This is fashionable topic, and rightly so. Often the learning curve of the construction industry gets compared to the learning curve of the automotive industry, which clearly clarifies the significant chasm between the two.
Modern Methods of Construction are all the rage. In our project designs we consider the carbon cost of a variety of structural solutions, allowing our clients to make informed environmental choices on what’s available. Yes, we will consider material and options such as CLT or modular construction but do we need to think again about the life cycle of the building?
This leads onto a variety of interesting questions:
Where shall we locate core?
What is the flexibility of the building for future occupancies?
What should the column spacing be to accommodate flexibility into the structure?
Can the structure be demounted and reused or recycled in the future?
What imposed load should the floors be designed for to accommodate flexibility?
Should we look to the use of external stability systems to create future flexibility or to prevent structural alterations in the future? Why have any internal columns? Because structural weights become unmanageable?
What is the most carbon efficient structure that ticks all of the boxes?
How do we look to reduce site traffic movements through intelligent design? What is the local labour resource?
This is a huge subject that can create heated debate about what is right and wrong.
There are many more topics to add to the super-structure matrix and these are all subjects we should be discussing.