2021 Trend Almanac: Technologies and trends that will dominate the business and consumer landscape. Get instant access
The phrase building technology refers to the methods and technical processes used in a building's construction. Architechs are increasingly moving away from creating different variations of a standard building and shifting toward building consistently original prototypes. With this rising trend comes much more demanding building performance requirements and a greater amount of unique products and specialist suppliers.
While basic methods of construction have remained largely unchanged, the technologies used in construction have changed considerably. Early structures were solely intended for shelter and safety purposes. Now, however, structures are built with a multitude of interrelated systems that must coordinate to deliver the now necessary standards of building performance. Construction is essentially moving and assembling materials into finished forms for use. However, unlike with manufacturing, construction processes are never truly standardized. Because of this, building technology must include physical buildings and infrastructure, all materials and their applications, noted capacities and vulnerabilities, the operation of components and systems, the procedures and details of building assembly, and all long-term operating strategies.
Broadly speaking, building technology covers all skilled areas concerning the construction of a building, such as materials, site surveys, building services, building maintenance and operation, building management, communications, smart technology, engineering, waste and water management systems, structural systems, research and development, and even prefabrication and offsite manufacturing.
Building technology requires incredibly collaborative work between clients, suppliers, contractors, and sub-contractors to adequately develop construction documentation, planning applications, submissions for building regulations, and operation and maintenance manuals. Building technology is a segment of architecture and building engineering, as new and innovative materials and technologies make for unique design challenges and contemporary construction methods. Building technology is therefore closely aligned with advancements in building science. With buildings typically costing more to maintain than they do to build, smart buildings are becoming more popular, as digital technology increases productivity and saves money.
Building technology analysis evaluates building design, aiming for a more efficient building with technical design solutions that accomplish performance, production, and procurement goals.