Building asks seven engineers to make predictions about the future


The shape of things to come

In 1995, seven engineers ventured into future-gazing and endeavoured to forecast the developments they expected to see over the following 10 years. Building reporter James Macneil commented that despite structural engineering rarely making rapid advancements, the increasing environmental and financial pressure meant there was a constant hunt for innovative practices and materials to increase efficiency. Elizabeth King of Mott MacDonald was asked to make her predictions …

“In the future, I think there will be more control in the design of structural repairs. There will be greater understanding of how structures deteriorate, so repairs will take place when they are truly necessary, rather than just when they might appear to be needed.

“Techniques such as electrochemical repair will become more popular and will help maintain buildings in a stable form, overcoming the necessity to renew sections by controlling the rate of deterioration. There will be a trend towards more radical solutions to structural decay. More effort will be put into understanding why damage is caused, in order to stop the same problem happening again.”