Vision Event, London – The Future of the Built Environment

This was our second year attending the event and the seminar line up was very promising including speakers from RIBA, Saint Gobain and Marshalls.

Our first seminar was in the Building Health and Wellness Theatre sponsored by Saint Gobain. Ann Marie Aguilar who heads up Arup Sustainability spoke very eloquently whilst using headline stats to grab attention commenting that across the globe indoor air pollution is one of the biggest concerns in the built environment, as so much of our time is spent indoors.

Arup highlights the concept of sustainable business models which help organisations produce tangible economic, environmental and social benefits (1) and Ann Marie herself feels passionately that Architects and Engineers are becoming the guardians of public health as 90 % of people’s lives are now spent in buildings.

Outlining the “Better places for people” we were taken through some of The Well building standard launched din the USA in Oct 2014.(2) This new outlook on how to design and develop buildings covers 7 key elements – Mind, comfort, fitness, light, nourishment, water and air could be a focus of future design.

Following this session we moved to another theatre to see a presentation from the very impressive PL P(3) who gave an overview of the project they have done for Deloitte in Amsterdam – The Edge. This project is truly stunning. The insight shared on how people work in these digital times and what impact that is having on architects and designers was pure brilliance.

Data showed that Deloitte consultants and partners were at a traditional desk only 25% of their total work time. The insight shared on how the building links to its work force via technology was breathtaking. Linking everything back to the buildings computer designed to help find colleagues, book a meeting space or even adjust your personal light ambience was exceptional.

We were then presented with an innovative concept called UmbrellaHaus.(4) Luke Petty from Chapman Taylor and his colleagues did a great job in demonstrating a very disruptive idea about how to change the way the housing challenge is met but being able to pop to an Ikea style warehouse and pick your spec for you house and have it delivered to the site all via off site construction.

These guys have some impressive projects already under their belts so I wouldn’t be surprised to see an UmbrellaHaus project being reported about in industry press in the very near future.

Virtual Reality as a category was hosted in the centre of the arena by Truvision(5) who did a super job of showing how VR could be harnessed and really utilized in the sector. Their feeling is that 2016 is set to be the year virtual reality hits the mainstream market, with it already becoming heavily implemented throughout the construction industry.

We were treated to a great presentation by Hal Currey of Hal Architects(6) and Brian Eckersley of EOC Engineers(7). They gave an overview of the Nine Elms Embassy Gardens development and the spectacular glass bridge swimming pool had everyone in the audience impressed.

All in all, it was a very useful day. Maybe a few too many timber stands on display and not a lot of genuine innovation for a show that professes to offer the future of the built environment but the speakers more than made up for what was maybe a slightly disappointing product exhibition.





(5) http://www.truvisionvr.comA