Recent trends in residential architecture have evoked sleeker, smarter, and more sustainable house designs. This is an exciting time for architects, engineers, interior designers, and home owners. Design criterion is increasingly influenced by energy efficiency, green living, aging in place, downsizing, and updated building codes. Here are a few more examples of how architecture is changing with modern designs.
Energy Efficiency and Green Living
Increasing fuel costs have pushed many homeowners to seek out new ways to save energy. Newer homes are often designed to incorporate alternative energy resource systems and to allow for better control of solar heat gain or loss. This has impacted the look of homes with things like dynamic glazing (glass that changes density or color to allow for more or less solar heat gain) and the incorporation of glossy solar panels as an integral part of a roof system. The result is sleeker and more high-tech looking houses. Improving air quality inside and around the home has given rise to lush yard landscapes and indoor planting wall features with integrated watering systems.
Aging in Place
We are living longer than previous generations and it is becoming more common to see new houses with accessible bathrooms and elevators incorporated into the design. Existing homes are being remodeled to make the floor plans more open for better mobility. Formal living rooms seem to be disappearing as we make way for easier designs and aging in place.
Building smaller homes has become extremely popular, especially with first time home owners. The tiny house movement has become one of the hottest trends. Designers of smaller homes are tasked with being very innovative with comfortable compact spaces. Engineers are becoming proficient at making smaller homes that are lighter and easier to construct as many of them are either shipped as pre-fabricated units or are designed to be mobile via small trailers.
New Building Codes
The impact of global warming has led to the revision of our residential building codes to embrace more stringent requirements for houses to be able to withstand destructive storm damage. Structural and civil engineers are being tasked with designing houses that are better braced to withstand high winds. This has resulted in more homes being constructed with steel frames. According to Civil Engineering classes online the architectural impact of is more houses with open designs and glass. Hurricane glass has made this even more feasible as well and coastal residences are benefiting by being able to take advantage of expansive views.
Basic house design will likely always have the familiar comforts of separate living and sleeping areas, kitchens, and bathrooms for a long time to come. Technology, like Wi-Fi enabled appliances will make our homes smarter and make us more efficient and architecture and design will continue to evolve to meet today’s technological and environmental demands.