According to the panelists, the main design trends that will influence the production building market as the industry grows out of the recession include:
1) Demographics will drive design, with the active adult community leading the charge. Multifamily designs are also influencing certain markets, with first-generation American families—who have a tendency to keep their family close—demanding multiple master suites, living, and cooking areas.
2) Energy efficiency will continue to differentiate new from existing homes as consumers remain on a quest for cost savings on monthly energy bills. All three builders agree that energy ratings, scores, and ‘miles per gallon’-type labels will become more prevalent as the drive for net-zero energy buildings intensifies.
3) Personalization of new homes will expand, providing a new way for builders to create a competitive advantage. The builders agreed that, while major customization options like moving walls will remain limited, they will offer homebuyers greater choice in areas such as product selection and flexible spaces.
4) New homes won’t get much bigger—in most markets. The three builders agreed that many homebuyers are focused on quality rather than quantity, and that many markets are downsizing. However, they panelists did affirm that in some markets (such as Texas), there is actually an increased demand for large square footage.
5) New homes will get greener—eventually. Unsurprisingly, the builders affirmed that energy continues to be the leading green topic on homeowners’ minds, followed closely by indoor air quality and then water. Orser astutely commented that ‘being green is about what kind of builder you are’, and that homeowners equate green business practices with a high level of corporate ethics.
6) New homes will grow smarter. All three builders confirmed that they will be implementing whole home automation and controls that enable products to interact with each other as well as with the utility, reducing resource use and taking human error out of operating a home.
7) Location will drive design, with contemporary designs becoming more prevalent across the country.
8) Buyers will still look for comfort, convenience, and safety. At the end of the day, builders can’t get too far away from what consumers perceive to be the greatest attributes of homeownership.
The three builders also agreed that the American Dream of homeownership has not diminished, but that people want it later in life.
What do you think about these design trends? Write to me at email@example.com, follow me on Twitter @SaraGBM.
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Posted: 6/28/2012 12:29:21 PM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments