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Back to the Future: Construction in 2045 will be all about exoskeletons, space travel and augmented reality building envelopes

Today, 21 October 2015, is the future we’ve all been waiting for - at least it is for fans of the film Back to the Future Part II because this is the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown travelled forward in time to in the 80s sequel.

To mark the occasion, Hewden are jumping into their own Delorean time machine to explore what construction might look like in another 30 years’ time.

Developed by renowned futurologist Ian Pearson, the report paints a picture of driverless cars, towering skyscrapers and construction workers donning super-strength exoskeletons to carry out their daily tasks on site.

Mr Pearson said: “The use of super-strong carbon-based materials will enable us to build incredibly tall structures, some even up to 30 km high.

“This will make space travel more convenient and for major transport hubs like London, going into space will be a regular occurrence in 2045.”

“A few of these structures may be so large that their capacity enables them to function as small cities in their own right, with all the usual city functions mixed within the same building.”

Yet while the robotic exoskeletons and “stratosphere-scrapers” might catch the eye, Mr Pearson said it would be the development of existing technology that would have the most significant impact on the way construction was carried out.

Doffing his cap to Back to the Future Part II, Mr Pearson said: “While we’re not all flying around in cars, there are a number of things, such as the use of drones, video conferencing and some of the physical structures that were portrayed very accurately in the movie.

“The acceleration of new technology has and will continue to be the biggest driver for change. As we look forward another 30 years we can expect to see a very different but exciting world.”

And here’s a new one for you building envelopers out there: “Augmented reality” will be used to give these super structures their unique character.

According to Mr Pearson: “Augmented reality will play a major role in the aesthetics of a building.

“It’s likely that many buildings will actually be very plain, instead using AR to create visually appealing environments for those that visit.”

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