Most wish lists for a new dream home have some very similar elements: lots of light, an open plan, and a nice kitchen. If I am involved there is also some discussion about efficiency, durability, and comfort. However, I have not heard from many clients that they want a resilient home. As we move forward I do think this may be a driving factor in the design of custom homes. So is your home resilient?
Resilient design is the intentional design of buildings in order to respond to natural and manmade disasters and disturbances as well as long-term changes resulting from climate change.
A resilient home is energy-efficient and has a focus on durability, comfort, adaptability, and indoor environmental quality. It will incorporate aging-in-place design elements to help a home adapt to life changes. We ask questions about the future life our clients want to live in their dream home, for instance, what if the world shuts down and you have to do your job from home? What if school happens in your living room? What should we include in the home design to clean the air you breathe? How can we design beyond code, affordably, to manage power outages, extreme temperature changes, increased moisture in the air, and create healthy spaces to live work, and play.
This concept of resilient design is building on our focus on sustainable design but expanding the conversation to adaptability. How can a home adapt easily over time to changing conditions, goals, wants, needs, and impacts from outside forces? What products are being created to address these concerns? I have seen major advances in heating and cooling technology, automated systems for managing a house, and for localized power generation – but I wonder what is next.
What advances in technology are you excited about? What new building products are coming to market that will make your life easier? What standards for design are shaping how we build a more resilient future?