Whether you’re designing a brand new dream home or renovating an old one, here are six architectural trends worth considering…

Let’s explore the trends shaping architecture in 2019 and beyond, which include a focus on sustainability, wellness, smart homes and the comforts of technology, indoor-outdoor living, artisanal features and, from a functional space perspective, laundry rooms.

1. Sustainability and wellness architecture

An important, fast-growing trend in the building industry as a whole is health – both of the planet, which is encompassed by sustainable practices, and of its occupants, which is termed wellness architecture.

We are more connected to nature than we think. The sheer fact that we are part of the animal kingdom makes us inextricably linked to the plants, animals, air and water around us. We are healthier and happier when we have access to nature, be it a pot plant or a forest.

According to architect Veronica Schreibeis Smith, this philosophy is influencing residential and commercial design, building products as well as real estate developments. Think of all the estates that have incorporated the natural surroundings into building plans, benefiting the longevity of biodiversity as well as the health of the residents.

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“Sustainable materials have become a priority for professionals in the building industry and coupled to this there is a noticeable shift towards including healthy materials that cause harm to neither planet nor people. Materials that are toxin-free and have little or no impact on the environment are making their way into the house framework. In fact, Engel & Völkers Potchefstroom is busy with the construction of a ‘green’ house, which will serve as a prototype going forward,” explains Grant Wheeler, Director of Business Strategy, Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

2. Resilient design

According to Architrends, adding to the sustainability trend is a growing awareness towards Resilient design.

Resilient design is a response to climate change and encompasses the practice of insulating buildings for energy efficiency, fitting solar panels for generating electricity and adding filtration systems that conserve water.

“Weather patterns are changing with some areas experiencing severe drought while others experience high temperatures and humidity. This reality provides even more reason for home design to incorporate features that add to the efficiency and comfort of a house,” says Wheeler.

3. Smart homes

The automation of homes has fast become a trend and is high up on the must-have list of many individuals who are in the process of building a new house.

A home automation system can control lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. It can also control home security such as cameras, access control and alarm systems.

“The inclusion of an automation system, where you can switch on the oven and disarm the alarm system remotely, while you’re driving home from work, is becoming an important element to consider when designing and building new homes,” says Wheeler.

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