Due to a greater awareness regarding global health and well-being, the world of architectural design is progressing at an exceptional pace, as Catherine McKeown, president of the Aberdeen Society of Architects, explains: “With the world we live in becoming ever more health conscious, it’s no surprise that healthy homes are becoming a must-have asset. The materials used in building, decorating and furnishing houses are key factors for architects seeking to create a home that’s kind to body and mind.”
It is expected that during the coming year, architects will continue to utilize the following approaches in order to meet demands required for creating healthy, sustainable environments for humans to work, rest and play.
1. The Passivhaus (Passive House) Standard:
Whilst Passivhaus is by no means a new theory, interest in Passivhaus properties is on the rise as architects, contractors and house builders begin to fully understand the long-term benefits it provides. Plus, with the ability to save a fortune on energy bills, such as a substantial 90% reduction in heating costs by minimising air leakage, it's easy to see why Passivhaus is fast becoming a go-to choice for industry professionals.
Although the cost of equipment and materials for Passivhaus buildings can be pricey, this initial short-term cost is often offset by long-term financial gain, as demonstrated in this article where we look at a Somerset home which acquires absolutely no heating bills, thanks to it's ultra-energy efficient design.
2. Tall Buildings:
During the past few years, there has been a notable rise in popularity of tall buildings and this looks set to continue, particularly with high rises in the commercial sectors.
Towering buildings are very on-trend, with the iconic 'Pinnacle' and 'Cheesegrater' in London and the 'Chipperfield' in New York as perfect examples of these type of structures.
Tall builds provide many 'green' benefits such as reduced land take, better use of public transport, increased energy efficiency along with a number of positive economical factors. For example, in many city locations where land is scarce, the provision of tall buildings is often the only means by which increased density, and the resulting increased productivity, can be achieved. It is for these reasons many of the world's major commercial cities have a cluster of tall buildings in the heart of the city, and this is a trend expected to flourish as we move into 2016.
3. Flexible, Open-Plan Spaces:
Admittedly, there was recent scepticism that 'open-plan living' was going to be replaced by the up-and-coming design trend of 'broken-plan living,' as individuals opt for more secluded areas to spend their time. This said, it would appear this concept remains at the forefront of interior aesthetics in 2016, particularly when it comes to commercial workplace design.
Carefully considered open-plan offices, especially those built with sustainable features (such as our external roller blinds) have been proven to boost workplace morale and increase workers' productivity, as highlighted in this recent article. Bearing in mind that only an automatically controlled system with effective solar shading can achieve maximum occupant efficiency and enjoyment of the internal space, it is likely this design technique will be championed for many years to come.
If you're interested in sustainable design, make sure you visit us on stand H151 at The Homebuilding & Renovating Show which kicks off tomorrow at Birmingham's NEC. During the course of the event our specialists will be on hand to provide sound, honest, expert advice regarding the correct shading system for your home along with demonstrating the various lifestyle, productivity and environmental benefits they provide.