Future of Architecture

Careers

With a growth in our population, it is necessary to create more homes. As a result, the growth in construction will also increase the number of architects slightly over the next few years. In order to keep up with the need of homes and the incredible advancing of technology, a much larger need for architects will be required. With this in mind, there will be more competition as well as more students are constantly searching for jobs.

future architecture

Here are some statistics from Service Canada – Click here for the link

Employment Distribution by Gender

Employment Distribution by Gender Unit Group 2151 All occupations
Males 67.5% 52.7%
Females 32.5% 47.3%

Employment Distribution by Age

Employment Distribution by Age Unit Group 2151 All occupations
15 – 24 years 4.4% 14.1%
25 – 44 years 53.4% 45.1%
45 – 64 years 38.0% 38.8%
65 years and over 4.2% 2.0%

Employment Distribution by Status

Employment Distribution by Status Unit Group 2151 All occupations
Full-time 92.1% 79.2%
Part-time 7.9% 20.8%

Average Annual Employment Income

Average Annual Employment Income
(Full-Time, Full-Year)
Unit Group 2151 All occupations
Full-time, full-year 63.0% 53.2%
Average income 63,617 45,157
0-19999$ 7.6% 16.5%
20000-49999$ 37.7% 52.4%
50000$ and over 54.7% 31.1%

Employment Distribution by Highest Level of Schooling

Employment Distribution by
Highest Level of Schooling
Unit Group 2151 All occupations
Less than high-school 0.0% 14.1%
High-school 0.8% 21.9%
Post-secondary 11.8% 43.1%
Bachelors 87.5% 20.9%

Looking at these statistics, a few facts can be found through analyzing them. Firstly, there are 38 % of all the workers that are in their 40’s -60’s. These people are from the “baby boom” era, in within 10 years much more jobs will be opened with this generation retiring.

Now looking at the future of architectural design. Most people believe the future of architecture will be be two factors: sustainable design and the sleek high-tech look (this is probably triggered from futuristic movies and shows :D). Compact cities are likely to be the future layouts of countries all around the world because they are efficient. Cities that are compact mean that people who live there don’t have to go far to get to work, buy food and shop. With this layout, buildings will have to get taller, not wider. Skyscrapers and apartments will become the norm in cities in order to save space.

sound scraper
Here is a link to some very unique and award winning designs. There are some very surreal designs such as the “Soundscraper” which is a building designed to absorb noise. The acoustic dampener also doubles as an energy producer, trapping and converting vibrations into power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O98RBgifD0&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

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Office at Home

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These offices are called MOSS offices which are designed by American designer Victor Vetterlein. MOSS,  stands for Micro Office Systems Space. These offices are meant to be bought by companies to give and install into their worker’s backyards so that they can work at home and avoid a daily commute. As you all know, commuting to your workplace often takes quite a long time and uses gas which transmutes to money. With this portable office, workers can now be more efficient by saving time and money.

Victor Vetterlein says “MOSS provides each employee with a direct visual, audio, and data link to the main office and also a professional environment to hold small business meetings. The user of MOSS feels a good separation from home and work life while not having to commute to the office.”

“The exterior of MOSS is hard edged to form a protective shell against the outside world,” says Vetterlein. The “bunker-style” birch plywood interior is quiet opposite as it is “soft, warm, and welcoming,” he adds. The MOSS has an octagonal aluminum shell which will protect the unit from rain, snow and high winds.

MOSS by Victor Vetterlein

The unit is said to be warmed through energy-efficient underfloor heating and a wood stove, with solar panels and a wind turbine on the roof providing electricity. However, the basic model will not have running water or a toilet but can be expanded to fit a portable toilet, a small kitchen and a waste water tank.

For more information on the interior design and floor plan, click here.

3D Printed Houses

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that PHYSIOLOGICAL needs such as food. water, shelter, and warmth is the most important then comes safety, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. In order to reach the higher levels, the lower level of needs must be fulfilled first. Shelter is very important yet many people around the world don’t have this basic need. They are unable to have shelter because:

Housing Construction is…

– Labour-intensive

– Slow

– Dangerous

– Over budget

When you look at construction, it may be one of the only jobs left that aren’t done by robots or machines automatically. For example, cars and computers are both made mostly from robots/series of machines. 3D printing may be the solution to all these problems; 3D printing can build entire neighborhoods faster, cheaper, more safely, and with more precision.

Here is a video with an example of 3D printing.

Please fast forward to 04:30 to see the animation in action.

Architects are starting to build and experiment with 3D printing for houses/buildings but do printers that are able to build on such a large scale. “Building a bigger printer is not the answer. A skyscraper would require a machine that is bigger than it. And as printers get bigger, there is a trade-off between resolution and speed, says Steven Keating, a graduate student who works on large-scale 3D printing with Neri Oxman, an architect, designer and academic in the Mediated Matter group of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab.” As a result, architects and engineers are still coming up with a solution for large scale 3D printing.

If you want more information, click here.

Lego Architecture

Like Lego and architecture? Why not add them into one? Well this might just be the solution.

The design for LEGO®’s “experience center” or  better known as the ‘The LEGO® House’ has been released! The LEGO® House is planned to built in the center of LEGO’s birthplace – the town of Billund Denmark. This building is 7,600 square-meters large and is built to look like stacked up LEGO pieces. This is a fairly large building with multiple stories will remain open year-long due to its estimated 250,000 annual visitors. As new and unseen before features, LEGO has added their very own unique LEGO store and cafe.

