Ask Away Blog: The Eco-home of the Future

The Eco-home of the Future

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

 

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Biophilic Design


Biophilic means imitating nature. This is a trend that has seen an upsurgence in recent years as people attempt to bring more of nature into their homes. This could be in the form of plants, trees, and animals; it might also be the form of natural colors and decorations for the home.

Twenty years from now there's a good chance we will be living in homes denizen specifically for biophilic tastes. They might have more eco infrastructure like renewable energy and access to nature. They will probably have earth-friendly designs and easy access to nature as well.

Until that time comes, however, we will continue to live in our conventional homes and bring more of a biophilic vibe to the living space. This could mean air purifying plants such as peace lilies and cactus, a garden room indoors, perhaps in one of the spare bedrooms, or interior decor that uses more earthy tones.
 
DIY Energy

Imagine your home had zero energy costs. How much would you save in a year? The answer is probably quite a lot that could be reinvested into your home or spent on things like holidays and gifts. The homes of the future are said to be entirely powered by renewable energy from the sun or from underground.

Renewable energy is available in several different ways. There are solar panels of course that are becoming more efficient all the time. These days you might need an entire roof covered in them to make a difference but in twenty years you will need a fraction of that. You can also heat your home with geothermal energy.

Using renewable energy not only saves you lots of money every year, it also protects the planet by slashing the carbon in the atmosphere. Imagine the world's population living in carbon neutral homes, it would mean there was less chance of severe weather, environmental destruction and runaway climate change that could kill the planet.
 
Better Insulation

In twenty years time new homes are likely to be built with renewable energy infrastructure making them cheaper and more planet friendly. Despite this there will still be a pressing need to keep the home airtight, to prevent them from losing precious heat and becoming inefficient. This is what happens today with new and older homes.

To be more energy efficient in the future homes will be constructed using a combination of renewable energy infrastructure and better insulation. The insulation will make the home unit airtight preventing heat loss from ceilings, windows, and doors. This is the most frequent source of heat loss in the modern home, more information can be found at Wilmington Windows & Doors.

The good news is you don't have to wait for twenty years to improve the insulation in your home, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint. If you live in an older home you can update the insulation with modern versions or hang heavy curtains and use draft excluders to prevent heat loss.
 
Flat Pack Homes

If you like IKEA furniture then you'll love flat packed homes. These flat packed homes are designed by architects who then send the designs to a manufacturer via a computer software program. The designs are machine cut and the parts delivered to the site for co structure. The parts of the home all slot together like a giant lego project.

Flat packed homes have a range of advantages over traditional stick frame construction. They are very easy to design and build, even for more complicated projects. Your home can be put up quickly and once constructed it is highly economical. The home's pieces future nearly together and make an efficient air-tight home.

At the moment this type of home is not so cheap. The technology is only now being used extensively and the homes are still a little pricey. But give it ten or twenty years. As the popularity for these homes grows the price will naturally come down. It makes sense to live in one of these because of their speed and efficiency. 

A Sharing Culture

There's no doubt the world is moving towards a more environmentally conscious way of life. It's a necessity as we regularly see images of the polar ice caps disappearing and experience disastrous changes in the weather in all regions of the world. Floods, fires, hurricanes, and heat waves all tell us it's time to take action.

With that in mind the homes of the future are likely to be more community oriented instead of individualistic. Expect to see fewer hedges and fences demarcating properties. You will be able to meet your neighbours in the shared spaces around your home. These spaces will have shared vegetable patches and energy sources.

Humans have lived in shared spaces like this for millenia, it's only in the last few hundred years that our culture has become more individualistic. As the need for more collective living grows we can expect our homes and communities to change as well, for the benefit of ourselves and our planet.
 
Farm Bots

Another feature we can expect from the home and communities of the future is home grown vegetables in community patches. Growing your own vegetables for yourself and your community is not only cheaper and very healthy – you know how they are grown – it is also particularly good for the environment and for carbon output. There is no need to use chemicals either.

But this is not something we are used to. We aren't used to growing our own food and farming. We live in urban communities with shops and cars. But that's all set to change with technology like the FarmBots. FarmBots are robots that can grow vegetables for you while you're busy in your home office or out collecting the kids from school.

The FarmBots are small robots about six inches high. They live above your home garden and move around on metal poles. The FarmBots can prepare your soil and sow seeds for you. They can water the soil and look after the vegetables as they grow. These nifty robots are super convenient and can even be controlled via an app.

 




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