What will residential properties look like in a decade? Contemporary architecture is driven by a few key trends, environmental concern, digital disruption and shifting work patterns being chief among these. Here’s what today’s modern architecture homes should offer in order to remain relevant and be future-ready.
The architecture industry is looking at ways to offset its carbon footprint, starting with the construction process. In 2017, buildings accounted for 36% of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions. Yet it’s possible to reduce this footprint starting with the construction process by using recycled materials like aluminium and reclaimed wood and sourcing materials at a local level whenever possible.
We’ve previously listed energy efficiency as a top trend in modern architecture homes, and it continues to grow. Within the EU, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive has set a goal of all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy by 2020. Expect to see this same trend in residential design, with many homeowners opting to build net-zero-energy homes that produce as much renewable energy as they consume. Solar panels, advanced insulation, rainwater harvesting systems and LED lighting are all strategies used in contemporary architecture.
The digital revolution is well upon us, playing a leading role in contemporary architecture with interconnected lighting and security systems. New builds are smart homes, with an array of features to lend comfort and boost efficiency. Voice-controlled speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home serve as central command units to control temperature, lighting and entertainment. But it’s likely that these will ultimately be replaced by wearable sensors that adapt to your personal comfort levels and preferences.
There’s an increased awareness of what constitutes a healthy home environment, with architects eschewing potentially hazardous building materials containing phthalates and volatile organic compounds. Rather than using vinyl and foam plastic insulation, modern architecture homes are constructed with natural hardwoods, marble, glass and cork.
The number of at-home workers has been steadily increasing due to the rise of telecommuting and the gig economy. In the USA, the population of at-home workers grew 29.4% between 2005 and 2012 alone. For the 32 million self-employed workers in the EU, there’s a heightened desire for a well-equipped office in the modern home. Modular wall systems, converted garden sheds, and combined spaces for freelancing parents and children doing homework are all examples of how this trend is being implemented.
Much like the flexible worker, today’s homeowner lives a flexible lifestyle with multi-generational homes and greater mobility. Contemporary architecture reflects this need with new modifications to traditional open-layout floor plans. Partial walls and foldaway tables lend privacy within an open, airy living space, creating multi-use living rooms that can easily transition from meditation space to entertainment lounge as needed.
As we look forward into the future of architecture, three key trends are sustainability, flexibility and technology. Forward-thinking modern homes will incorporate these elements into their design to craft a more harmonious space in the present.