Buildings are typical today; some last centuries and others disappear in decades. Building technology is advancing rapidly, but is there any upgraded technology to thrive in the built environment? Regarding Generation Z, architects and designers need to give them more thought before using words like sustainability and green. Since the changing face of construction generates more heat and less sustainable buildings, we love living in the concrete jungle due to less cost and more functional construction methods. Once a building becomes obsolete and cannot fulfil its intended purpose, it is abandoned or destroyed, which causes a new building to be constructed. In the past, buildings were built to last generations, making classical buildings more eco-friendly than modern ones, which don’t last much longer, so they are demolished and replaced with new ones. Modernists claim that no classical architecture can be made today, and most people who are not interested in the subject will accept this as reality. A modernist defines an ecological building as one built with environmentally friendly materials. It’s a complete lie. It is essential to understand that the environmental aspect of a building is determined by the fact that people wish to preserve it, and we do not want to preserve ugly buildings; instead, we tear them down.
The comforts presented by long-term obtainable edifices are becoming increasingly preferred by users. An age-defying building ensures that people can live safely in their homes and preserve their freedom and solitude as their bodily capabilities and necessities change. In the wake of Generation X coming to the retirement phase, many are considering where and how they will spend the rest of their lives. older generations prefer to remain in the same edifice for an extended period. The fact that people are living longer does not necessarily mean that they will stay healthy and mobile. Today, most people live in buildings not equipped to facilitate the elderly living in their homes comfortably as they age.
Quality and timelessness should be our guiding principles in our building projects. Age-defying architecture is achievable if we restart using the same materials, craftsmanship, and construction techniques for centuries. By passing on this knowledge, future generations can benefit from establishments that stand the test of time. A historic building’s integrity delivers a wealth of knowledge about its history. Many edifices today need help to withstand the test of time simply because of poor upkeep; this is a significant concern for any structure intended to endure for a long time. Investing in regular maintenance and repairs is vital to ensure a building’s longevity. Regular maintenance can preserve the history of a building and ensure that future generations can enjoy it. Architects should always remember that we are building a structure that should be easily maintained. Buildings constructed 100 and 200 years ago had better planning, good light entry, balanced heights and depths, a suitable passive method, and well-designed rooms. Given these factors, the classical way of building is more efficient regarding sustainability than the modern one.
Iterations and evolutions occur more rapidly as technology advances, yet no technology can save a damaged building. As a result, while creating a structure, it is critical to anticipate the future and ensure it can cope with technological improvements. Designs may be built on one another by combining innovative interdisciplinary capabilities, ensuring that they are brought together seamlessly and that the building functions now and in the decades to come. This eliminates the possibility of errors and inaccuracies while anticipating future requirements, such as including renewable energy sources or integrating technology. Building services play a significant role in ensuring a building’s lifespan. Building systems must be adaptable and well-integrated to remain sustainable in the future.
When we form a fundamental relationship with both the user and the building, we see proportion, rationality, and the spirit of the building shaped so that the building functions well but also has a genuine personality, which creates a sense of attachment and lasting significance. This will ensure that anyone who comes will enjoy and experience the building to the fullest extent possible. The framework should also be artistically engaging and appealing to the eyes to enhance users’ experience. Ultimately, this will result in deep connections between the building, the user, and the environment.
Our architects investigate and employ essential technologies to meet building challenges. The defining principle is materiality, or the use of suitable building materials to prolong the life of existing structures. In addition to being constructed using period-appropriate natural materials and in a classical style, they emphasise the cutting-edge technology of the time. Every architect has to determine which material should be chosen for the design. Different materials have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the suitable material for a structure requires a thorough evaluation. Architects must also be updated on innovations that could optimise the structure’s effectiveness and longevity. As a result, a fresh approach to using the material must be developed, as well as consideration of how the material impacts the entire life of its architecture and what happens once the building approaches its end of life. It is imperative to examine the concept of material disintegration and reuse; some materials may be repurposed and refined far beyond the structure’s life. Since the outcome, it makes sense to weigh the possibility of dismantling and using the material. This could offer a long-term solution than the structure’s longevity. This proves incredibly valuable because it may prevent waste generated during building operations. In addition, it may prevent the development of new materials for the maintenance of buildings. This can also minimise the project cost since reusing resources is cheaper than obtaining the original ones. Furthermore, reusing materials may save resources and energy, helping to conserve the environment.
