Future Building Technologies Changing Our Cities


The future of high-rise buildings is being shaped by new innovative technologies that will change the way skyscrapers are built.

From oxygen-producing facades, to farming in towers we look at four of the newest skyscraper technologies.

Man-Made Biological Leaf

A functioning man-made leaf that uses photosynthesis to absorb water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen, just like natural leaves, has been created by Royal College of Art graduate Julian Melchiorri.

The leaf could transform life on Earth; buildings could be clad with the material to oxygenate homes and polluted urban areas.

Julian Melchiorri claims the technology could literally provide a breath of fresh air to indoor and outdoor spaces.

The material is very light and low-energy consuming and Mr Melchciorri sees the facades of buildings and lampshades could be made to exhale fresh air with just a thin coating of the leaf material.

The leaf consists of chloroplasts suspended in a body made of silk protein.

Vertical Agriculture

A loopy scheme that involves growing produce in vertical buildings in Singapore has come from Forward Thinking Architecture, part of Spanish architects JAPA.

They are called "floating responsive agriculture" and the structure will allow maximum amounts of sunlight to grow crops such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage year-round.

For Singapore it is the answer to the food shortage where 93% of food consumed is imported as only 2% of its land is arable.

By shaping them in a vertical as opposed to horizontal fashion, regular activities that occur along the shorelines remain uninterrupted and are actually enhanced by visuals of the individually exposed layers that house hydroponic and aquaponic instruments.

Algae Powered Buildings

International engineering and consulting firm, Arup has designed a prototype building for Hamburg, Germany, that will grow algae along its exterior.

It is the world's first building to be powered by algae.

The building will feature the use of the world’s first “bioadaptive facade,” which will comprise a series of photobioreactors filled with liquid in which algae grow.

The fast-growing algae will respond dynamically to solar conditions, imparting a shimmering green facade that will help to screen the building when sunlight is available and shade is desired.

The whole building is intended to be completely self-sufficient. The algae panels also provide shade for the building’s occupants.

SunCentral Light Technology
A Canadian-based company has developed a technology that funnels sunlight into multi-storey buildings through walls instead of roofs and has the potential to cut energy use and lighting costs.

The SunCentral natural light technology is particularly well-suited for office buildings because work days usually coincide with sunlight hours.

The technology reduces electrical use in building lighting and helps create a more productive workplace and a more pleasant environment.

Show Comments
advertise with us
The Urban Developer is Australia’s largest, most engaged and fastest growing community of property developers and urban development professionals. Connect your business with business and reach out to our partnerships team today.
Article originally posted at: