Material trends to follow in 2019

The world of architecture is changing more rapidly than ever before. The technologies used in architecture and the new approaches that are available have contributed to the fast advancements we are seeing today. The rapid pace of the industry also means new innovations are happening all the time.

There is no doubt that 2019 will be an interesting year for architecture. Aside from many exciting projects, there are trends shaping up to be the next big thing, including material trends that we are seeing today.

Here are some of the best material trends to follow in 2019:

ABS and PVC
The use of ABS and PVC in architecture is nothing new. These materials have been used for things such as window frames in the past. Going forward, however, both ABS and PVC compounds will be used in more ways than ever before.

The reason behind this is 3D printing. While metal 3D printing is becoming more common, ABS and PVC are still the materials of choice. The materials themselves are being improved, while 3D printing technology is evolving towards a larger application in architecture.

On his blog, John Hiscocks, architect behind the Qatar Rail Metro Project, as well as many other luxurious buildings, highlighted how 3D printing will be a prominent technology used by construction companies in the UAE by 2030. Signs of that big shift will become more apparent as we enter 2019.

Photovoltaic Glass
Photovoltaic or PV glass does so much more than just providing insulation for buildings. As the name suggests, PV glass can actually capture and generate electric power from the sun. What’s interesting about PV glass and its use in 2019 is the fact that you can now get high-quality amorphous PV glass that looks like architectural glass, making more applications possible.

There is also crystalline silicon with its improved ability to capture energy. Crystalline PV glass isn’t as see-through as amorphous PV glass, but it still has interesting properties. For example, crystalline PV glass is best used for when you need to diffuse or reduce light, mainly for applications such as solid walls and canopies.

Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood started trending earlier this year and that trend continues strongly today. With more applications being discovered, expect to see reclaimed wood becoming even more prominent as a material of choice in 2019.

The shift towards greener, eco-friendlier buildings is part of the reason why reclaimed wood is so popular. At the same time, there are new processing technologies that allow reclaimed wood to be used in new and flexible ways.

Rather than being limited to the natural texture – and the imperfections – of reclaimed wood, architects can now fully repurpose the material through a series of processes. New forms of engineered lumber that are designed to be lighter, stronger, and more flexible are also making the use of repurposed wood more appealing in 2019.

Aside from these materials, we also have new compounds such as bioplastic and biomimetic insulation stealing headlines and showing plenty of potential.

It’s clear that 2019 will be an exciting year for architecture.