Predictions of a Green Architectural Year

Many architects across the world are considering what 2013 will bring to their profession and what it will mean for the built environments and natural environment in the future.

As difficult as it is to predict what the future holds, architect and writer John Hill of Houzz.com has made his predictions for what the US could expect to see, which correlates well with what Australians can expect.

Natural events, particularly disasters, have a great impact on how building design changes as humans realise that no matter what they do, they cannot control the wrath of Mother Nature. As Australia has seen in bushfire-prone areas, designs and standards of homes have been tightened and reviewed since the Black Saturday fires in Victoria. Catastrophic floods in Queensland have had the same effect. In the future we can expect architects to design with nature foremost in their minds.

Mr Hill also predicts we’ll be rebuilding with old and new techniques including building higher in flood-prone areas (old technique) and mixing it with new technology such as solar panels that work in such a way to allow residents to live off the grid in times of disaster.

Quoted on Houzz is a study conducted by the American Institute of Architects that showed people wanted to live in cities. Most of Australia’s population also lives in cities with the cities of the future expecting higher density housing, better access to public transport and multigenerational housing as the population ages.

Mr Hill also predicts a rise in low-maintenance exterior materials, community gardens which have been written about here previously, conversions of industrial warehouses to units and homes which is evident in Australia’s oldest cities and another prediction is microliving. This comes from the rise of singles and young professionals living in cities who need less space than families, but requires creative use of space and creative design on the part of architects.

It may be hard to predict the future, but one thing is certain- it’s an exciting time to be designing living and built environments.

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