Experts envisage the house of the 2020s

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According to a number of Australian architects, interior designers and other housing experts, technology and pre-fabricated houses are predicted to be the biggest trends in homes of the 2020s.

In the post-war Australia of 1920, a desire for luxury housing opened the door to two major influences: ‘Californian bungalow’ design that inspired glazing and spacious verandas; and European Art Deco that defined the simple shapes and aesthetics of the decade.

The ‘roaring twenties’ was a time of prosperity, and what influenced housing design then stands in stark contrast to what is set to influence housing design a century later. Instead, it is energy efficiency, technology and personalisation that will frame the future. Here’s how, according to some experts.

Smaller spaces

In November 2019, the size of an average built house dropped 1.3% from 2018 to 228.8 m2, the smallest in 17 years. This usually equates to smaller outdoor and entertaining areas, but innovation and technology means this negative can be turned into a positive.

New construction techniques

According to Joe Snell, architect at James Hardie: “Pre-fabricated houses are predicted to be the biggest trend of the 2020s. The process involves sections of houses being produced in factories before being transported to the site for connection.

“One of the biggest opportunities from this change is more quality control and more time in the design phase all adding up to less excuse for poor design and inefficient building. Houses will go more toward the ways cars are built and tested before being used and occupied.”

Energy efficiency

Christine Evans, marketing director at Stegbar, stated that energy efficiency will increase as a crucial design consideration over the coming decade, adding: “Building regulations will continue to push green building, new glazing technologies and improved product engineering and design that will facilitate better energy efficiency within the home and reduce the reliance on artificial climate controls.

“Windows are a strong point of interest, referencing research from the Australian government that shows up to 40% of heat escapes from homes via windows, while double glazing can decrease heat loss by almost 30%.”

Living smarter with home automation

Household penetration of home automation technology is charted to hit 41.9% by 2023, according to Statista, as people seek personalisation and convenience on a broader scale.

“Personalisation has moved beyond merely heating and lighting,” said Vera Meharg, Luxaflex Window Fashions communications manager, who uses the brand’s offerings as an example of the capability of home automation. “Homeowners can take complete control in the management of shading, temperature control, communications, energy efficiency and privacy in their home, all of which can actively reduce energy consumption and amplify security.”