it continues to grow and change every year. If you're in high-rise construction, many of these trends will have already caught your eye this year. Not only do they offer solutions to problems we've been dealing with for decades, but they also solve issues many didn't recognize were problems to start with.
These are five trends in high-rise building construction that are making a lot of waves.
1. Precast Structures
Precast structures have become an awesome shortcut to help make buildings go up faster, cheaper, and on a more predictable base. The large precast structures are usually customizable and modular, allowing companies to lay them out however they want to get the shape of the building they want.
Created by pouring concrete into large molds, they're then cured in a controlled environment before getting transported to the correct location. This can be a long process for some, and some double down by having reinforced concrete precast structures for extra support: but it's become a trend that's hard to ignore.
These save a lot of time because there's no need to wait for the structures to cure on location; they simply have to be laid correctly.
The price on these precast structures is becoming more reasonable as more companies offer them: there’s a chance these could become the new norm, completely replacing on-site custom structures.
2. Going Greener Than Ever Before
Over two-thirds of consumers say they'd rather support a green company if they had the choice, so many companies are turning toward offering green and energy-efficient products: including buildings. Whether your high rise is an apartment complex or offices, it's a good idea to try and keep it as eco-friendly as possible.
Part of this is how the materials like glass, wood, and plastic are sourced, but an even larger portion is how the clean-up and disposal after a project is completed are handled. Companies want to make the most out of this that they can: so buildings that are able to say they're energy-efficient or were built in a greener way are able to charge more for rent or for purchase of the entire building.
3. More Flexible Construction
High-rises are only getting taller. Because of this, these buildings need to be both stronger and able to hold themselves up, as well as more flexible, so they aren't at risk if there's any seismic activity. This means that industrial steel buildings that can stand as some of the largest buildings on Earth are made to move, sway, and vibrate to avoid cracking or breaking.
Flexible construction allows the building to last longer, stand taller, and protect the people that are inside of it.
Over 70% of people are expected to live within cities by 2050, so it's important that we have a safe and reasonable space for them to live. By allowing the building to be a little less than rigid, they ensure this is a safe city for everyone.
4. Paying Attention to Noise Pollution
Cities are getting louder. Populations in urban settings are swelling, and construction and traffic have been reaching a fever pitch, which leads to even more noise. This can be distracting in an office building or apartment complex, so there's been a large push for high-rise buildings to be built with more noise-resistant materials.
By making offices that are tightly sealed, with high-quality storm windows, insulation thoroughly spread out, and more mass to the walls themselves, the noise has been able to cut down to a fraction. This type of design doesn't mean that properties can't still be attractive, though. Many are making use of a shear wall design, which is a vertical element that allows it to stand up against the wind and seismic vibrations, stopping the vibrations that noise rides in on as well.
5. Better Safety for Evacuation
Since September 11th, 2001, there's been a large amount of weight laid on making buildings easy to escape and safer in case of emergency. Products like smoke baffles, and noncombustible curtains that hang from ceilings and work as barriers to stop smoke from spreading, have become a major part of high-rise construction.
Beyond that, there are more reinforced fire exits and stairwells, more clear marking to show people how to exit quickly if they need to, and more planning around exit strategies.
Recent tragedies have made it even more apparent how important it is for people to be able to evacuate quickly and safely: which means this trend will be keeping up, with more innovations coming in the near future.
High Rise Building Construction Continues to Grow
Although building out used to be the norm, building up has been a great way to get the most out of any real estate: especially in the most cramped cities. High rises continue to grow in popularity, so get behind these trends before they become old news!