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ADVICE: Going modern is a smart move

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New architectural trends incorporate features for the health of home occupants and the planet

EXPERTS: Architech Veronica Schreibeis Smith and Grant Wheeler, Director Business Strategy, Engel and Völkers South African

Q: What are the key trends that A home automation system can control lighting, security systems and appliances. continue to shape architecture in 2019 and beyond?

A: Wellness Architecture

An important, fast-growing trend in the building industry as a whole is health of the planet, which is encompassed by sustainable practices, and of its occupants, which is termed wellness architecture. Smith says this philosophy is influencing residential and commercial design, building products and real estate developments. Many estates have incorporated the natural surroundings into building plans, benefiting the longevity of biodiversity and the health of residents. “Sustainable materials have become a priority for professionals in the building industry and there is a noticeable shift towards materials that are toxin-free and have little or no impact on the environment,” says Wheeler.

Resilient Design

According to Architrends, adding to the sustainability trend is a growing awareness of Resilient Design. This is a response to climate change and encompasses the practice of insulating buildings for energy efficiency, fitting solar panels for generating electricity and adding filtration systems that conserve water.

Smart Homes

A home automation system can control lighting, climate, entertainment systems and appliances. It can also control home security, such as cameras, access control and alarm systems. “The inclusion of an automation system is becoming an important element to consider when designing and building new homes,” says Wheeler.

Indoor Outdoor Living

The seamless movement between indoor and outdoor continues as a strong trend with design becoming more innovative and bolder to allow for greater comfort and enjoyment of this type of lifestyle. Think glass panels that slide into the wall to completely open the indoor living area to the patio and floor tiles that work both inside and out to create one continuous area. Outdoor kitchens are also becoming a desirable feature to have in a home.

Incorporating artisanal fixtures and features

Adding elements created by local artists and artisans is a simple way to personalise a home. This year, the move towards incorporating natural materials such as stone, copper, concrete, granite and wood, into a living space creates a serene, organic balance. A stone slab used as a feature in an entrance hall and wooden slats separating two living areas bring warmth and individuality to a house.

Laundry Rooms

According to the latest What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 edition) survey, among the most wanted home features are energy saving elements, such as insulation, and whole house green certification and, in terms of space, laundry rooms. Many people want a separate laundry roomy to do the washing, store apparel that is out of season, and even have an area where they can wash the dog – a wet room of sorts. – By Veruska de Vita 


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