Future House

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Photo by Expect Best from Pexels

Covid 19 has rocked all levels of society, causing a dramatic shift in the way people live, work and socialise.

Millennials (currently 25 to 40) and Gen Z (now 19 to 24) are at the forefront of the mega-trends, including mindfulness, plant-based diets, minimalism, electric-powered vehicles, freelancing, and workplace flexibility.

These generations will, by 2025, represent the most dominant part of the workforce. Significantly, they do not care for luxury goods, brands or creating the next edifice-preferring quality and social media presence.

As the emerging demographics, millennials and Gen Z's will, as a consequence, be the dominant change agents and shapers of our future society.

The millennials generally did not follow their boomer parents to make homeownership a priority.
Homeownership for them more likely became a consideration as a result of Government incentives. These incentives, introduced to stimulate the housing sector, moved the millennials from passive renters to active homeowners.

Gen Z, on the other hand, being more in tune with their grandparents, who likely would have been their primary carers, naturally gravitated towards homeownership.

With their homes, these generations have a strong bias towards sustainability and all its subsets which include; energy efficiency, thoughtful material choices and thermal massing.

Concerning work, offices-once central to production are becoming flexible workspaces that allow employees to opt to work from home. This trend will drive a need for dedicated spaces that are uninterrupted and set up with the necessary IT to enable full connectivity to offices.

Importantly, tech is sufficiently advanced to allow change-productivity applications, including project and task managers, chat channels, conferencing, collaborative document development, and sharing, are already part of our workflow.

Video communication apps even allow users to select virtual backgrounds to appear in a board room or at a workstation; this will create the continuum of the enterprise and a sense of business focus.

The future house will, as a result, become multifunctional and multigenerational.

House plan layouts will provide for multigenerational living, facilitating child care and recognising that older generations will be living longer and will be around to assist in providing the necessary equity in their children's homes.

We will see operable walls, multifunctional cabinetry, connections to nature and the use of more timber with its proven benefits to health and well-being, and home office hubs.

Retreat areas that promote mindfulness and well-appointed gyms will increasingly become the norm. Home entertainment and media rooms will likely double as board rooms for presentations and conferences.

Kitchen and living room areas will become dining hubs with ambience, making going out for a date night a lessor experience. These areas connected to outdoor spaces will become favoured entertaining destinations for friends and family. External catering and visiting chefs will complete the experience.

The outdoor spaces of the home, landscaped with native plants, will include open fireplaces to add a focus around family and friends-taking us back to our primal beginnings.

Once taken up by garages, space will morph into more considered living areas.

Quite apart from the need to gain valuable space constrained by the ever-diminishing size of blocks-new generations will be motivated by more sustainable transportation.

The development of technologies around electric cars will continue at a rapid pace-leading to reliable autonomous vehicles. Rather than owning a car, a subscription approach will likely apply to future transportation needs. This trend of subscribing to hardware will also apply to the way we access our future IT needs.

Consumers and the younger generation, in particular, are used to subscribing to services.

We will program or call up our transportation needs via an app, meaning that we will not own a depreciating asset, which occupies precious space at home.

As a builder, our view of the future has influenced how we approach our work.
This approach, which emphasises thoughtful design; made accessible, makes us somewhat unique as builders.

Consequently, we prefer to engage with our prospective clients as design and building practitioners rather than salespeople.

We are passionate about providing our clients with optimum solutions which meet their budgets and lifestyles and embrace the future house.

Dario Amara FIEAust, CPEng, NER, APEC Engineer, IntPE(Aus) is a second-generation builder, experienced construction, and engineering executive and chartered professional engineer with some 40 years' industry experience.  He has also served as Chairman of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Chairman of the West Australian Opera Company and Chairman of Heritage Perth amongst other positions.

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