Examples of Buildings Aged with Generations
Alliso, V. (2002) Use empty buildings to house homeless, Greensboro News and Record. Available at: https://greensboro.com/use-empty-buildings-to-house-homeless/article_bd9a0f31-0f1b-5e54-a811-5ddd9bb1c5d7.html (Accessed: April 18, 2023).
Buzz, B. R. E. (2021) An ageing population – Challenges for the built environment, Designingbuildings.co.uk. Available at: https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/An_ageing_population_-_Challenges_for_the_built_environment (Accessed: April 18, 2023).
Driscu, M. (2017) Challenging Architecture as We Grow Older, Researchgate.net. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320468069_Challenging_Architecture_as_We_Grow_Older (Accessed: April 17, 2023).
Gokbudak, K. (2017) The challenges of older buildings, Schneider Electric Blog. Available at: https://blog.se.com/buildings/building-management/2017/05/11/challenges-older-buildings/ (Accessed: April 19, 2023).
Ijeh, I. (2019) Ageing gracefully: restorations which retain historical decay, Building. Available at: https://www.building.co.uk/buildings/ageing-gracefully-restorations-which-retain-historical-decay/5097377.article (Accessed: April 18, 2023).
Iturbe, Z. (2019) Future of architecture: 7 challenges & trends, Houzz. Available at: https://www.houzz.in/magazine/future-of-architecture-7-challenges-and-trends-stsetivw-vs~126805856 (Accessed: April 17, 2023).
Kalita, A. (2017) Everything you should know about designing a home for aging in place, Architectural Digest. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/aging-in-place-guide (Accessed: April 18, 2023).
Keskeys, P. (2016) New aging: How architects can transform the way we grow old, Journal. Architizer. Available at: https://architizer.com/blog/inspiration/stories/new-aging-architecture/ (Accessed: April 17, 2023).
Lobo, N. (2022) How to defy ageism through design: a discussion, Indesign Live: Interior Design and Architecture. Available at: https://www.indesignlive.com/ideas/defying-ageism-through-design (Accessed: April 19, 2023).
Lstiburek, J. (2016) BSI-095: How buildings age, Buildingscience.com. Available at: https://buildingscience.com/documents/building-science-insights-newsletters/bsi-095-how-buildings-age (Accessed: April 17, 2023).
Musca, T. (2017) 13 buildings that have aged magnificently, ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/872752/13-buildings-that-have-aged-magnificently (Accessed: April 18, 2023).
Ortiz, A. (2020) Transforming aging buildings into modern workplaces, Work Design Magazine. Available at: https://www.workdesign.com/2020/08/transforming-aging-buildings-into-modern-workplaces/ (Accessed: April 19, 2023).
Pearson, C. (2015) Anti-aging research applied to glass and concrete, BuildingGreen. Available at: https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/anti-aging-research-applied-glass-and-concrete (Accessed: April 19, 2023).
Podwórna, M. (2022) “The aging of a building versus its life cycle with regards to real estate appraisal,” Real Estate Management and Valuation, 30(2), pp. 84–95. doi: 10.2478/remav-2022-0016.
Talks, T. (2023) Architecture Beyond Building | Satyendra Bhagat | TEDxBHISKanpur. Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0YTU1yqt0c (Accessed: April 17, 2023).
Tension Structures (no date) Aging structures and historic buildings: A better way to upgrade, Tensionstructures.com. Available at: https://www.tensionstructures.com/aging-structures-and-historic-buildings-a-better-way-to-upgrade/ (Accessed: April 17, 2023).