Sustainable Cities: The Big Design Challenge of the New Decade

The new decade brings in both new challenges and innovations that are pushing design to an unknown space. These new circumstances encourage designers, architects, and engineers to unlearn a lot of the principles they have practiced in developing buildings in urban spaces. This new practice of construction extends far into the beginning of the process, such as identifying sustainable sources of raw materials, closer to the construction site, at minimum possible costs. For example, sourcing materials for flooring continues to be a fundamental step that eventually defines the overall personality of a space.

But how are cities being sized up globally as sustainable, efficient, and smart? In the United States, environmentalism is on the rise with 74% of US adults believing that “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment”. This is according to a Pew Research Center Survey.

There are many ways cities are being measured in terms of sustainable development. Consciousness towards the city’s overall impact to the environment, means of transportation used by the residents, sources of energy, and lifestyle and policies implemented are all important measures of a city being smart and sustainable. Smart doesn’t always point to automation or Internet-of-Things. It’s a collection of actions and approaches several people, such as planners, architects, and city officials, take in order to solve the most pressing issues. Going back to the issue of finding flooring suppliers, a city official may decide to engage a local terrazzo supplier as part of an upgrade in the city’s public buildings, instead of bringing in supplies from another town, or even from another country. Another example is shifting to solar-charging lamp posts which are rightly timed to light up and shut off, depending on the availability of light on the road.

Finding and implementing these solutions to make cities smart and sustainable constitutes the biggest design challenge of the new decade. There are countless ways to help build the cities which this generation can proudly leave the younger generations with. The design challenge of the new decade calls for everyone to take part in providing lasting solutions. 

How Terrazzo and Metal Elevates Interior Design

Metal is an essential element not only in the structural make of any infrastructure but also in creating forward designs that are defining the 21st century. With terrazzo tiles and marble remaining in the timeless materials for interior design, combining metals and terrazzo in design undeniably pushes

residential terrazzo
Source: National Tile

1. Straightforward creativity

Metals are associated with definition, precision, and a polished approach. The versatility of terrazzo, combining different aggregates to achieve different hues, can bring out creativity in design. Having these two elements in a space can create an atmosphere of structure with creativity

2. Angles and flow

Since metal is versatile with its varying forms (e.g. brass, aluminum, copper) it allows interior designers to create edges and curves in manners that suit their overall theme. Matched with terrazzo flooring and furniture pieces complements the plain and minimalist finish of metal in interior spaces.

3. Sustainable design

Withstanding the normal wear and tear is a trait both metals and terrazzo share. With its core materials remaining unchanged over the years, these materials can be recycled and re-purposed even after years of being used.

4. Hot and cold hues

Gold and brass metals provide warm hues in interior design, while white and grey terrazzo creates a cooler tone. Terrazzo’s flexibility when it comes to color combination helps designers balance or complement hot and cold hues.

5. Rustic and unashamed

Corrugated metal is now being extended from a roofing material to interior design creating a rustic, raw look. Matched with the polished black and gold terrazzo countertop, this type of metal can bring forward a fresh look even to the smallest kitchens.

These two elements are creating timeless combinations for interior design for households, office, or community spaces. Talk to us for requirements of Terrazzo in Sydney.

Working From Home: How to harmonizes time and space for work and life at home

Cities are becoming more congested as rural populations shift to urban landscapes due to better opportunities and income. In a recent study of a regional bank, it was discovered that cities continue to expand in Asia and the Pacific, requiring more transportation infrastructure, housing, and energy to power megacities. This expansion creates a shift in lifestyle, forcing and encouraging people to work from home, blurring the line between work and home life. But how can interior design make this blurred line more acceptable and easier for both workers and organizations?

Create a clear space for work within the household

Enhance and Complement Your Living Space Design with Terrazzo Floors - Terrazzo Australian Marble

There is immense benefit with conditioning the mind for work. This conditioning includes seeing a notable space which the mind recognizes as a “work space”. The interiors of a simple home need not be fully renovated to achieve a clear space for work. It can be some small distinctions such as separating the work area from the living room by adding a rug or carpet on top of terrazzo marble flooring, or changing the wall paint for the smaller work area instead of blending it in with the bedroom, the mood can change by simply transferring from the comfortable home feeling to the work space.

Declutter a specific area for “official break”

Decluttering may be normal practice for some people, but most households, especially those with more than 2 people, can accummulate things which are of course necessary for home living. But when work is brought into the house, breaks are important as they are in a normal work place. Having a specific space to have a break from work which still isn’t part of the “home” will ensure that the individual will not shift to household chores or other errands during these work breaks. It is more difficult to go back to official work if one starts doing home chores. It would be much better if the space for break would be outdoors, or at least have a semblance of the outdoors.

