Here’s a quick look at the key architectural trends forecasted for 2019.

According to Build, advanced technologies and materials will continue to impact the way we design and build. We already know that augmented and virtual reality, AI and drone devices, as well as 3-D printing and other technologies, are altering construction practices — as is the trend for off-site, prefab construction.

We also know that state-of-the-art, advanced building materials and systems continue to change the landscape of the built environment, as do eco-friendly construction materials. Look for more, energy-efficient, eco-friendly architecture this year – buildings that are “greener” inside and out.

The use of recycled materials in innovative, artistic, sustainable design will continue to grow. From furniture and floors, to exterior claddings, using recycled materials means energy requirements and emissions for producing these products are significantly reduced. We are also seeing more vertical gardens and green rooftops, indoor gardens and green walls.

Other foreseeable trends include:

  • Sustainable Architecture & Resilient Design. Insulated building envelopes that provide air and moisture barriers for protection and energy efficiency, HVAC systems that conserve energy, filtration systems that conserve water – these will all get more traction as we strive to improve energy efficiency, preserve resources and alleviate the impact of climate change. With increasingly severe weather events and sea level rise, resilient design will remain an important focus for owners, designers and builders.
  • Open-space designs. As open-space design becomes even more prevalent, architects and designers are striving to better define the various segments of non-obstructed space to improve visual organization. Floor levels that vary in height along with shifts in surface colors and textures are all design strategies to produce enhanced open-space living.

 

  • Small designs. In residential design, the popularity of tiny house, micro-apartments and co-operative housing continues to rise. This in response to high cost of land and the environmental impacts of larger homes. Architects are embracing the “small but perfectly formed” architectural design challenge.
  • Solar roof tiles. While solar panels have been around forever, solar roof tiles that can convert sunlight into enough energy to power a house are the latest rage. They are less expensive than conventional solar panels, and far more attractive, as they come in many different styles that integrate seamlessly with traditional roof construction.

Work Space Architecture Will Also Continue to Change

As reported in Entrepreneur, in today’s offices, work happens anywhere and everywhere. More often than not, there is no set cubicle space. Work spaces are ergonomic and well-connected, designed for interaction and connectivity.

Working collaboratively is an ongoing trend, spawning office designs that facilitate small and large teams coming together to generate multi-disciplinary solutions.

Businesses have also figured out that health means wealth, i.e. healthy employees are more productive employees. Workspaces today must foster and encourage a healthful lifestyle, whether it’s ergonomic furniture that allows people to stand and work (versus sitting all day,) or improved interior air quality. Studies have shown that carbon dioxide and other noxious gases can cause loss of concentration and low productivity.  Proper ventilation and clean air are critical for productivity.

Lighting is also important to employee well-being. Natural light and/or lighting that mimics sunlight and adjusts to the change in time/season will also mimic bio-rhythms. The greener the building – inside and out – the healthier and happier the employee.

 

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