Major property developers are pioneers in using new technology and innovations to create iconic projects.
With the pace of change accelerating rapidly, what might seem an outlandish piece of science-fiction today is practical leading-edge technology tomorrow.
Over the past twelve months we’ve seen a number of incredible advances and we’re looking forward to seeing how developers integrate these concepts in the years to come.
Michigan State University has created a fully transparent solar concentrator which means that every bit of glass in a high rise building can be turned into solar panels without impeding view.
While this has been a goal for years, the team at Michigan has already done this by using a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC) containing organic salts which absorb specific non-visible wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light.
Imagine severely reducing the need for lighting on common area paths. Imagining creating a striking design feature that lasts for 100 years.
Dr Jose Carlos Rubio of University of San Nicolas de Hidalgo has just patented glow in the dark cement.
To create this spectacular effect he changed the microstructure of the cement to make it glow in either green or blue.
Apparently its brightness can also be adjusted depending on its use, which is attracting interest of governments looking for ways to illuminate footpaths without the need for street lighting.
Scientists are experimenting with algae for energy and hot water generation.
The experimental building, BIQ in Hamburg, Germany has 200 square metres of integrated photo-bioreactors (PBR) in 120 façade-mounted panels that generate algal biomass and heat as renewable energy. The algae façade panels provide a thermally controlled microclimate, noise abatement and dynamic shading.
The biomass and heat are transported to an energy management centre, where the biomass is harvested and heat is recovered by a heat exchanger. Excess heat from the PBRs pre-heats domestic hot water, warms the building interiors, or is stored under the building. Algae biomass is converted to biogas and powers a small-scale combined heat and power micro-turbine, generating electricity and heat; providing around a third of the total heat for 15 apartments. More sunlight makes the algae grow more rapidly which could make it more productive in sunny Australia.
It might be less visually exciting to potential purchasers than glow-in the-dark concrete or algae powered hot water, but technology – particularly internet technology – can reduce downtime and increase productivity.
IBM links to some interesting articles on how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be employed right now to increase productivity:
Using RFID sensors, individual prefab parts can be tracked throughout the supply chain. A recent example is the construction of the Leadenhall Building in London. Since the building occupies a relatively small footprint, but requires large prefabricated components, it was a logistically complex task to coordinate the installation.
Just the thing for having your Amazon packages and pizza delivery brought direct to your door, a building designed to accommodate the coming and goings of drones.
We might be a few years away from the world of The Jetsons, but according to mechanical engineer Charles Bombardier, tall buildings and apartment residents deserve to get in on the rising popularity and mainstream use of drones.
Drone Tower is imagined as a futuristic apartment building where every residence comes with its own personal landing pad, specifically for the use of small electric aircraft and shipping drones. Bombardier’s design allows for the possibility of private drone deliveries to an apartment’s landing pad.