Let’s imagine tomorrow’s buildings together

4 minutes of reading

The collective foresight approach “Let’s imagine tomorrow’s buildings together”, initiated by the Scientific and Technical Centre for Building (CSTB) and the French environment and energy conservation agency (ADEME), aims to prepare for the future of buildings in France by 2050 by sharing the different visions of construction and real estate players. Bouygues Construction is one of the partners in this open and collaborative approach that aims to plan ahead for the future of our buildings.

Buildings at the crossroads of transitions

In a period of major shifts (climate change, changing lifestyles, population ageing, digital development, etc.), adapting the building stock to tomorrow’s context and needs is a major challenge for the construction and real estate industry.

The ADEME and the CSTB have decided to work together with over 15 partners, including Bouygues Construction, to explore these possible contrasting futures under a collective foresight approach. These combined visions will provide important insights for the work that each partner can do in its own field. This involves a foresight committee and a group of partners exchanging and producing elements that are put up for public debate.

This multi-partner approach is an opportunity to question the way in which we ascertain the major systemic risks of the 21st century – climate change, biodiversity loss, economic crises, technological risks, etc. – and our ability to manage these risks in order to collectively imagine very different buildings!

Why an approach through to 2050?

“Foresight isn’t about predicting the future. So what is it for? Foresight means anticipating and reflecting on possible futures to better inform today’s choices,” explains Jean-Christophe Visier, Foresight Director at the CSTB.

A three-step process

The first step involved identifying the factors of change, and 22 key factors that structure the future of buildings and the real estate industry were analysed and will impact the evolution of buildings, such as demography, population ageing, regulations, climate change, digital technology, etc.

These factors are grouped around four key questions that have been the common thread of the reflection: what will the context be and what impact will it have on buildings supply and demand? What will the demand be for buildings? Will the supply of buildings be able to adapt to this demand? And lastly, to what extent will public policies enable this adaptation?

To illustrate this with a concrete example, consider the subject of population ageing as a factor of change: in 2050, the number of people aged over 75 will double in France! In this context, how can we adapt our buildings to new societal expectations?

Learn about the 22 key factors identified that will impact buildings in the coming decades: https://www.batimentdemain.fr/facteurs-cles.php

In the second step of the process, contrasting hypotheses of developments between now and 2050 were defined for each of the key factors. This work led to 73 contrasting hypotheses of developments divided into four categories: context, supply, demand and public policies. The objective was to have a holistic approach by analysing changes in demographics, as well as the systemic risks, the quality of use of buildings and urban planning policies.

A set of hypotheses was developed and can be downloaded at https://www.batimentdemain.fr/hypotheses-prospectives.php

Finally, the last stage will consist of constructing forward-looking development scenarios this summer that will open up the field of possible futures. You will be able to learn about these scenarios in a future article on the Bouygues Construction blog!


Learn more:

  • The website of the foresight approach “Let’s imagine tomorrow’s buildings together”: #bâtimentdedemain