Armstrong Ceiling Solutions’ marketing communications manager Isabel Blanco discusses how the construction industry is being shaped like never before by a multitude of factors, such as climate change, city pressures, and work/life balance
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Consideration of environmental, urban and socio-economic factors in the design of buildings has instigated a significant shift in the nature of architectural interior trends. Here are the top five industry trends of 2019 that Armstrong has discovered:
Trend 1: Increased focus on sustainability
Every industry needs to play its part in contributing towards disabling the impacts of global warming. Construction has long been doing so – but how might we go beyond the requirements of codes like LEED and BREEAM, in creating projects that actively combat climate change in the regulation-driven bounds of the everyday?
Mineral ceiling tiles are recycled
The principles of passive sustainability can easily be applied to interior spaces and we have witnessed this even more so in ceiling design. For instance, highly light-reflecting bright-white ceiling systems can play an important part in distributing natural light throughout a space by reducing a building’s reliance on artificial lighting. Specifying Cradle to Cradle Certified™ systems ensures that all materials used in a ceiling can be reused over multiple lifetimes, reducing waste sent to landfill.
For more information, go to Sustainable Ceiling Solutions on our website.
2. Optimising spaces to give a sense of greater ‘space’
Current projections estimate that by 2050 almost 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities, compared to 55 per cent today. This will place huge pressure on cities’ abilities to house, employ, cater for and entertain an extra 1.2 billion people.
The younger, affluent demographics living and working in cities are driving demand for spaces that provide wellbeing and give a sense of ‘space’ that is greater than the available footprint. And this can be achieved through intelligent design, particularly in the ceiling space.
Building wellbeing into a space hinges on a range of factors, from thermal to acoustic. The availability of light, and the use of seamless curves – striking angles and bright-white, highly light-reflecting ceilings – is a good place to start.
For more information, go to Creating Effective Office Environments on our website.
Trend 3: Integrating technology to create smart spaces simply
Technology is completely transforming the way we use our spaces. Our smart phones are talking to security systems, while we are relying on smart-watches to remind us to keep up our daily step-count. As technology develops, so does the evolution of the way we use space in ‘smart cities’ which requires complex technology.
This evolution brings opportunities for architects and specifiers to implement smart technology into new-build or refurbished spaces. One thing to keep in mind though is that aesthetics go hand-in-hand when implementing the hardware for these smart technologies – needing to be concealed, yet accessible for maintenance. Ceiling products that can be implemented for these smart technologies, that still ensure an aesthetic finish, are complete systems that are monolithic and yet enable technological features whilst hiding equipment, such as canopies, baffles and more.
For more information, go to Integrated Ceiling Solutions on our website.
Trend 4: Increasing focus on wellbeing and mental space in the workplace
Occupants’ health and wellbeing is one of the driving forces behind increasied happiness and productivity at work. Architectural design factors that have a major impact on wellbeing and mental space are the availability of natural light, thermal and acoustic comfort, and indoor air quality.
Compact urban homes are made more desirable – and valuable – by giving people brighter, airier and more personal spaces to relax and feel physically and mentally comfortable. Whether the specification is for office spaces or dining areas, or even welcome receptions and lounges, these projects focus on integrating the spaces into the wider whole and occupants’ wellbeing as first priorities. It is all about considering the physical space provided for mental space, that will enable maximum comfort to promote their in-room focus.
For more information, go to Healthy Interiors on our website.
Trend 5: Dissolving boundaries between interior and exterior spaces
Architects have long understood the benefits of natural light. It is one of the cornerstones of wellbeing and sustainability, providing health, happiness, comfort and productivity. Contemporarily designed ceilings can play with light and shade to add depth to a space and spread light beyond the window areas. And should artificial lighting be necessary, creative designs can conceal the required equipment or make energy-efficient LED lighting into feature pieces.
In general, all over the world, we’re seeing a lightening of ceiling design statements, with preference for designed systems that retain their brightness to bring the radiance of the outside world inside. For more information, go to Light Reflectance on our website.
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