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  • Kathryn Van Dinh

Building Pressure

Updated: Mar 3


The architectural world, like the rest of the world, has faced many challenges and changes throughout the Covid pandemic. Firms have fired, hired, gone remote, joined zoom, come back, and have had to adapt to a new work place culture. Things have been shaken up and are now settling back down.

But this doesn’t mean that the effects of Covid have disappeared entirely. Architects and design firms are working to complete project designs but those projects are struggling to move forward. Supply chain issues and the rise in material costs are adding a lot of challenges to the design and construction process. Delivery delays and lack of labor have greatly slowed the supply chain, resulting in less available material or much farther delivery dates. A number of articles tied to construction industry remark on the outrageous price increases for building materials. Wood, steel, copper especially are at fault, increasing the most amongst building materials. Now more than ever clients, architects, and contractors need to reflect, discuss, and think creatively about their intended building materials.

Where are the materials coming from? How are they being transported? How much material is going to be needed? All these questions need to be considered. And of course, the question always comes up “how can we reduce cost?” That question is being heard even more now, with more fervor. But with more external pressure, there is a greater opportunity to develop more efficient, economical, and innovative designs.

With careful consideration, any superfluous material can be eliminated or be replaced with more effective and alternative materials. Rethinking spaces can change the overall sizing of a building, reducing material. Elements of a building can be repurposed with dual uses such as green roofs or walls. Yes, the material costs are increasing but along side it is opportunity. A chance to explore new design ideas, alternative materials, and construction methods. Covid has changed a lot in the world, why not have it influence the architectural world in a better, more creative and sustainable way?

To learn more, please check out the articles linked below.

https://ccorpinsights.com/domestic-materials/

https://www.architecturelab.net/innovative-examples-of-sustainable-design/

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/sustainable-building-materials-to-consider-for-your-home

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