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A vision of the 2030s

The built environment is undergoing a dramatic change impacted by the fourth industrial revolution, climate change, resource scarcity, population changes and urbanisation.

Homes of the future will be embedded within smart sustainable buildings and structures, interconnected by sophisticated intelligent infrastructure systems designed to support environmental sustainability and the quality of life of users.

Future buildings will evolve from places of living and working to intelligent, efficient and sustainable environments that enhance human health and wellbeing.

The built environment will be connected, robust, secure, adaptable and constructed sustainably, and will have the needs of the user at its heart.

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What does this mean for the built environment?

Sustainable - The built environment will be constructed, operated and maintained in a sustainable way.  

Measurement will ensure the reduction of waste and the continual use and re-use of resources - also known as the circular economy.   

Examples include: recycled and recyclable materials; energy and building management systems; local and renewable energy production, storage and use, upgrading and retrofitting.

Infrastructure - The building and civil engineering infrastructure will be reliable, efficient and robust to support changes in living, working and population migration.

Measurement will help increase efficiency, reliability and robustness of infrastructure, such as water, gas, electricity, transport and logistics.

Resilience - The entire built environment, homes, buildings, structures and infrastructures, will be resilient to climate change.

Measurement will enable buildings and structures to optimise their own operation or configuration and adapt to the external environment.

Examples include: floating homes, space or extra-terrestrial colonies, geoengineering projects, space-based geo-monitoring, indoor air quality monitoring and active control.

Digital - Homes will be connected and smart to allow integration of living, relaxation and other activities, and support the more vulnerable in society.  

Measurement will support the increase in wireless and communication technology, assistive devices and the needs of individuals.

Examples include: robots to help the elderly live and work independently, technology for health assessment at home.  

Built environment: implications for measurement

Metrology, or the science of measurement, is about more than the routine making of measurements, it’s about the infrastructure that ensures that we have confidence in the accuracy of the measurement or the adoption of technology. Foresighting has highlighted technological trends for metrology based on our vision for the built environment:

  • Embedded, digitally interconnected and secure sensors will harvest real-time information and allow the prediction of infrastructure demand, use and condition.
  • Wireless technology and quantum cryptography will facilitate the seamless and secure sharing of data.

Discover more about The future of metrology

Other industries

Discover our vision for the 2030s.

More information

Find out more about Technology and Measurement Foresighting.

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