While we’d love to spend time (and fill pages) reminiscing about all of the highlights from 2011, it’s time to move forward. A collection of our experts have made some predictions for next year, looking at the trends in the industry, from media consumption habits to shifts in purchasing behavior. Right or wrong, we’ll have our eyes and minds on these topics throughout the year. (more…)
Archive for December, 2011
It’s that time of the year when the word ‘trend’ is actually a trending topic. Everyone is looking ahead to the next year, and beyond that. We sought out Residential Design + Build Editorial Director Rob Heselbarth to chat about the role of sustainability in residential design and construction. Learn what experts in the residential design and build space have seen in the last year, and what they are predicting for sustainability in 2012.
IMRE Green IQ: What changes are you seeing in the use of sustainable materials throughout the building process?
Rob Heselbarth: The sustainable materials used in the home building process are related to energy efficiency and a tight building envelope. That’s where the traction is. The focus is on materials that contribute to a return on investment for the homeowner. Residential Design + Build is about to release results of its 6th annual Market Trends Survey which reveal that 84% of homeowners are more interested in green products that save them money rather than green products made with whatever they perceive as green components.
GIQ: Are you seeing any changes in the exterior design of the home in regard to sustainability?
RH: The results of our Market Trends Survey reveal the following ranking of the top five most popular “green” products:
- Efficient HVAC equipment
- Low-E windows/doors
- Efficient windows
- Added/Upgraded insulation
- Extra insulation
What do all of these products have in common? They’re all part of the building envelope. The trend is to address the tightness of the building envelope first to maximize the efficiency of the heating and air-conditioning equipment, which of course ultimately saves homeowners money. That’s what it’s all about right now.
GIQ: What will the biggest change for residential designers be in 2012?
RH: From a design perspective there are a few trends designers should be aware of. One is including wider hallways and doorways in every home. This is what homeowners are asking for. The “stay-put” mentality will continue to gain momentum and designers must align their designs with this attitude or lose business. From a business point of view, designers should be prepared for clients to disappear without a trace, and for their clients to encounter financing problems resulting in cancelled contracts. Our research has shown that 76% of builders and architects encountered at least one client who had financing difficulties in 2011, while roughly 80% experienced cancelled projects. Furthermore, roughly 70% experienced clients who disappeared without a trace. Finally, they should be looking for remodeling work if they’re not already because roughly 45% of respondents told us they’d be doing more remodeling work in 2012 than in 2011.
GIQ: What sustainable aspect of home design has become or is becoming a commodity that was once seen as a luxury in the past?
RH: Ultra-efficient anything. Whether it’s a super low-flow toilet or showerhead, a tankless water heater or Energy Star kitchen appliances. Conserving energy and natural resources appears to be built into every new home designed and built today.
GIQ: There was a pretty large increase in demand for green and sustainable building construction in 2011 – do you see that continuing?
RH: Yes this will continue. Two forces will ensure that this happens. One is the economic slump this country remains in, which has created a collective mindset of saving money and building in ways that accomplish this. See my previous answer about the tightness of the building envelope. Just like the lessons learned from the Great Depression were imprinted on the minds of two generations of Americans (those who experienced it and their children), the lessons from this Great Recession will stick around for many years. The second force is the way manufacturers have embraced sustainability and are producing products that contribute to smart home design and construction. It’ll only get better that way.
What do you think? Do you have any additional trends to add for residential design and build professionals?
Top 5 Projected Green Building Trends in 2012
The holiday season is upon us! That means 2012 is just around the corner, and what better way to kick off the New Year than with a few predictions. Here are five of the top building industry trends for 2012 we’ve been reading about.
- The demand for green and sustainable building construction is growing and will continue to do so in the coming year. My Green Palette expects to see a 18.3% increase in revenue next year — My Green Palette (@MyGreenPalette)
- Green Building is on the rise and will continue it’s rise to prominence globally in 2012, in spite of economic difficulties — Sustainable Magazine (@Sustainablemag)
- Energy efficiency is big. According to Builder Online’s Business Trends Forecast for 2012 it will remain top of mind — Builder Online (@BuilderOnline)
- Commercial Building will grow 8% and multifamily housing will rise 18% in 2012 — BHC Rhodes (@BHCRHODES)
- Smarter neighborhood, greater transparency in building function, the proliferation of an “Internet of things,” more energy options for buildings, and real estate finance teams will become corporations’ smarter buildings teams — Smart Planet (@SmartPlanet)
Check back next week to see our 2012 predictions from our BuildIQ and GreenIQ team experts.