1. Disaster-resistant designs
With more extreme weather brought on by global warming, architects anticipate that design features intended to protect homes from flooding, fires and wind damage will become more common even in noncoastal areas. Such protective measures can include elevating a home several feet in the air, safe rooms or back-up power generation.
[Global warming consistently ranks last among Americans’ worries, and no one’s going to pay more for these precautions – further, find a young mother with kids in strollers and fifteen bags of groceries who wants to climb steps to get into her house and I’ll show you Old Greenwich – but those young mothers have nannies, there.]
2. Healthy building materials
Mirroring the move toward organic, farm-t0-table cuisine, homeowners are becoming more conscious that building materials can make them sick, according to AIA. Architects anticipate a move away from paints that give off chemical fumes and toward natural materials, such as wood and brick.
[I call bullshit – buyers want to know the grade of granite in the kitchen, not whether the flooring is bamboo. Every “green” house in Greenwich that’s tried to recover some of its extra expensive by building in these features has failed.]
3. Smart-home automation
Architects anticipate that smart-home automation will catch on further, including being able to control temperature, security and lighting from a smart phone. Some surveys show thatyoung people aren’t necessarily especially keen on such gadgets and rated keeping costs down as a much higher priority.
[Indeed – the reporter understands what the architects don’t]
4. Designs catering to an aging population
Design fixes that will allow people to stay living in their homes longer are likely to become more popular as the population ages, including wider hallways, lower windows and more bungalows.
[okay, this seems likely, though I’d expect more condominiums, not bungalows].
5. Energy-efficient design
Homes that use less electricity and water have become increasingly trendy in recent years and architects expect that to continue, but it is still unclear whether the costs outweigh the benefits. Mr. Suter, the Connecticut architect, said he encourages clients not simply to think of energy efficiency in dollar terms but to think of unforeseen benefits, such as a wood stove that can be used in case of a power outage.
[Again – and again – people won’t pay extra for this. Lord knows I’ve tried to interest buyers in super-efficient boilers, triple-paned windows, 2X6 framing to accommodate extra insulation, etc., and they give me the fish eye.]