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The architect's crystal ball: 2016 a year when wind turbines will be out and solar panels in!

Posted by Anna Carlini on 7 April 2016 at 2:15 pm

Sustainability is hot right now in the world of architecture and is expected to only increase in popularity. The RIBA Future Housing Design Trends survey gives architects' predictions for 2016 as well as comparing demand for various home features in 2015 with that of 5 years ago. It reveals up-and-coming trends and is a useful guide to follow to keep ahead of the curve.

The following table shows the results of the survey showing the energy-related subjects, revealing what’s ‘in’ (expected to increase in popularity), ‘out’ (expected to decrease in popularity) or things with ‘no change’ (to continue at the same level of popularity). 

So, what’s hot and what’s not in energy efficiency 2016?

Sustainability and energy conservation are popular in general right now, and as you can see the 'in' section of the table is looking pretty full!

So let's have a look at some of them in a little more detail. The demand for more natural light has led to an increase in demand for wall to ceiling windows, leading in turn to a rise in demand for triple glazing. This high demand has been bolstered by more clients seeking to reach passivhaus standards, which in turn has also led to a soaring popularity of advanced insulation.

A majority of architects surveyed expect to be asked to specify more sustainable materials and products and 55% expecting to see increased interest in water conservation and recycling features. 66% expect to see an increase in the use of solar/PV panel. The fabric-first approach is growing ever more popular in all aspects of energy conservation, with 70% of architects forecasting an increase in use of advanced insulation products. 

The resounding message of the report is that "sustainability has gone mainstream". Consumers are becoming ever more aware of the environmental impact of their homes and are actively seeking ways to minimise their footprint by analysing option closely and critically.

Read the RIBA Future Housing Design Trends 2015 report here

Image: J. Sibiga Photography

More information about Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

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