The explosion of the Canadian housing market, aging of our population and dampened economic growth forecast are defining the next surge of architectural trends in home design. From work to leisure, national issues to global phenomena, modern architects can’t afford to ignore the socioeconomic factors sweeping the industry.
To help you get started, here are the six biggest trends that will be defining the future of residential architecture.
- Home offices
This is the most specific trend that we are predicting, but also one of the most intuitive. The technology advancements available to employees today allows many to work from home, naturally giving rise to a preference for a home office area.
Furthermore, the loss of jobs that have resulted from the falling Canadian dollar has forced residents to find ways to progress their career from their house rather than an office, be it through job hunting or self-employment.
Emerging technologies and the current job market have also given rise to small businesses. According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, small businesses make up 98.2% of Canadian employers, with 87% comprising fewer than 20 employees.
For such organizations, renting a downtown office often just doesn’t make sense. When they’re not holding meetings at the coffee shop next door or visiting a client’s HQ, their home will need to be able to function as its own form of a work station.
- Universal design
This is not a new discovery for modern residential architecture; common practice in universal design has been around for more than two decades. However, the need for more accessible environments is now more pronounced than ever.
In the next decade, the majority of Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65. Home design for this age demographic will have to evolve to meet their changing abilities in various ways.
For example, a survey conducted by the AARP revealed that the majority of baby boomers who expressed a likelihood of moving as they get older wanted a home with a single level. Thinking about universal design from the perspective of not just the disabled but also the aging population is an inevitable trend that will persist for years to come.
- Healthy environment
The growing global concern over environmental health issues has begun to narrow in on residential architecture. The main points of interest from a recent AIA survey are indoor air quality, water quality, and potentially harmful materials or chemicals in the home.
Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment found that a building resident’s “exposure to common indoor pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in everything from paint to carpets”, has a proven effect on the quality of their thinking.
The rise of homeowner awareness regarding these environmental health issues will put enormous pressure on architectural design to meet stricter and stricter health standards.
- Sustainable design elements
It is no surprise that there has been an expanding adoption of energy-conscious products like controlled ventilation systems and solar panels. However, the future of sustainable design elements will not be conceived in isolation.
Efficiency in the design of a home and the products used to construct it should go hand in hand, and recent technology is enabling these two aspects of architecture to interact better than ever before.
The AIA survey reported that 28% of architecture firms anticipate a coming increase in the importance of renewable and low-maintenance materials as well as “products that also allow for new ways to design, such as through composite materials and new glass and glazing technologies.”
Another growing application of sustainable design strategies is concerned with arming homes against natural disasters through features such as residence elevation, backup power generation and dedicated safe rooms.
- Ambiguous space layouts
Recent years have seen a push for implied spaces rather than traditional rooms. One benefit of open-plan spaces is that it caters to the growing trend of home interaction, as people are spending more time entertaining without leaving the house. Residential design that allows them to be more connected to family and friends is bound to be rewarded.
Another benefit of this trend is that it will give residents the freedom of working with large, minimalistic home designs to make spaces their own. As Canadian homebuyers have begun to spend more money on renovations and less on buying new properties, we expect this ability to inexpensively define and redefine room purposes to escalate in popularity.
- Kitchen features
Contemporary residential architecture will prioritize kitchen size and features more than ever. Kitchens have become the hub of activity of family homes, particularly as a standard has emerged for family and dining spaces to flow into to the kitchen rather than taking up their own individual areas of the house.
As such, kitchens are expected to get bigger and occupy a central location in a way that connects with the rest of a home’s design.
This trend is thus in perfect correlation with the demand for flexible layouts mentioned above, and we predict nothing but growth for both movements in the future of architecture.
The modern Canadian homebuyer’s needs are changing, and residential architecture must change with them. However, understanding the upcoming trends is only half the battle.
At BluEnt, we work with architectural firms to create design and drafting solutions that make the most out of your ground-breaking ideas. Our global mindset that stems from working with BluEnt offices around the world combined with our Toronto office’s deep understanding of the Canadian market has given us an eye for spotting the latest movements in the architectural industry and how to incorporate them into our services. Nothing excites us more than developing projects that take architecture to new heights in innovation, and we would love to help you visualize yours. Fill out a form and get started today!
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