Posted: 24 October 2013 by Higgins Homes
The greatest issue with the future is that it cannot be predicted. We can however, make educated guesses as to which elements are more subject to change than others, and in what way. Accounting for probable changes when designing and building a home can only ever be a good thing, as prevention is no doubt better than cure in any circumstance.
But what sort of things should be taken into consideration and count as 'future proofing'? It is easy to assume that technology is at the forefront of this. After all, not only is its development continuing at rapid pace, so is our dependency on it. Everything from leisure and entertainment gadgets to energy saving innovations and security is now electronically powered and remotely controlled. Not to mention our everyday communication. What this means for our homes is that carefully thought out electrical conduits are absolutely necessary if we are to lay the groundwork for further advances in technology. In other words, there is no such thing as over-wiring. It is far easier and indeed cheaper to cut a surplus wire than to keep adding new ones over time.
A key trait in modern living is flexibility within a space. The more flexible a home's infrastructure, the more multifunctional it can be, able to adapt with the times. This means things like plenty of power points in logical locations, all connected to circuits with RCDs. Movable partitions and renewable materials that can be easily sourced are further ways to keep your property easily updated. Energy is the biggest topic up for debate, with the simple fact that it will only continue to rise in cost without any guarantee of security. Therefore placing strong emphasis on the energy efficiency of a building is paramount if it is to stand the test of time. Reducing fuel consumption is key, as is finding alternative ways to source power and heat. The former being particularly important in a time where we are plugged into just about everything.
Of course this is far easier to do with new constructions than attempting to patch up older ones. Even the resources used to build the property can be ensured to last a long time whilst being easily accessible should replacements ever be needed. Social attitudes and a continually changing society make for designing new buildings far more challenging. For one thing, our population is aging dramatically and so more properties will need to accommodate elderly occupants. Likewise, more people are working from home and so require the appropriate space. Cars are undeniably problematic in their ratio per household, especially where older streets simply do not have the capacity to park them all. Whilst we have yet to find out what the future holds in the way of transport, accounting for vehicle access and security is definitely preferable. When it comes to ensuring that homes are built with the future in mind there are two sets of guidelines to consider.
The Code for Sustainable Homes sets a number of standards around efficiency in areas such as energy and water, reducing carbon emissions, creating less waste and lowering running costs. It also promotes using materials from sustainable sources and encourages living a more sustainable lifestyle. The Lifetime Home Standards set out 16 design features to create homes that are accessible in the long run and offer flexibility to anybody whether young or old, disabled or non-disabled. The spaces should also be adaptable to suit those living alone or with families. Higgins Homes build excellent properties with up-to-date technology and high-end fixtures and fittings. Our developments are built to last with view to an ever-changing world and adhere to both the Code for Sustainable Homes and Lifetime Home Standards. You can be sure that purchasing from us will be a fine investment for the future, whatever it may bring.