In the construction industry, there has been an evolution and progression that has happened from the first brick and building to the materials that have been used. The past has often been an inspiration and dictator to the designs of buildings of today – but they have also been the key helping both contractors, architects and builders improve on the flaws of the past. One thing that has been a certainty is the continual evolution of improving buildings to be environmentally sustainable. Whether it be in the materials such as glass and steel to the overall design and layout of the inside which might include access panels and doors.

To best understand this, we examine some trends that are taking place in construction and architect and in a way dictating decisions made by contractors and builders alike.

Environmental Sustainability
Builders and designers of today are moving towards promoting and marketing green and sustainable practices. This movement of green and sustainable building is often propelled by both activists and politicians – which can also dictate the costs of a project. To help and establish this, contractors, builders and architects look at ways of incorporating the existing environment into the actual plan. For some, this could be integrating the building or materials into the new project.

Past Influencing the Future
if you look outside your window, there is an excellent chance that many of the buildings and structures you see are ones that were inspired by the past. From Roman influences in the columns to the English arches – many past influences continue into the present. History has also influenced the future in that many structures and buildings have evolved from their original purposes to now new uses. For example, buildings that may have once been used for factories or businesses have now been transformed into condos, homes or boutiques. In parts of Europe, specifically Amsterdam, they have converted their prisons into boutique hotels.

The past allows builders and contractors to let their imagination roam free but more importantly, it will enable contractors to be cleaner with their approach in the design. For example, some builders have utilized unique building materials such as access panels to install extra storage in limited spaces.

Upgrade and Refurbish
One way of promoting sustainability is sometimes simply refurbishing or updating an existing aspect of the project with newer materials or products. Sustainability and creating an environmentally sustainable environment are sometimes about taking what is there and becoming innovative with space and the elements. A structure can be upgraded with minor or semi-major updates, installing insulation or maybe an access panel or simply using new materials. A challenge that comes from enhancing and improving an area can sometimes be hard – as one has to weight the pros and cons between determining which is the best cost-effective decision.

Multi-Functional Projects
In today’s growing population and significant cities becoming denser, contractors and investors are investing in various properties and turning them into multi-functional properties. This is where the designers, builder or contractor takes the space and sees more than one function. A building or tower can hold business offices, shopping centres, and residences – this is considered a multi-functional project.

Whether it’s a mixed-use project or an upgrade, contractors and builders are faced with the unique challenge of combining sustainable practices in an area that typically doesn’t often consider its importance. However, something as simple as using the proper materials, flooring, even insulation or installing various access panels – these are attempts to creating a sustainable project.