As we make our way into 2017, many architecture practices and industry analysts are looking to the future and sharing their thoughts on the next generation of buildings and infrastructure.

Sustainability is a key theme, which is becoming apparent as firms unveil their visions. Take the ‘smog eating’ skyscraper for example. This is a vision by materials science company, Arconic, which takes us 45 years into the future, to a place where buildings are covered in a self-cleaning material that actually eats smog. This isn’t just the subject of dreams though; the materials used in this vision are either in development or have already been brought to market, making this a very real possibility.

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Washrooms
There is no need to wait until 2062 to make your building more sustainable. Washrooms are a great place to start and simply cutting down on water usage, consumables and using energy efficient technology can make a real difference to your targets.

Take the Dolphin Alavo for example. This behind mirror, touch-free hand-washing solution has been designed with input from architects, designers and clients. It is user friendly, sustainable, easy to install and stylish.

Its environmental credentials are one of the major benefits of the Alavo as the infrared sensor taps reduce water wastage, turning off as soon as the user has finished washing their hands. Pre-measured soap dispensers are able to minimise over usage of soap. The Alavo’s hand dryers are also environmentally friendly, using up to 70% less energy than other models.

Office sustainability

In addition to your washroom, there are a number of other steps you can take to boost the sustainability of your building. Simple, yet effective, considerations include:

  • Introduce recycling bins across the site. Colour coded bins make it easy for staff to separate their rubbish in to general waste and recyclables
  • Encourage employees to switch off their computers or screens at the end of the day. Not only does this save energy, it can also cut costs. For example, a company with 200 PCs, can save in the region of £12,000 a year if computers and monitors are switched off on evenings and weekends.

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