Exciting homebuilding trends
Homeowners' needs are constantly changing, including when it comes to housebuilding. What will our homes look like in the future? What influence will technical innovations and social change have? Find out about the exciting building trends that will define the homes of the future.
Building trend #1: Sustainable housebuilding
After transport and industry, building stock is Switzerland's third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. If Switzerland wants to become climate neutral by 2050, then real estate will have to be sustainable too. This is why using resources sparingly to protect the environment is becoming increasingly important in our day and age. Specifically, sustainability in housebuilding means that properties are constructed using eco-friendly building materials, are highly recyclable, have as long a service life as possible, and are energy efficient. Figures indicate that this trend is set to continue. For example, in 2022, 97% of approved single-family homes and 96% of apartments in multi-family dwellings were designed with heating systems that do not rely on fossil fuels.
Healthy living goes hand in hand with sustainable construction. The systematic selection of environmentally friendly, non-polluting building materials ensures a healthy indoor climate and increases comfort in the long term. Wood and clay are often used as building materials, with clay being particularly good at regulating room humidity.
Building trend #2: Demographic change requires well-conceived architecture
The elderly population is steadily growing. This means that society's needs are changing, and buildings are just one aspect of everyday life that is being affected by this change. Accessibility, for instance, is an important factor. One possible solution is a versatile floor plan that adapts to the changing needs of the building's occupants.
For example, a two-story family home may be perfect for a couple with children, while in later years they can convert the house into a multi-family dwelling and generate rental income. To limit the amount of renovation work required later on, the stairwell should already be separated from the living areas when the house is built. Additional utility connections make it easier to add a second kitchen in the future. Similarly, electricity, water, and heating systems can already be set up for multiple residential units. This enables separate billing at a later date.
Building trend #3: Living with others
In the future, more people are likely to see the benefits of living with others. This is because many people wish to live in big cities, but many city dwellers suffer from loneliness. Older people in particular can find social isolation tough. The many different options for communal living demonstrate that this does not need to be the case:
Co-housing: The co-housing trend may be the perfect solution for people who yearn for the cohesion of village life but don't want to give up living close to the city. Co-housing involves residential communities of houses and apartments that function like villages.
Generous common areas that are jointly managed and used by the residents form the heart of the community. Besides kindergartens, workshops, libraries, and co-working spaces, there are community gardens in which residents can spend time. The aim is to create a social space in which everyone can get involved.
Co-living: Co-living is a modern living concept in which people live in shared living spaces in order to share costs, interact, and have more flexibility with their living arrangements. It differs from co-housing in that this form of living involves one large residential property rather than entire apartments or houses. This kind of property contains shared kitchens and furnished rooms for the individual residents. This straightforward living solution is particularly popular with millennials.
Multi-generational living: In multi-generational living, people from different age groups live together either under one roof or in a multi-generational housing development. This has the advantage of enabling residents to regularly interact and help each other in everyday life. For example, older residents can help with childcare while younger residents do the shopping. Find out more about multi-generational homes and how people of all ages can live together here.
Building trend #4: Space-efficient building
Real estate and land prices in the cities are high, while plots are scarce. This is unlikely to change in the future. If you're looking for land to build on in a major city, you may be limited to buying an old building or finding narrow empty lots between buildings. In the latter scenario, creative floor plans are essential to make the most of the small space. The key word here is space efficiency. If you plan carefully, you can create storage space and use the living area efficiently. Read more in this article.
A building trend that really celebrates living in a small space is that of tiny houses. These small homes bring together everything you need over an area of around 15 to 45 square meters – a dream come true for minimalists. Putting a micro-home on wheels makes it even easier to turn the dream of flexible living into a reality.
Building trend #5: Smart homes driven by innovative technology
Modern home automation is probably one of the most important technical developments that will change how houses are built in the future. In smart homes, connected electronic devices exchange information with each other. Such interconnections facilitate automated processes that can be controlled remotely via an app on a smartphone or tablet. In addition to being convenient, this also makes the house quite energy efficient, for example if the heating or air conditioning is controlled by a smart system. The lighting can also be regulated depending on the daylight and weather situation. Radiator thermostats can be controlled when you're not at home.
Security is likewise a very important aspect of smart homes, with CCTV cameras sending live footage to your smartphone and door locks using electronic security measures.
Building trend #6: Green facades and roofs
As well as being beautiful to look at, green roofs and facades provide valuable habitats for insects and animals from the surrounding area. So it's no surprise that these green areas are all the rage. Flora and fauna are not the only benefit, however. Biotopes on the roof and greenery on the facade can provide insulation, keeping the house warm in winter and consequently reducing heating costs. The insulation provided by green roofs and vertical gardens keeps the interior cool in summer too. Last but not least, plants improve air quality – for example by binding fine particles.
Building trend #7: Modular building
Modular building is an innovative building method that uses prefabricated modules for construction. As well as saving a considerable amount of time and money during construction, it uses resources carefully, which means it makes a key contribution to sustainability.
The flexibility of modular buildings also makes it possible to adapt them to changing needs. Further advantages to this construction method are quality assurance, cost efficiency, and reduced pollution at construction sites. Overall, modular construction offers a contemporary solution for the requirements of fast, sustainable, cost-efficient construction. This trend is likely to continue to grow in significance and is often used in prefabricated houses too.
Building trend #8: Energy-related upgrades
There is no doubt that sustainable renovations will continue to gain importance. More and more homeowners are generating their own electricity and hot water, meaning that solar panels and heat pumps are particularly popular. However, installing such equipment is not the only way to be sustainable – energy-related modernization also includes renovating outdated heating systems and improving the building's insulation.
Homeowners don't do all of this just for the environment. Legal requirements and increasingly higher energy costs have prompted many people to modernize their homes for some time now. Furthermore, many sustainable renovations are now supported by grants.