Promote “work hours” at home

One other practice that can help productivity while working from home is setting clear hours for work. During these hours, deviating from work should be discouraged, and the individual should request from those living in the same home — partners or kids — to observe and respect these work hours. This can help structure the hours in the day by separating work from home chores and doing these within the appropriate hours.

Having the right space and an awareness of time can and will promote productivity even while working at home. This benefit should be encouraged and supported by organizations not just in Sydney but across Australia. Space modifications can be achieved if needed. Talk to Terrazzo Australia today to see options for flooring and partitions, suitable for work areas.



Technologies Disrupting Interior Design

The original clients of home and building designs are settling down into their retirement and long-term vacation plans. The baby boomers and the generation in their late 40s are shifting investments and how they spend their money from high-value homes to travel and healthcare, among others. The clients of interior design are now the millennials who are starting to develop their own sense of style for their homes and are capable of spending to achieve their taste. From simple flooring provided by the unit developer to classier terrazzo marble tiles custom-fit to their space, from simple living room furniture to high-end concepts on space-saving pieces of furniture, these young customers are changing the game for the interior design business.

terrazzo australian marble

This lifestyle and age-driven preferences are challenging how designers conceptualize, create, and deliver interior design projects.  Two technologies are particularly disrupting the market by enabling more innovative service providers to create immersive experiences for their clients.

 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

While Virtual Reality is slowly making its way to the interior design industry, the technology is still quite expensive to be adopted by many designers. Augmented Reality has become a go-to technology for designers who are trying to beat established and more well-known names in the industry by providing close-to-reality views of concepts to their clients. Apps have bee developed and are constantly evolving for this purpose alone. Gamification has also caught up with this trend, providing end-users a fun way to test out interior design concepts within a gaming app.

 3D Printing

From 3D printing patterns on the floor for poured-on-site terrazzo treatments, to 3D printing furniture pieces that are not readily available in stores, this technology is opening more opportunities for the whole range of service providers offering solutions for spatial design. Even if it is still quite expensive to acquire industrial-size machinery, there are now businesses offering 3D printing services for service providers (business-to-business engagements) which makes access to this technology a lot easier without having to invest directly on acquiring the printers.

There are more ways the interior design space will be influenced by technology. But it is best to remember that a great space still starts with a good eye for design.

Construction Purchasing: Finding the Right Flooring Supplier in Sydney

Purchasing officers of construction firms play a vital role in delivering construction excellence while realizing significant profit for the firm. With the influx of imported materials, competition is becoming tougher for suppliers in Sydney. This is, in fact, a good opportunity for construction companies to find the best partners in delivering quality and excellent results. How can purchasing departments and officers know if they’re tapping the right flooring suppliers in Sydney?

1. Compare pricing for the same materials delivered to different locations

It is easy to ask for a quotation from different suppliers on a single project and location and to compare pricing based on a single common denominator. But, to find a long-term partner in flooring supplies, one good way to test fairness and robustness of a supplier’s pricing structure is to ask for quotation for the same materials to be delivered to different project sites. Flooring suppliers of course include in their costing the delivery costs. It is easy to spot discrepancies in pricing of the same supplier if you ask for pricing of the same materials for different project sites and compare that with other suppliers who are also quoting for the same project sites. This way, you can establish which one can provide more margin of profit over a longer time period and number of projects in the pipeline.

2. Check for record of actual installations, do site visits as needed

Suppliers will of course publicize former projects as part of credibility-building. It will not hurt to get in touch with the purchasing team of the finished project to check quality of finished product. But, a more crucial thing to check is the professionality and efficiency of the supplier in handling the project from start to completion. Customer interface in the construction industry continues to be vital in building connections and being recommended as a construction supplier. It will not hurt to do a background check on new and potential flooring suppliers.

3. Review repair and maintenance clause of proposals

This is important especially for Terrazzo flooring suppliers. The cost that is usually carried by the construction contractor pertains to repair and maintenance of flooring. For construction companies, it is common to find another contractor to offer maintenance and post-construction support. But good flooring suppliers especially for Terrazzo suppliers may have value-adding clauses on their contracts pertaining to post-installation and construction maintenance. Review these details and compare with other suppliers, if possible.

Talk to Terrazzo Australian Marble today to learn how we can be your company’s ideal flooring partner in Sydney.