The Future of Residential Construction and 4 Emerging Housing Types

Think of the word home, and you may conceptualize this image of a cozy bungalow, high-rise condo overlooking the cityscape, or tidy garden apartment with a cute porch.

But the concept of a home is changing. The way people want to live is changing. And so is the way that homes are constructed.

What used to be the notion of comfort, safety, and family is being transformed into something new by a multitude of factors. Among them are population growth, a shortage of land, sustainability regulations, and the construction industry that’s rapidly advancing during this technology revolution.

We live differently, we build differently

There’s been a trend of late…Regardless of status, homeowners are looking for new forms of housing that are cost-effective, shared, eco-friendly, flexible, stylish, or healthy. And the industry is building just that to accommodate the demand.

It’s happening throughout Europe, the Americas and the trend is making its way to Asia.

Whether you’re in construction, architecture, interior design or urban development, you’re an important player when it comes to solving challenges of the world and shaping a desirable future.

Maybe “impacting the world”  might sound too much of a noble dream…However reality is that we have to cater to the needs of the buyers. And if that’s what they want, that’s what we have to anticipate and give.

New Regulations Are Looming

In 2015, The World Economic Forum established the Future of Construction initiative. Since then, the global movement has served as a platform for governments, research institutions, individual firms, and civil society to alter the direction of the industry and find alternative solutions to support higher productivity, greater sustainability and enhanced affordability.

If you still think you can continue business like how you are doing right now, think again.

Back here in Singapore, all construction materials for commercial buildings, from walls and windows to the floor, are graded. According to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Singapore, Buildability Scores are given to companies based on their use of “green” (aka eco-friendly) materials and their energy efficiency properties.

On the commercial side, if a construction company fails BCA’s test, the building cannot be constructed. And this ruling is coming to the residential sector.

It’s coming real soon. We’re expecting it within the next 2 years. And that means we, all of us in the trade, have to be ready for the change.

Manufacturers are already waiting for the official announcement so they can hike prices. Logistics and transportation costs will skyrocket with the surge of orders of new materials.

Import tariffs are likely to creep up to balance the influx of imports.

If you snooze, you lose. It will be hard to catch up and the laggards will end up being the Nokia of the Infrastructure sector. You wouldn’t want to be left stranded when the time comes.

4 Emerging Needs Of Living Spaces

  1. Affordable
  2. Eco-friendly
  3. Flexible
  4. Healthy
  1. Affordable

Budget conscious housing typically consists of mid to high rise buildings with relatively smaller units that are built with simple-looking, rather inexpensive materials, and minimal technology.

Mami House, Portugal, by José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira did it really well and it just looks so cool. Affordable does not mean cheap, it could mean using good quality materials that stand the test of time, hence making your construction worth your while.

However, as much as cost is an issue, you definitely want to ensure they are installed properly and have tight sealing properties to save you the trouble of unhappy customers in the months to come.

2. Eco-friendly

Sustainability is the new word that gets people’s ears perked up. One example is Genesee Park Net Zero home project in Seattle, Washington. With the Singapore Green Building Council being set up in Singapore to establish energy saving initiatives, the trend towards uPVC windows with heat reducing qualities are being favoured.

Windows and doors are one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the house that can help with energy conservation. If you can save your customers hundreds of dollars every month, they’ll love you and probably recommend you to all their friends and family too.

3. Flexible

In this age where the world is constantly changing, so are people. Naturally, they’d want a home to be able to change with their new lifestyle needs too. A rising trend is modular houses…something for you to consider. Easy to fix…DIY…No one does it better than Ikea.

4. Healthy

Talk about natural light, UV and radiation protection, state-of-the-art tinting solutions, air filtration and purification systems, there’s so much you can do to improve the inhabitants’ health and well-being.

Homes will always have the basics walls, windows and doors, ceilings and floors. But what those materials are made of, where they’re made, how they’re installed, these are what homeowners are looking for and what government bodies want. For example, uPVC being thermally insulative, will be favoured over aluminium windows in the future.

At the end of the day, everyone wants to come home to a place they feel comfortable in. And they demand this. Industry stakeholders like ourselves will need to respond to the new wave of housing forms.

Perhaps it’s a good time to start scouting and getting ready for the huge announcement. Talk to us and let’s work together!

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