What we can expect from the houses of the future? With a rising...



What we can expect from the houses of the future? 

With a rising population and sustainability being a constant topic of conversation, what will Australian Housing look like 2030 and beyond? 

Does bigger always mean better or as a society can we adopt a greater sense of efficiency? 

“Houses are oversized at the moment and that has a lot of implications, not only in terms of cost and affordability but also in terms of the ongoing costs to run those properties and in terms of the environment.” says Lachlan Grant, Managing Director of HappyHaus from Domain.com.au.

Grant also says in this article that he is getting more requests from customers for environmentally responsive houses. People are taking more and more interest in Solar panels, cross ventilation, greywater systems, thermal heat pumps and finding ways to connect back to the local environment. 

How can you create a stronger connection to the local environment with your design and build?

Grant suggests: 

  1. Letting go of tick box things that dominate houses like double garages.
  2. Transform your garage and/or carport into multi-functional spaces that can be used as a room or common area. 
  3. Structurally design a carport in a way that you can build on later.
  4. Use sustainable products such as cross-laminated timber - a wood panel product made from solid-sawn timber.
  5. Embrace sustainable water systems like greywater and rainwater systems.  
  6. Maximise the use of the sun to warm your house in winter and keep it cool in summer - solar power, insulation and how your house is positioned to maximise the sun’s warming rays. 

So what other trends can we expect to see in the future? 

Industry body HIA’s deputy Managing Director Graham Wolfe gives these points:

  • As land increases in price, blocks will decline in size so houses will get smaller. 
  • Multi-residential developments will be more common.
  • More and more houses are also going to have the photovoltaic capacity to generate electricity. Therefore there needs to be a facility for the storage of battery cells and this may mean a new room or an extension of a garage. 

“Energy efficiency is always something that will be a moving target. Material design and specification will facilitate the energy efficiency of houses and this is where innovation will play a big role.” says Wolfe. 

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IMAGE: Builder David Martin inside the state’s first 10-star energy efficient home in Cape Paterson. Photo: Wayne Taylor

CASE STUDY: 

Sekisui House’s SHAWOOD, Sydney. 

“SHAWOOD was established in Japan by Sekisui House in 1995 as a result of demand for a highly engineered housing construction system that displayed resistance and durability to the country’s extreme weather conditions, in particular, earthquakes. SHAWOOD’s motto is “houses of the future”, delivering technologies that create and support comfortable, harmonious and healthy lifestyles. SHAWOOD have now constructed over 50,000 homes globally, with a consistent roll-out of more than 4,000 per year.”

What’s unique about SHAWOOD’s philosophy? 

  1. The home consumes less energy than it produces.
  2. Over 70% of the houses are net Zero Energy.
  3. They incorporate organic design principals with a commitment to livability. The structure allows for a generous space to optimise views, light, and function. 
  4. A greater use of materials that require less maintenance to sustain. 
  5. A greater sense of sustainability and longevity from each home. 
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Image: Over 70 percent of the homes built by Sekisui House in Japan are net-zero-energy. Photo: Sekisui House

There is no doubt that we need to be preparing for big changes in how we acquire our energy in the future, so what’s the trick to prepare ourselves up for the future of housing? 

Think green NOW to prepare your home, and your client’s home, for a more sustainable, more cost efficient and energy efficient future!  

MAIN IMAGE: Growing population and energy issues are just two factors affecting how housing is going to be shaped in the future. Photo: Rob Homer

(Information sourced from Domain.com.au) 

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