We Brits are on the whole fairly traditional when it comes to our taste in architecture and building design.
Our preference is mainly for older, or at least older-style, properties, with traditional Georgian and Victorian designs still hugely influential, even in new-build homes.
Big changes ahead
However, the homes we live in look set to become radically different in the coming decades.
But what are the main changes we can expect?
What’s driving new developments?
A recent report by the NHBC Foundation, a leading industry consulting body, points to three main drivers of change; new technology, population shifts and climate change.
Demographic shifts, especially an increasing number of elderly people, combined with the problem of astronomical house prices mean more young adults don’t leave home, and may lead to generations living together under one roof for most of their lives.
It’s almost a case of back-to-the-future, as this was pretty much the standard familial situation 100 years ago.
Homes will be designed with much more flexible layouts to suit the many different ages of inhabitants, so that they can change along with a family’s needs.
Cities changing fast
Cities are becoming even more densely populated which, along with the price of land and more people living alone, means that future urban housing will have smaller footprints, with more storeys to buildings.
Expect huge residential towers even bigger than those going up in London and other cities today.
Even though this idea won’t exactly fill many with joy, at least the need most of us have for outdoor space is expected to be reflected in the inclusion of more balconies and roof terraces.
‘Micro-living’ for many
‘Micro-living’ buildings will be influenced by examples of classic compact designs found today in caravans and boats.
So while smaller living spaces will become more commonplace, they should – hopefully! – be well-designed.
The influence of ‘third-agers’
There will also be a much greater number of homes and communities built around the ‘third-age’; generally thought to be people over 65 who have retired and don’t have any children living at home.
These will have plenty of lifts, lateral living flats and houses, and areas where communal activities can take place.
New technology and climate change
The effects of new technology combined with the challenges of climate change will also radically impact on where we live.
Homes will not only consume energy, but they will collect and store it as well, along with rainwater and heat.
Energy self-generating homes
Most homes will have some sort of in-built energy creation system, by way of solar panels or photovoltaic capabilities in building materials, all stored in a home’s own battery system.
Electric cars, bikes and other electric vehicles will be commonplace and every home will have charging points.
Centralised control systems and delivery boxes
Energy use will be managed from a centralised platform controlling heating, lighting, ventilation, electrical products and vehicle charging.
As the need for energy efficiency increases, so too will electrical items which automatically turn off or power down when not in use.
The letterbox will become redundant and be replaced by something along the lines of a ‘delivery box’ which can be opened remotely or with a unique code for each delivery.
Smarter homes and urban district energy centres
The home itself may become one huge smart system, monitoring human health and activity, providing reminders for when to have medication, exercise, what needs replacing in the fridge and if the rubbish needs taking out.
Urban homes in larger buildings will access energy from a district energy centre, which could produce heat from waste or a ground source.
Rural homes energy generation
Out in the countryside, homes will continue to be, on the whole, larger with more outside space. This will provide the opportunity for even greater energy generation, so expect more wind and light power-generating capabilities alongside or built-in to rural homes.
The robot is your friend…
Robots are expected to become a daily feature of modern life, doing everything from the cooking and cleaning, to the school run.
In fact, you’ll probably find yourself happily conversing with your robot as if they were a real person, and wondering if you need human friends at all!
Welcome to the future.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we’re always abreast of the latest trends in the home, so we can support you better. We have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published: 17 July 2018