With sustainability, eco-friendliness and technology becoming increasingly important when buying a new property, what will the home of tomorrow look like?
Throughout the ages, contemporary homes have been built to tackle the social need of the day. In Victorian times, high-density terraced housing accommodated the growing population. Today, modern homes integrate technology to make life simpler, more efficient, and convenient.
47% of homeowners say they wouldn’t consider moving home without fast broadband in our increasingly connected world. Online searches for 'smart home' have grown by almost 200% in the last decade as homes have naturally become more connected spaces.
What is a smart home?
A smart home is a living space integrated with ‘smart’ devices that can be controlled remotely or be used to automate daily tasks, giving you control over virtually everything with an internet connection in your home. Many already have smart speakers and lighting, but the technology potential is vast. For example, you could pre-heat the oven while you commute, automatically restock certain items in the fridge or control the heating from anywhere.
As we work from home more often and access to technology increases, the demand for tech in the house is growing. So much so that UK homeowners and renters are increasingly prioritising it when searching for a home.
39% want smart home security and monitoring
38% want smart speakers and devices
35% want smart lighting options
What does the smart home of the future look like?
1. Connected, automated and customisable
The future home is likely to hold all manner of technology-controlled features designed to make everyday living easier. The Internet of Things, or the network that allows everyday devices to connect and share data, has transformed our homes.
Whether it’s providing AI-driven alarm and security systems, controlling the temperature, electricity use and lighting, or simply following programmed routines to help you keep a stocked fridge, smart homes will be able to anticipate needs before homeowners are even aware of them.
2. Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient
The way homes in the future will be built and maintained is likely to be dramatically different from the past.
New ways of building will start to come to the fore. Core structural elements, such as steel and wood can be made with recycled or reclaimed materials to avoid cutting down new trees and creating a larger carbon footprint. New materials, such as bamboo and pre-cast concrete over a wire mesh, can be moulded into new buildings in a way that's eco-friendly and will stand the test of time.
In terms of powering these new buildings, new technology – such as biomass boilers and photovoltaic (PV) panels – will be used to provide warmth and energy. Harnessing the power of natural gas and thermal energy and capturing waste heat and water vapour will help properties be energy efficient.
3. Socially conscious
It’s not just technology that will encourage an environmentally friendly ethos – interior design continues to become more socially conscious. Responsible brands, creating low-impact, sustainable items to furnish your home are likely to become more popular. With production worker rights and ethical concerns about plant and animal products, the way we decorate our homes could undoubtedly be more thoughtful in future.
Not only that, but trends show how we clean and maintain our homes could also change. Eco-friendly and cruelty-free products are becoming more readily available instead of damaging chemical alternatives; in the future, we will likely have to take a more measured approach to using plastics and other non-recyclable items out of necessity, instead of personal choice. In addition, future homes will be able to charge electric vehicles, and the change is already occurring. Today, 1 in 2 people say it's important their new home has the facilities to charge an electric car.
The smarter home for a new world
The way we live is changing for the better. Though there are new concerns about privacy and safety, there are net benefits to the environmentally-conscious home of the future.