Bjarke Ingles, founder of BIG stated: “It’s going to be looking at LEGO® from all its different aspects—LEGO® as an art form, its cultural impact. When we were doing the research for it [the LEGO® house], we realized, if you would consider it just an art museum, you would be able to fill it with so much user content of such a high quality…it is one of our great dreams at BIG that we are now able to design a building for and with the LEGO® group. I owe a huge personal debt to the LEGO® brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society.”

Construction of the building is expected to begin in early 2014 and the LEGO® House will be inaugurated in 2016. So be sure to check it out!

Here’s a video tour of the building.

Thorium Reactor – Liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR)

How it works:

  1. Thorium and uranium-233 are dissolved in molten lithium fluoride salt in the reactor. As fission (radioactive decay) occurs, heat is released and free neutrons start changing more thorium into uranium-233.
  2. Heat from the reactor is transferred to another loop of molten salt not containing nuclear materials.
  3.  Heat is transferred to helium gas turning turbines to power a generator.
  4. As an emergency measure, if the system gets too hot a plug designed to melt at a specific temperature will melt and release the reactor’s components into dump tanks.
  5. Liquid salt waste can be removed while the reactor is still working.

5 changes required to make it commercially viable:

–          Nuclear waste

Although thorium produces far less waste than uranium, the problem is that it still produces waste.  For example uranium-233 is a resultant of using thorium, but can be separated into another reactor to generate electricity.

–          Renewability

There are high amounts of thorium 1,781,000 tonnes (estimated) but it will not last for ever, it is necessary to find a reliable source. There are plans to extract thorium from space, such as from the moon and mars.

–          A working reactor

People are skeptical about nuclear energy due to disasters such as the one in Fukushima Japan. If a thorium reactor is built and proves itself being effective and without problems, other countries will start building them too.

–          Dangers

Thorium breaks down into uranium-233 which can be used to make bombs. As a result, thorium reactors will need to be protected from groups such as terrorists.

–          Awareness

People must be aware that other ways of generating electricity such as wind or burning coal is not effective or is actually worse than nuclear power plants. Wind power requires too many resources to build and land to build on to be considered as efficient. While coal is adding to global warming (which is an issue that cannot be over looked) and actually carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant. Therefore, thorium is actually a good choice for generating electricity.

5 companies/groups leading in advancing thorium reactors:

–          Lightbridge Corporation

Lightbridge is a leading provider of nuclear energy consulting services to commercial and governmental entities worldwide, and is developing next generation nuclear fuel technology that will significantly reduce nuclear waste and proliferation.

–          India

India has a quarter of the world’s known thorium reserves and plans to meet 30% of its electricity demand through thorium-based reactors by 2050.

–          China

China’s aim is to break free of the old pressurized-water reactors fueled by uranium and move on to thorium which produces far less waste and is less dangerous.

–          International Thorium Energy Organization

IThEO is an organisation that campaigns internationally to make Thorium Energy a reality.

–          Thorium Power Canada Inc.

Thorium Power Canada Inc. offers a clean, green, safe and cost effective solution to the growing global energy requirements through a partnership with DBI Century Fuels Inc. taking advantage of abundant and widely available thorium deposits.

5 impacts:

–          Social

Cheaper electricity means cheaper products and services, which can mean the overall quality of life will become better. Having this new source of energy may completely change the way we live, such as the idea of space elevators or even colonizing other planets.

–          Political

Thorium reactors actually existed back in the 1960’s but nuclear power plants are currently used due to the result of the Manhattan Project. Their goal back then was to make the atomic bomb and not energy which is why thorium reactors just died off. Thorium is located in some countries more than others. When the world switches to using thorium reactors as a main source of energy, countries will have to depend on each other for resources resulting in better relationships with one another.

–          Economic

Thorium reactors can produce more money by creating more electricity at a lower price; it will also create job opportunities.

–          Environmental

By replacing uranium and burning coal, the amount of waste and pollution will decrease. Global warming will slow down dramatically if coal stops getting burned for electricity.

–          Health

Uranium-233: a resultant of thorium can treat cancer. The goal of radiotherapy is to kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells and bismuth-213 (a decay product from uranium-233) can do just that.

 

 

Bibliography:

McDonald, Norris. “Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition.” Blogger. N.p., 1 Aug. 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. <http://nfrcoalition.blogspot.ca/2012/08/thorium-reactors.html&gt;.

“Nuclei.” A Review of the Universe – Structures, Evolutions, Observations, and Theories. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://universe-review.ca/F14-nucleus.htm&gt;.

Hvistendahl, Mara. “Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste: Scientific American.” Scientific American. N.p., 13 Dec. 2007. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste&gt;.

Katusa, Marin. “The Thing About Thorium: Why The Better Nuclear Fuel May Not Get A Chance.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/02/16/the-thing-about-thorium-why-the-better-nuclear-fuel-may-not-get-a-chance/&gt;.

Siegel, RP. “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Power: Pros and Cons.” Triple Pundit. N.p., 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/liquid-fluoride-thorium-power-pros-cons/&gt;.

Forsberg, C. W., and L. C. Lewis. Uses For Uranium-233: What Should Be Kept for Future Needs? Rep. N.p., 24 Sept. 1999. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://moltensalt.org/references/static/downloads/pdf/ORNL-6952.pdf&gt;.

“Nuclear Energy For the 21st Century.” Lightbridge. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://ltbridge.com/&gt;.

Pritchard, Ambrose Evans. “China Blazes Trail for ‘clean’ Nuclear Power from Thorium.” The Telegraph. N.p., 6 Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean-nuclear-power-from-thorium.html&gt;.

“IThEO.” IThEO.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.itheo.org/itheo&gt;.

“Company & Leadership.” Thorium Power Canada Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.thoriumpowercanada.com/&gt;.