Megatrend Map: An Individual Guide for the Building Technologies Sector

Frankfurt am Main, In an increasingly complex world, megatrends can serve as a navigation aid. These are long-term, epochal movements that can be observed in more than one characteristic. Light + Building is part of Messe Frankfurt’s Building Technologies industry sector and, in this context, has developed an individual trend map for the building technology sector together with the Zukunftsinstitut in Frankfurt.

Messe Frankfurt’s Building Technologies sector includes the two leading international trade fairs, Light + Building and ISH, which are held every two years. They present relevant themes and trades relating to buildings. “With the international platforms, we see ourselves as part of the industry. That’s why we sat down with experts from the Zukunftsinstitut to define a long-term perspective. The trend map for the building technology sector, which is derived from the overall social and economic developments, is intended to serve as a point of reference and a guide. We use it to determine and classify top themes in the sectors together with our partners and the industry”, explains Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, Senior Vice President Technology, Messe Frankfurt.

Observations and long-term developments with great relevance for all areas of the economy and society flow into the overarching megatrend map of the Zukunftsinstitut. These are descriptions and assessments that are very likely to have a significant impact on the future. Based on this, the Zukunftsinstitut has analysed for Messe Frankfurt which of the twelve megatrends have a specific impact on the building technology sector. The result is an individual guide for the built world of the future.

“Messe Frankfurt is a particularly interesting case for us. Because there are two perspectives: on the one hand, it is an event producer, thus a container for selected topics. On the other hand, it is anchored in content, thus the specific content and topics of its customers. Therefore, it has a special interest in detecting and observing existing trends,” explains Raphael Shklarek, Methods & Analytics Lead, Zukunftsinstitut GmbH. He continues: “The aim was both to see how the Building Technologies sector is positioning itself for the future and to analyse what is relevant for exhibitors in the long term.” For Messe Frankfurt’s Building Technologies sector, the individual trend map visualises which stations of the megatrend map have a particularly high relevance for the future of building technologies. In addition, existing interactions between the trends become visible. In this way, four specific fields of action have emerged.

The trend map, which was created individually for Messe Frankfurt, is the result of a multi-stage process from an internal and external perspective and maps the trends that have a particularly high relevance for the future of the Building Technologies sector at Messe Frankfurt. Source: Zukunftsinstitut & Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
The trend map, which was created individually for Messe Frankfurt, is the result of a multi-stage process from an internal and external perspective and maps the trends that have a particularly high relevance for the future of the Building Technologies sector at Messe Frankfurt. Source: Zukunftsinstitut & Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

Field of action 1: Building Tech Cities

Smart cities rely on innovative technologies in the building sector. Their goal is to meet the growing demands for housing and infrastructure while offering a high quality of life. Various technologies can be used to achieve this, such as intelligent building control, renewable energies, interconnected mobility and digital management systems. Building technology is thus embedded in a larger context. Tech cities not only offer modern infrastructure, but also jobs in possible industries.

Building technology plays a crucial role in the development of smart cities. However, it is also about the infrastructure and the context surrounding it. Condensed Spaces and Multi- Purpose Spaces lead to more flexible and efficient use of existing spaces. Micro Housing and Modular Living are other concepts that make more adaptive use of both the static and the interior. By interconnecting buildings and devices via the Internet of Things (IoT), data is collected and analysed and linked with artificial intelligence to optimise traffic flows or intelligently regulate energy consumption, for example. In order to ensure an overall higher quality of life for all residents of the city, a holistic post-demographic approach is needed that enables a comfortable life in the midst of technology in real-digitality.

“The scenario described shows the future development of building technology, for which we are already setting the course today. Every company must examine where it currently stands and which topics are individually relevant. Light + Building has also done this with its partners and exhibitors. We have discussed what moves the industry and recorded this in the top themes for 2024”, says Johannes Möller, Head of Brand Management Light + Building, describing how the top themes of the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building technology relate to the megatrends.

Top themes of Light + Building: the current focus on the sectors

The electrification and digitalisation of new and existing buildings are the cornerstone for further developments in the industry. From 3 to 8 March 2024, Light + Building in Frankfurt am Main will take up these prerequisites with the top theme of ‘Connectivity’. It is aimed at the successful networking of the trades and, at the same time, serves as the basis for the efficient use of resources.

Systems and approaches that contribute to a more sustainable positioning of the building sector are the focus of the second top theme, “Sustainability”. These include: the integration and storage of regeneratively generated energy and efficient energy management. Sustainability also plays an important role in materials and manufacturing processes.

The third theme, “Work + Living”, deals with the changing needs for mobility, living and working spaces, production and sales areas as well as the urban development context. Whether working remotely from home, in the office or in an industrial building – the smart home and smart building of the future is designed to make both possible.

The third top theme focuses on light and lighting. The style agency bora.herke.palmisano will analyse the trends for luminaire design in the 2024/25 season. In lectures and an accompanying trend presentation, the designers will explain which colours, shapes and materials will be style-defining in the coming season. The lectures will take place in the Design Plaza in Hall 3.1. The presentation of the themes can also be seen in the immediate vicinity.

Light + Building – World’s Leading Trade Fair for Lighting and Building Technology. The Light + Building event will take place from 3 to 8 March 2024.

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