Dubai unveils plans to 3d print the Museum of the Future
Plans for a $500 million museum dedicated to the future, where significant elements are due to be 3d printed, were unveiled earlier this week in Dubai.
The plan was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
In line with its name, the Museum of the Future’s structure will incorporate cutting-edge technology with elements of the project to be built using 3d printing construction techniques.
According to reports, the museum’s cladding, which will include Sheikh Mohammed’s poems describing his vision of the future, will be one of the sections to be 3d printed.
Set to open in 2017, the ring-shaped museum has been designed by architect Shaun Killa, who recently left his role as design director of Atkins Dubai to set up his own practice, Killa Partnership.
Describing the building’s design, Killa said: “The solid element of the building symbolises what we know today representing what we know to be the future, and the void represents what we don’t know. So we constantly are looking towards the future and discovering new possibilities.”
As well as a permanent gallery showcasing the greatest global innovations, the museum will host a group of innovation labs focusing on health, education, smart cities, energy and transport.
The building is also intended to host scientific conferences and offer advanced courses and specialised workshops on design and innovation covering the latest scientific developments, trends and designs as well as their practical applications.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “Our president has declared 2015 to be the year of innovation in the UAE. Today we show how serious and committed we are to that mission by turning the UAE into a major international destination for innovators.
“The museum’s motto, ‘See the future, create the future’, reflects a new approach to government innovation. Rather than just displaying exhibits or publishing reports, the new institution will use design, technology, prototyping and foresight to create real examples of change.
“The museum is the first of its kind, and represents a leading example of entrepreneurial governments embracing change and creating futuristic visions for a better world.”
Research reveals 164% rise in searches for loft conversions
Market research conducted by building supply specialist Insulation4Less has revealed that searches for ‘Loft Conversions’ rose by a staggering 164% between May and June of this year, while searches for ‘Loft Conversion Ideas’ jumped by 186% as people spend more time on home renovations this summer.
The company also found that the most popular use for a loft conversion is for an additional bedroom, while an extra bathroom was the second-highest search term. Walk-in wardrobes came in third, beating out a home office in fourth while converting a loft into a home cinema round off the top five.
According to a recent study, a loft conversion can add roughly 20% to the value of a property. With the average UK house price standing at £267,000 in January 2021, this represents an average increase in value of more than £53,400.
Johnpaul Manning, Managing Director of Insulation4Less, said: “If the last year has taught us anything, it's that having space is essential to our mental health and wellbeing, so it's no surprise that people are taking the time to focus on home improvements to help them make the most of their home.
As one of the most under-utilised areas in any property, loft conversions represent a great opportunity to maximise the use of space that not only improves quality of life but also has the capacity to add value to the home”, he said.
Manning added that it's important to remember that a loft conversion isn't just your average DIY project, and should never be done on the spur of the moment. “A significant amount of planning needs to happen to make it a reality, and an understanding that life can be disrupted while the build is taking place.
“While it's definitely a worthwhile project, I'd recommend that anyone considering a loft conversion should do some in-depth research to really understand what's needed to make it a reality”, Manning said.
Is Your Loft Suitable For a Conversion?
While loft conversions do look amazing and add an extra element to a property, not all homes may be suitable. Insulation4Less says that this is due to a variety of factors.
“It's important to make sure that your roof is structurally sound enough to handle a conversion”, the company said. Although there are different types of roof structures, they mostly fall into two distinct categories: a traditional roof, and a trussed roof.
A traditional roof: was typically found in pre-1960s houses. Rafters on traditional roofs run along its edges, leaving a good amount of free space. However, they might still need new or extra support. Trussed roofs, on the other hand, have ‘W’ shaped rafters that support the roof and the floor structure. Even though truss roofs may appear to be harder to convert, it’s not impossible; the ‘W’ shaped rafters can be replaced with an ‘A’ shape structure which creates a hollow space. While this can add additional costs, it could be a worthy investment, so take this into consideration during your planning process.
“Another thing to consider is the roof's height and pitch, and how that will impact the amount of space you’ll have. You’ll need a minimum height of 2.2m to ensure proper clearance. While you might be happy to settle for something a little shorter on paper, make sure your happy with the height you have and the effect it could have on the enjoyment of the space”, Insulation4Less advises.
The company recommends doing research before going to an architect or contractor. “Ultimately, look for other conversions on your street or in similar properties, and if you feel comfortable, ask if you can have a look and discuss how their project came together - you’ll find a wealth of information that could really help your own project in the future”.
Information credit: Insulation4Less.