Texas Builder Magazine, Mar-Apr 2015 - page 13

The world has gone green. Finding ways of combining technology to serve multiple
functions in homes has become necessary for homeowners.The incorporation of wireless
sensors in the home has allowed certain appliances like smoke detectors, security systems,
and even light bulbs to be connected throughout the household. ONWorld has predicted
that, by the year 2018, wireless sensors and all-in-one control devices will be implemented
in about 50 million homes and buildings
. With the ever-increasing number of appliances
and electronics being used in households, controlling them all with one remote or smart
appliance allows for easy management of energy by homeowners. Builders and designers
alike need to be aware of the increased use of these technologies. Creating rooms
designated for certain appliances will become mandatory in new home designs.
An article about construction using green building methods may not have the same intrigue as it did ten years ago; nevertheless, green
building is still going strong with some new trends consumers desire for 2015.The demand for passive home construction has taken off as
a result of increased interest in energy efficiency and lower utility costs. New technological advances in insulation, solar orientation, and
thermal mass elements have helped to bolster this trend. Another growing trend, particularly inTexas, is water smart housing.With the
recent droughts across the state, many consumers and municipalities are looking for ways to conserve this precious resource.There has been
a steady increase in the number of water-saving components, including low-flow toilets and shower heads. However, even more radical
options are being implemented, including greywater recycling systems and rain collection systems. And just as in-demand as the green
features is the demand for affordable green housing. More and more consumers across all pricing demographics are looking for these money-
saving, environmentally friendly features.
With the sale of newly built homes on the rise and roughly half of those home buyers being
first time buyers2, home builders are revisiting old concepts with new eyes. Building trends
which were prevalent in the past are taking a backseat to the more contemporary, family-
oriented ideas of today’s new buyers. Buyers are placing high value on the space efficiency
of their homes, lending to more open, family-focused layouts of homes. New home buyers
are seeking open and flexible floor plans which allow for the option to work around the
house and still occupy the same space as others.This makes the space more conducive to
entertaining guests by allowing owners to be sociable while still being able to carry out their
duties as hosts. Open floor plans have the added bonus of flexible spaces.The confinements
of terms such as“home office,” “living room,”and“guest room”no longer apply in the
traditional sense, as owners now have the option of designating spaces as they see fit.
. . .
Industry Trends
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