The year 2019 was one of great innovation in the building industry, with the creative and sustainable use of materials, products, and construction techniques, creating a whole new built environment across the globe.

Modern technology is putting an exciting new spin on conventional materials, with old materials being repurposed for sustainable purposes—as happened with the erection of the mud walls in Ghana, or the use of waste products to devise new coatings. Also, classic materials like bricks are being put to new and good uses.

And in the case of wood, increasing panel options has allowed for more universal applications of this sustainable material in the construction of everything from furniture to floors. Engineered woods like Cross Laminated Timber and Glued Laminated Wood may even result in the eventual construction of timber skyscrapers.

Concrete is now offered in a multitude of new variations as well, including natural, pigmented, lighter and sturdier forms, cellular, fibre reinforced, etc. And the novel use of traditional materials also has resulted in the development of new protection products for use on concrete slabs.

Inside buildings of all varieties, the fine art of interior design has been found more than ever to impact one’s physical and emotional well-being. All elements of design are now being created and coordinated to cater to our health, well-being and tastes.

Solar power was harnessed to magnificent effect in 2019, with the sun giving heat and reducing the development of microbes. Effective ventilation cleans interior air and keeps us cool during hotter months; and the hue or presence of plants and natural materials can enhance our mood. And we discovered illuminating lighting applications, finding that cold artificial lighting enhances our concentration, whereas warmer light comforts us infinitely. We discovered exciting new ways to design kitchens and bathrooms this year, and to enhance accessibility for all occupants of any given building.

In the technical arena, the advanced use of robotics, automation and machinery are transforming the whole process and procedure of construction.

In 2019, the visualisation and conceptualisation of each design has become more detailed and realistic, thanks to visual technologies, device coordination, robotics and prefabrication advances.

All of these inventions and discoveries lead everyone to wonder what the world will be like in the future.

Well when one considers current popular phenomena like home automation, the DIY revolution, and the Tiny House movement, the future of our built environment is today.