Homes of the Future. What will they look like?
Are you interested in what new homes might look like in the future? Have you ever considered how they would work, given the rapid development of new technology and ever-increasing awareness of sustainability?
A new report published by the NHBC foundation titled ‘Futurology: the new home in 2050’ investigates likely trends in the construction and property sectors. It predicts what cutting-edge features new homes will include in 2050.
The year 2050 may seem like light years away but in just 31 years the world is likely to be a very different place. Look back 31 years to 1988, and you can immediately see how things have changed. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, cavity wall insulation was new technology, and ambitions to reach zero carbon was not on the agenda.
If you’re a tech geek like our team at innerspace, then the report makes for interesting reading. Read the whole report here. If your too busy, then check out our summary of the six key features of a ‘Home of the Future’:
Flexible Living Space
Due to lifestyle and affordability changes we will see a resurgence of the ‘multigenerational’ home. This will be a flexible home where the young can live into adulthood and where elderly members of the family can be cared for. Flexibility and adaptability will be more common in homes. Simple re-configuration of rooms and the creation of shared and family spaces to accommodate more or fewer family members will feature.
Energy source will become more sustainable with a greater focus on clean energy and growing in popularity in communal energy strategies. As the proportion of electricity generated by non-fossil fuel increases (thanks to winds, solar and tidal farms), the carbon ‘intensity’ of the grid will decrease. In the future, therefore, there will be convincing arguments to switch from gas produced directly from fossil fuels to using cleanly sourced electricity to heat homes. This clean electricity will be sourced either directly from solar gain or through devices that convert low-grade energy to more intense heat, such as heat pumps.
Technology will make our homes smarter and more efficient. A future home will be able to manage its energy use from a centralised platform, combining heating, electrical consumption, ventilation and vehicle charging. We will increasingly see homes that power down when the front door is locked or lighting and ventilation systems that respond to occupancy or movement. Non-essential equipment will power down or off completely when electricity is at a peak price and will top up any storage systems at off peak prices.
The coming decades will see rapid and transformational changes in the automotive industry. Electric and hybrid cars have already secured a sizeable share of the market and the uptake of electric car usage is predicted to grow exponentially. By 2050 it is expected that every home will have a battery and an electric car. Charging points for vehicles will be provided as a matter of course in new homes and will often connect into the home’s renewable energy system.
Home Delivery Proof
Shopping habits are changing. More purchases than ever are made online and delivered to the home (in March 2018 more than 17% of UK purchases were made online). The limits of this phenomenon are hard to predict but home designs will make provision for shopping deliveries and take away the inconvenience of the ‘we called but you were out’ cards. The letter-box of the future will be more than a draughty hole in the door. It will be big enough for parcels, clever enough to register deliveries and secure enough to protect valuable purchases.
More homes are likely to be built using off-site construction methods including modular construction. This will help to improve both the consistency of repeatable quality in building new homes and the technical performance of a new home. Off-site construction methods will also allow suppliers and manufacturers to develop whole-house integrated solutions. Therefore, the performance of fabric and renewables can be optimised, planned and executed in a controlled environment.
Too good to be true? A bit too futuristic? Not to us at innerspace homes!
Why wait 30 years?