In 2021, emerging architectural trends will make a positive impact, protecting our environment and helping people cope with societal change.

4 mins read

Modern design trends are all committed to sustainable development and sustainable architecture. Society in general is becoming much more mindful of environmental and social needs, and this is reflected in the increased use of recycled materials, clean energy and a focus on restoration. The following trends can help us construct impressive yet sustainable buildings that make a positive impact without compromising on aesthetics.

Green builds

In the current environmental situation, architects are trying to remain close to nature in their design trends. Physically, this occurs in many ways, such as implementing vertical greenery systems. Many new builds use residential plants to cover both horizontal and vertical planes, creating a carbon-absorbing and oxygen-producing living wall that keeps air cleaner and provides habitats for wildlife. And the use of natural and recycled materials for construction and furnishing is increasingly common, as are more environmentally friendly technologies and equipment in the process of production.

Reuse, reconstruct, restore

Architects claim that 2021 is the year of reconstruction. This process of restoring old, deserted buildings, whether initially residential or commercial, is essential to solving pressing issues. Restoration can decrease overdevelopment, preserve cultural and architectural heritage in cities and reduce environmental pollution, all while making use of the reliable and convenient layouts of historic buildings.

Due to the effects of the pandemic, namely business closures and the increase in popularity of working from home, former retail and office spaces provide the perfect place to begin restoration and reconstruction projects. According to Enscape, In the US, it’s predicted that over 170 million square feet (just under 16 million square meters) will become empty this year alone, and it’s senseless to leave so much space unused.

Shopping malls and hotels provide the perfect base to design mixed-use developments. Through these projects, architects can simultaneously generate a positive impact on society by alleviating suburban poverty, while barely affecting the environment through the reduced use of raw materials.

Smart home technologies

Design trends that have the most impact can be felt on an individual level in smart home systems. With heating, air conditioning, lighting and many other household appliances all integrated into one user-friendly system, you can tailor all these features to your needs and preferences with the tap of an app. Moreover, this is amazing for both the environment and your wallet, as having such a high level of control over your energy usage means your efficiency is at your fingertips! Whether you’re environmentally conscious or financially concerned, this design trend will make your life more simple both during 2021 and beyond.

Passive Houses/Eco-Houses

This type of design is currently the hottest trend in the field of architecture, and involves constructing residential buildings that decrease energy consumption as much as possible. Focusing on reducing the building’s overall heat loss, the process involves making sure the building is compact and proportionally balanced both externally and internally, has effective and quality insulation and is carefully thought out, planned and zoned.

When designed correctly, the best eco-houses don’t need air conditioning or central heating. The balanced architecture means that natural cooling is incorporated into the design, whereas heat is generated from people and household appliances and redistributed effectively throughout the building. The impact of these designs is that they put little to no strain on the environment while emitting almost no greenhouse gases, as well as being able to reduce poverty by saving the inhabitants thousands on household bills.

Additionally, these houses actively contribute to improving their inhabitants’ health and quality of life, which has a huge social impact in reducing the strain on resources in our healthcare systems. Looking after our environment through our design trends inherently passes on the benefits to us, and by using less polluting and sustainable materials, both the environment and our bodies themselves will be cleaner and healthier overall.

Multi-functional homes

Today’s architectural trends have to grapple with the challenge of providing homes that also serve as offices, schools and exercise centers. In the current situation, our homes have become hubs for adults working, children studying and whole families trying to exercise and stay fit while their normal physical activities are out of bounds. However, they were simply not built with this intention and are therefore unprepared, making for crowded and noisy environments.

The impact of the pandemic will be felt at home. People will lead a more home-centered life, and when constructing for the future, architects must consider the impacts of their designs on these factors. Residential properties must become more multi-purpose spaces, which can cope with the strains of all aspects of modern life, not just the usual activities we carry out at home.

Design trends specifically adapted for this purpose will have a social impact, reducing inequality in opportunities for workers and students, and an environmental impact, meaning people do not have to have a huge carbon footprint when it comes to purchasing equipment for home offices and other facilities.

2021 will be a year of significant change in terms of design trends. These will call for us to build and live in harmony with nature, uniting with the environment by using our homes to create habitats and carbon-absorbing facilities. However, this does not mean that architects will compromise on comfort and design. They will produce some of the most aesthetically appealing and sustainable buildings that the world has ever seen.