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.

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Digby Hall

Digby Hall

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

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