Construction experts use AI to look at Seoul-style waterfront corridor in Piccadilly Circus


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AS balmy summers seem to be here to stay, construction and property experts are looking at how towns and cities can take inspiration from overseas to cope with the heat.

What do other countries do to stay cool?

Think of your favourite sunshine holiday destination and you’d agree it’s easier to enjoy the heat when you can find relief by ducking into a well-equipped, cool building. Some of the quirkiest design choices that draw in tourists are also there to alleviate the hot temperatures. The iconic blue and white buildings of the Greek island, Santorini are not only beautiful, but reflect the heat and keep the interior of the stone buildings cool. Walking around Spain, the wooden shutters that are fixed to the outside of buildings are drawn shut during the day to keep the sun at bay.

It's not just international heritage sites that can boast keep-cool infrastructure. Seoul, South Korea, spent nearly $1billion re-routing the multiple lanes of traffic that had been laid on top of the Cheonggyecheon River. This not only improved the air quality, but also decreased the local temperature during the summer months owing to the reduced levels of traffic.

Many of these cooling methods also have energy efficient benefits and help reduce the building’s carbon emissions.

According to the UK Government, retrofitting forms a key part of its net zero targets, as well as creating new employment opportunities as part of the green economy.

Murphy Geospatial, a specialist in geospatial data, digital construction and retrofitting with offices in the UK and Ireland, has used AI to reimagine buildings and public spaces, taking inspiration from hot countries that are better equipped.

Diarmuid Murphy, director of property at Murphy Geospatial, a geospatial data specialist and retrofitting expert, said: “Every summer we are brought to the realisation that the UK isn’t prepared for rising temperatures and our buildings just aren’t fit for purpose. Some of the ideas seem far-fetched but retrofitting will not only to help us stay cool but also to reduce the carbon emissions of older buildings which weren’t built with the energy efficiency standards of today. We might not see St Paul’s cathedral in Santorini blue and white, but we need to make retrofitting solutions more accessible for a greater range of buildings. A lack of progress is often down to inefficient information about our older buildings. With the latest geospatial solutions, you’re able to assess what’s there and develop viable solutions on a case-by-case basis. We want to see retrofitting become a priority for the future of buildings and infrastructure and not just a seasonal consideration.”

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