We ask readers to share their visions of the industry in 25 years’ time. Here, Gpad London’s Charles Bettes sees considering waste becoming part of every decision

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B175 thought for tomorrow


In the future, technology will develop to monitor the processes involved with building on a site-specific level during construction, but this will also be used to evaluate design decisions.

Programmes will be developed that allow decisions to be tracked and monitored and the analysis of a project in these terms will be reported in line with costs to ensure that sustainability is at the forefront of design decisions.

New ways of using materials and the way they are detailed will emerge to limit waste and to make buildings that are environmentally effective to construct, deconstruct and reuse. 

The construction industry is currently responsible for generating 33% of the UK’s waste. As an industry, over the next 25 years we will need to focus on making the construction processes less prone to error and more efficient in terms of use of material and waste. 

To work in this way the industry will need to be more collaborative, learning from each other so that designers understand more about how their details are put together and about the materials and waste that comes from decisions taken on the drawing board. 

Clients will need to embrace a new way of working whereby their decisions are also guided by value in an environmental sense. The design period may need to extend to allow designers to interrogate the materials and waste associated with options and to fully investigate items that are being specified. 

However, clients will see the payback in their on-site expenditure, which will involve less materials and energy, producing a healthier and higher value construction process. .

Charles Bettes is managing director of Gpad London

Do you have a Thought for Tomorrow? Just send your name, job title and company, and 250 words to building@building.co.uk, with the heading “Building Your Future”, answering these questions:

  • What would you like the construction industry to look like in 25 years’ time?
  • And what needs to change to make that happen?