How Construction Practice Will Change for a Hotter Climate

Photo by Jeriden Villegas on Unsplash
  • Smaller Buildings. A smaller building generally takes less time to construct, so that’s less risk-days on site. There are other carbon-related drivers that might support this too. It won’t be the solution but it has at least a bit part in the play.
  • Less labour-intensive construction. A trend away from wet-works like concrete towards faster-to-construct buildings using timber and steel.
  • Top-down construction. Get the roof up as fast as possible to create shade for the workers underneath. Not practical for some building types but already common in the housing sector.
  • Night construction. Maximising work during cooler hours. Often challenging with night safety, noise and neighbours, but we’ll see a general shift towards night-time economies so this might be easier than we think today. This will trigger a raft of changes around night work legislation and pay rates, planning constraints and conditions of consent.
  • Offsite Prefabrication. Modular construction in temperature-controlled factories, from components like service runs and bathrooms all the way up to entire modules of buildings. Minimises site-risk time, reduces wastage, improves quality control. Shifts labour away from site and away from the head contractor into the pre-fabricator. Already in play.
  • Offsite robotic prefabrication. Same as above but with more robotics to cut, fabricate and assemble components in the factory. Think ‘robotic assembly line for buildings’. Already in play.
  • On-site robotic construction. Robotics on site to fabricate building components. Already in play with slab construction, brick laying and 3D-printed buildings.
Photo by Ümit Yıldırım on Unsplash




Climate adaptation architect, striving to help tackle climate change through positive adaptation. Think. Move. Act.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Price of Passion

A match sparking alight.

I’m scared and that’s good news.

The Devastating Affects of Palm Oil and What We Can Do To Help

The Nasty Truth About Biodegradable Plastics

Rockwool Sandwich Panels : 3 Reasons Why You Should Consider One

Poseidon; Hope for our worlds future

Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures

How Natural Disasters Are Affecting Businesses

Construction site on damaged business caused by natural disaster

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Digby Hall

Digby Hall

Climate adaptation architect, striving to help tackle climate change through positive adaptation. Think. Move. Act.

More from Medium

Nurse turnover and perceived causes and consequences:

Could the Irish dairy industry be more “green” just by grazing differently?

Why We Invested in Verdagy and the Future of Hydrogen Electrolyzers