With 2010 finally behind us, what can we expect in Residential Architecture in 2011?
1. Built Right is Built Green – the worst thing we could have done was to name it “green.” Our firms approach has always been to deliver the highest performance project at the most competitive cost. Designing to green standards should not be a choice, it is simply doing your job right.
2. Size Matters – The average size of homes has finally stopped expanding with many looking for maximized value. The larger the home the more time and money it takes to maintain it. How small can you go, we just finished the design of a 600 sf home for two people.
3. Honesty is the best policy – Homeowners are looking for ways to simplify their lives. Honest architecture that examines how you live and provides functional solutions is in demand. There is certainly not a movement to simple boxes with no curb appeal, but homeowners are no longer looking for maximized gables on the front of their homes as we have seen in past years.
4. Healthy Solutions – With terms like Organic, Local, and Low VOC making it into the mainstream in our purchase decisions, homeowners have started to question Indoor Air Quality issues. It is no longer OK to settle for bad indoor air quality and having to dust our leaky homes once a week. We have started to draw lines between asthma and air quality. The new year will be a time for a revolution where we question the origins of materials used in the home and their VOC content levels.
5. Water Rights – With cities offering Rain Barrels for sell, the term Rainwater Harvesting is now a common element in our society. Homeowners are getting savvy, using rainwater to keep their gardens growing, washing their cars, and some have even started using rainwater inside their homes for some utility functions.