RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey 2015, Buildings, Projects, News, Design, Property

RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey in 2015

Technology, Lifestyle, Accessibility and Sustainability Report

21 Dec 2015

RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey 2015 Report

In recent years private housing has consistently been the most resilient sector in the RIBA Future Trends economic survey, and housing continues to outperform other construction sectors in terms of levels of workload. Housing design impacts directly upon quality of life; our homes provide our refuge in the world and form the backdrop for our domestic life.

The RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey provides a snapshot from RIBA chartered practices of the latest developments and trends in home layout and design as seen by architects. We have asked our participating practices to share with us their insights into the ideas and client briefing requirements that are influencing housing design, and the key features that their clients are now looking for.

One off houses and extensions getting bigger
Many of our practices report that land availability and pricing continue to increase pressure to maximise housing densities, with an increase in the average number of floor levels in new homes reflecting this trend.

When it comes to one off, bespoke houses, 50% of our respondents report that the homes they design are increasing in size, and when it comes to house extensions 55% report that these are getting bigger. The increase in typical extension sizes may be in part a reflection of planning policy changes that introduced more generous permitted development criteria for domestic additions.

RIBA Future Housing
Architect: SHEDKM ; Photograph: Jack Hobhouse
RIBA Northwest Award 2015
This private house in Formby is an intriguing modernist villa, designed for a couple with a love of art, and is situated on a private park road in a Northern suburb of Liverpool.

Existing housing is being adapted to the needs of an ageing population
Within the home improvement market, our survey reveals an increasing demand for the creation of accessible/adaptable design solutions to facilitate easier living for ageing occupants or to provide live-in accommodation for elderly relatives. Enabling residents entering the third age to stay in their homes or to share living accommodation with extended family members is emerging as an important driver for home adaptation and extension.

Multi-functional living/dining/kitchen spaces are the new family social hub
Family living/dining spaces integrated with kitchen spaces are the main spatial innovation required by many clients. 66% of our practices expect to see further increases in the demand for this type of spatial configuration, as it emerges as the preferred social hub of family life for many households.

Particularly when it comes to extensions, there seems to be a strong desire for these combined cooking/dining/living areas to be connected directly to outdoor spaces. Also reflecting changing lifestyles and expectations, 52% of correspondents expect demand for en suite bathrooms to rise and 55% anticipate more call for home offices and workspaces. Underfloor heating appears to be set to continue to grow in popularity, with 68% of our architects expecting to specify more of these installations in the coming year.

RIBA Future Housing
ARCHITECT: VPPR ARCHITECTS ; Photograph: Ioana Marinescu
RIBA London Award 2015
RIBA London Emerging Architect of the Year
This family house, built on the walled site of a former taxi garage, is almost entirely hidden in the middle of a Victorian block in Chiswick.

More natural light in homes is in demand
Architects are also witnessing more demand for larger amounts of natural lighting in homes, with 46% of our respondents reporting that they expect to see an increase in the requests for floor to ceiling glazing over the next twelve months. Balancing this desire for more natural light with energy performance regulation means that architects are also increasingly specifying triple glazing on many housing projects. Lack of natural light is one of the most commonly cited cause of dissatisfaction amongst existing homeowners, and it is not surprising that this has emerged as an important requirement in our survey of housing design trends.

RIBA Future Housing
Architect: Gianni Botsford Architects ; Photograph: James Morris

RIBA London Award 2015
White on White is an essay in holistic design at a microscopic level creating a tiny study extension to a family home within a glass cube semi-buried in a delightfully re-wrought canal side garden; a design which is part architecture and part sculpture.

Sustainability has gone mainstream
The RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey provides evidence that sustainability and energy conservation are continuing to rise up the agenda for housing clients and are now very much mainstream rather than niche interests. A majority of our respondents are anticipating that they will be asked to specify more sustainable materials and products in the future and 55% expect to see increased interest in water conservation and recycling features.

In relation to energy conservation many respondents state that they are seeing a greater emphasis from clients on a “fabric first” approach, with 70% forecasting an increase in the use of advanced insulation products over the next twelve months, and we are witnessing Passivhaus emerge as a popular low energy standard for housing.

Clients are still engaging with more active energy features as well, but are perhaps becoming more discerning and dispassionate in analysing options, so that 66% of our participating architects are forecasting an increase in the use of solar/PV panels whereas on balance our survey predicts a decrease in interest in domestic wind turbines.

RIBA Future Housing
Architect: Prewett Bizley Architects ; Photograph: Graham Bizley

RIBA National Award 2015
RIBA Southwest Award 2015
Dundon house is a low-energy house built to Passivhaus standards at the foot of a wooded hill on the edge of a Somerset village.

The smart machines for living are coming
An area where architects are witnessing rapidly changing client requirements is in the integration of smart technologies into homes. 64% of our respondents anticipate increased demand for integrated broadband/ wireless communications systems, 44% an increase in the use of programmable lighting and 42% an increase in the installation of integrated sound and vision. Clearly the house of the future is going to contain a lot more smart equipment, providing lots of new opportunities to show off to the neighbours!

RIBA Future Housing

RIBA Future Housing
Architect: WT Architecture ; Photograph: Andrew Lee

RIAS Award 2015
The Mill is a collection of disused farm buildings that nestles into a steep hill overlooking a valley in the Scottish Borders.

The RIBA Future Trends survey is based on a representative sample of the range of different RIBA chartered practice sizes and geographical locations. Participating practices in the RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey 2015 were asked about trends in clients’ requirements in relation to one-off housing commissions, extensions and multiple residence developments, and to identify emerging design trends in the areas of technology, lifestyle, accessibility and sustainability.

The RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey 2015 is based on information supplied to the RIBA by a total of 250 RIBA chartered practices that are active in the housing design market.

RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey 2015 images / information received 211215

Location: London, UK

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