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Home ownership is about to enter a new era of design as a result of several construction trends intended to reflect the new ways in which we live, work and play. Evolving lifestyles and new long-term realities such as energy and environmental issues will affect the way we use our homes, and the way we design, build, and renovate them. These trends are already noticeable in some circles, and will eventually lead to widespread changes in the way many of us address our living spaces in the future.
Whenever extreme weather strikes, designers, manufacturers and builders become more aware of the need for long-term durability in our homes. This need is sometimes enforced through tighter building codes, or more stringent demands by insurance companies for better construction materials and higher endurance standards. Meanwhile, as we seek to protect ourselves from nature's extremes, there is also a need to protect nature from our own extreme behavior. Environmental protection is a growing trend that inspires more people every year to take on new initiatives, either to save energy costs or to avoid environmental deterioration caused by excessive waste.
With the members of the "baby boom" population bulge approaching their retirement years, there is a greater demand for homes and properties with lower maintenance requirements and higher accessibility standards. Thanks to more enlightened planning and renovating, homes can be made accessible for all ages by including no-step thresholds, wider doorways, wheelchair-friendly sinks and cabinetry, and main floor bathroom and laundry facilities. Contemporary lifestyle patterns such as the long-predicted trend of "cocooning" have already evolved enough to spawn entire industries specializing in home decor and renovation designed to meet these lifestyles.
Rapid technological advances in household operational systems and home convenience products are assisting both the aging population and young families on the go. When discussing technology, many people think of entertainment and information advances, but these are only the beginning. The new multi-functional equipment that has been developed will virtually run all household system operations for the homeowner. Physically speaking, home designs will need to make space to accommodate the new equipment. The "smart home" management centers connect with equipment within your home in order to provide automatic intervention of systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as indoor and outdoor security systems monitoring.
Perhaps the most significant trend in space planning is thinking ahead to accommodate technologies and lifestyles that will affect our homes in the future. It is no longer acceptable for one function to be included without consideration for another. Just as a traditional carpenter allows for electrical and plumbing installations, the modern home builder or renovator will need to plan space for managing future systems. For example, even though our hot water, heating and air conditioning units are getting smaller and more efficient, we may soon need extra space for electricity storage units and back-up battery cells.
So as technology continues to advance, we will also need to adopt new trends and habits that will help us make better use of our space. Even cherished garage space could become more coveted in the future. While switching to a smaller electric or hybrid car may fit with out environmental objectives, we will eventually have to include a battery charger system alongside it. In fact, there just may come a time when we dedicate our garages to contribute to energy production and conservation, rather than energy consumption. Our home space is becoming increasingly more important to us. As newer building materials are used, new designs are developed, and new technological innovations and coordinating systems are installed, our homes will adapt to the new trends and lifestyles of our population. Of course, a lot of these advances will cost money. Choosing from the many options will be part of making a carefully managed real estate decision.
A new hybrid barbecue/fireplace unit is designed especially for cool outdoor evening. Its a fireplace cage suspended on wheels with the addition of a cooking grill. You can start the unit with charcoal for cooking and then add a couple of logs for instant ambience.
This trash can opens when you approach it, and it closes after its been fed. Its a touchless system that could save a nasty spill if you have a handful of disposables.
These decorative water fountains are powered by a built-in solar panel. Some are made to float on your pond and draw water from beneath, while others can be wall-mounted or fence-mounted in a cascading step design that circulates its existing water supply.
This state-of-the-art product is the hot new oven with the cool refrigeration feature. You can keep your chicken chilled or your casserole cool until its ready for cooking right in the oven! It keeps your dinner in Cold Storage prior to the programmed start time, then automatically switches to roast or bake. In the event you arrive home late, it keeps it warm, or even refrigerates it again.
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