The future of home design

Posted by British Gas in Innovation


Today, people are increasingly aware of how home design affects the way they live their everyday lives. We’ve all seen the crazy eco architecture on television, such as the ‘hobbit’ houses buried in hillsides to improve insulation. Unfortunately, building a house from scratch isn’t an option for most of us. Here are some recent examples of futuristic design to give you an idea of the kinds of houses we may well be living in soon.

3D printing
2013 saw 3D printers, robotic devices that create three-dimensional objects from digital designs, really come to the fore as consumer models began to hit the market. Numerous stories have focused on devices big enough to build a house, the latest of which included claims of a 3D printer able to complete a building in less than 24 hours! Should the trend take off, both the materials used, and the design of buildings will evolve significantly to suit this new building method. More likely in the short term is that it will become normal for people to have their own 3D printers in the house. Industry insiders maintain that it’s not unrealistic to think that one day many of us will be printing ornaments, furniture and even food at home.

The connected home
A concept that is already changing homes today, the connected home is a living environment where appliances are not only remote controllable via smartphone, they also collect data to help homeowners make informed lifestyle decisions. Hive remote heating control, for instance, allows you to monitor your home’s temperature via smartphone, as well as control central heating and water temperature remotely – features that have enormous potential when it comes to improving the efficiency of your home. This technology will work with most existing central heating systems so you do not have to worry about shelling out for anything expensive like a new boiler.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show launch of its Smart Home service, a range of internet enabled appliances such as ovens, fridge freezers and washing machines were showcased. Samsung announced plans to eventually grow the platform to include door locks, healthcare products and eco-home applications. Similar to 3D printed homes, these developments will massively impact the way house design evolves in future. 

Homes continue to develop
As homes continue to develop, they will eventually begin to incorporate next generation user experience features, similar to Siri, the personal assistant app available on the iPhone. Data generated by your home and smartphone, as well as other devices like your car and even your clothes, combined with next generation predictive intelligence engines, will allow your house to anticipate your requirements before you do. These technologies are already clever enough to reduce your energy usage and help you manage the groceries in your kitchen. As AI is integrated, users will see their home making decisions based on their calendar, external information, such as weather reports, and even their mood.

Energy and the environment have impacted the way homes are built for as long as we have been building them. Whether using thatching to cover our roofs, or positioning the fireplace in the middle of the house, these approaches to home design were adopted as a way to conserve heat for as long as possible. The homes of the future will provide the insight required to manage our energy usage with even greater precision.

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