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The Future of Building

The 2019 edition of BAU – a trade fair for architecture, materials and system – will open its doors on 14 January 2019 and continue till 19 January. The six-day fair, to be held in Munich, Germany, is expecting around 2,200 exhibitors from at least 45 countries and over 250,000 visitors. The organisers of the event state that BAU 2019 will be a real XXL event, as they have included two new exhibition halls, thereby increasing the capacity of Messe München exhibition center to around 200,000sqm. BAU 2019 will be taking up all of this space—18 halls in total – to welcome the international who’s who of the building and construction industry. The biennial trade fair has proven to be an efficient business platform for the construction industry.

BAU 2019 will focus on four specific themes and it is expected that exhibitors will align their presentations to them and offer matching solutions. The key topics will be discussed under different aspects at the trade show forums and illustrated at special shows on the basis of product and project examples. The four themes are:

Digital: Processes + Architecture
The boundary between digital or virtual and analog or real world is gradually breaking down. Progress in digitalisation has been picking up pace in the building industry in recent years. Although construction offices have been working with digital planning tools, ie CAD, since the middle of 90s, they have done so two-dimensionally, almost as a substitute for ink pencil and drawing board. However, with developments in IT, and above all in BIM (Building Information Modeling), the job of planning is undergoing a tremendous change.

While architectural ideas and design still come from creative skills of the architectand designers, there are attempts at “generative design” in which the design is done by logarithms, depending on material and system. The actual detailed design is then done digitally and encompasses all the building trades. In large-scale projects, this kind of planning is now commonplace. In future, digital planning tools will also be used in smaller projects and in renovation and modernization work, and it will therefore become the standard worldwide.

The building trades must also get ready for this development, if they are to remain competitive. In future it will be possible to translate a plan in part directly into 3D production. In engineering, with components made of steel or wood, this is already a reality. But also in other areas it will be possible to feed 3D data into machines. That will not only save time and money, but will also have a lasting impact on the efficiency of the building process. Thus, the work of the building trades will change, but the expertise of the tradesmen and women will always be in demand.

Target Groups

Products &services at BAU 2019 will be tailored to all target groups relevant to the construction industry

  • Planners, consultants, state authorities

  • Investors, developers, estate managers, fund managers, chain stores

  • Interior &exterior construction industry, fitters, contractors, suppliers

  • Tradesmen, dealers, distributors, agents

  • n Research, education & training

Connected: Living + Working
Great changes are taking place in the world of work with the focus shifting to a better work-life balance. There is nothing new in this approach, but the circumstances are new. Thanks to digitalisation, the world of work is more intertwined with the employees’ private lives. All of this is of course changing the world of building, in particular as regards designing office landscapes. No longer does there have to be a fixed place for each and every employee. Nowadays, different office situations can be available at discretion. In the morning, people simply choose where they want to sit that day. Sometimes, this alone saves up to 20% of office space. Data is comfortably fetched from the cloud. Even more significant is the impact on the design of residential space. Floor plans should be cleverly designed so that they can be flexibly adapted. With only minimal effort, it should be easy to switch things around to cater for a home office, multi-generational living or higher occupancy, or to refunction a space or extend it. Digitalisation and the greater flexibility of work and private life that goes with it are more than ever demanding flexible building structures that can respond to the housing shortage in our cities. Not least, this has an effect on urban areas where new, digital mobility concepts must in future lead to new infrastructure.

Integrated: Systems + Constructions
The job of an architect and that of an engineer are sometimes hard to separate. Ever more sophisticated systems and technology need people who understand how to get the very best out of these possibilities. In the field of construction, as well as good design and material combinations, it is increasingly about complex load-bearing structures, lightweight constructions and highly technological components. For example, the façade as the outer skin of a building must also accommodate technologies for ventilation or energy recovery, all in a very small space. It is here that jobs of the architects and the engineer intersect, and detailed planning carried out in collaboration is required. In fact architects and engineers are dependent on collaboration with each other to achieve a good result.

Smart: Light + Buildings
Buildings themselves are becoming more digital. In a ‘smart building’, all devices are linked up to a shared ‘smart grid’ and can communicate directly or indirectly with each other, supported by the Internet of Things technology. That brings several advantages: energy streams can be controlled, optimised, and distributed according to need, or also stored for later use. In a somewhat larger network, excess energy can be distributed to neighbouring buildings. Entire urban districts can in this way be connected to an intelligent network with the aim to use energy where it has been generated.In the building of the future, the use of energy within the building will thus be much more conscious; not only more sustainable, but also more intelligent, clever and smart.


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