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Future
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What will our Homes Look Like in 2030?

With the rapid surge of innovative technology and the increased pressure of important social issues, houses as we know it will need to change, adapt and evolve.

So what’s to come? Read on to find out what is predicted to come for houses in 2030 and beyond.

1. The Future is Prefabulous

With ongoing housing affordability and accessibility pressure, prefabricated and modular homes will continue to increase in popularity within the coming years.

The introduction of cutting-edge technology will enable prefabricated homes to be smarter, faster and even more efficient. BIM, CAD, robotic construction and 3D printing systems all lend themselves perfectly to the repetition of modular design elements, meaning the prefabrication process will only continue to improve in the future.

Benefits of Prefab

○ Utilises renewable energy sources
○ Affordability and cost reductions due to standardisation and off-site construction
○ Streamlined timelines
○ Reduced impact on landscape, local flora and fauna
○ Minimised waste, noise and air pollution

Contributing to a Circular Economy

Prefabrication will also continue to help address ongoing environmental issues, including waste, pollution and habitat disruption.

Currently, most of the world operates in a linear economy that involves taking, making and wasting. At Arkular, we apply principles of circularity through each phase of a dwelling’s life cycle, to optimise resources, reduce material usage and minimise waste.

Lowering Embodied Carbon Emissions 

Through our refined off-site manufacturing process, we lower the use of embodied carbon through the use of lighter-weight materials and reduced transport. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge and Edinburgh Napier University states prefabricated homes can produce up to 45% less carbon than traditional methods of residential construction.

Learn more about Arkular’s circular approach here. 

2. Technology and AI

Technology is becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives and will continue to advance within our homes in the future.

Connected homes will start to build virtual and augmented reality to create completely integrated systems. New voice-activated devices will control a range of smart and connected devices, such as thermostats, lights and security systems.

Smart home inclusions that we will see over the next 10 years:

AI integration: Although already prevalent, AI will play an important role over the next 10 years assisting with smart home routines, temperature control and TV activity.
Enhanced security: Front door systems that integrate power, lights, sensors, a video doorbell and DNA-activated programs for keyless entry will become the norm.
Appliances: Smart appliances with app integrations to allow remote control and further integration in everyday living.

EMF Considerations

With the increasing use of technology in our future lives, we should also be aware of the possible health risks presented by the gadgets we use on a daily basis.

EMFs(electromagnetic fields) occur naturally and also come from human-made sources. Scientists and regulatory agencies generally agree that low-frequency EMFs pose little danger to human health, but some researchers offer preliminary evidence that some danger may exist for long-term use, specifically to the nervous system and brain cognitive function.

The best approach is to be aware that EMFs exist and be smart about your exposure.

3. Green Energy 

Renewables, including solar, wind, hydropower, biofuels and others, are at the centre of the transition to less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy systems.

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, it is proposed that carbon emissions must be reduced by almost half before 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, with alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro to be prioritised (Source: United Nations).

Heat Pumps 

Heat pumps, a central technology for decarbonising heat, use electricity to transfer heat from one area to another. Analysis from the Australian Partnership for Energy Productivity suggests that industrial heat pumps may contribute to cutting ‘hard to abate’ emissions by 15 million tons per year by 2050.

Solar PV

Solar PV is providing grounds for optimism on the pace of renewable expansion. Based on growing trends, the world will have enough solar PV manufacturing capacity in 2030 to meet the level of annual demand envisaged.

Hydroelectricity

Hydropower currently generates more electricity than all other renewable technologies combined and is expected to remain the world’s largest source of renewable electricity generation into the 2030s.

Thermal Efficiency

Prioritising orientation, high-quality insulation, air tightness for reduced air leakage and room zoning for heating and cooling will ensure future that homes are passively designed to take advantage of the local climate so they are more comfortable to live in and cost less to run.

4. Innovative Building Materials

Progressive views, new technologies and shifting preferences will drive more growth in sustainable homes and building materials.

Improved materials and innovations will make it easier and more accessible to attain a healthier, more sustainable and carbon-free home that will reap long and short-term cost savings and contribute to overall improved health and well-being.

Upcoming material solutions:

Geothermal Walls

Below-ground geothermal wells store warm water and circulate it through a closed-loop system to heat and cool a house. Read more here about a geothermal test currently being conducted. 

Mushroom-based insulation

Ecovative Design has developed a mushroom-based material that serves as an alternative to plastic foam insulation; with the biodegradable substance consisting of a combination of fungi roots mixed with agricultural waste.

Hemp rebar 

Hemp rebar, also known as reo, could offer a low-cost non-corroding steel alternative, cutting construction time whilst also keeping costs low.

Biochar cladding

German company Made of Air, produces a bioplastic made from farm and forest waste that sequesters carbon and can be used as an alternative cladding option.

Image: Carbon Positive House

5. Health and Wellbeing in the Home

People will pay a premium for homes that are designed for health and wellness.

Continuous improvements in technology over the next 10 years will see increased innovations appearing across a range of areas that support greater well-being and health within the home, including; air quality sensors, circadian rhythm lighting, comfort sleep technology, smart water purifiers and UV disinfectant lights.

Further prioritisation of locally made and sourced, eco-friendly and energy-efficient materials and resources will also be integral to healthy homes, having a positive environmental impact and continuing to support wellbeing.

The latest health and wellbeing innovations include:

○  ‘Flowsky’ by Toto – a toilet that assesses health through urine, measuring glucose, hormones, inflammation and more that is expected to have significant advantages for Japan’s aging population.

Wize Mirror –  A mirror that will be able to give daily health reports based on a minute-long analysis of the face, assessing any changes since the last time the person looked in the mirror and providing a score to indicate a user’s overall health.

○  Muzo – the world’s first acoustic device that uses anti-vibration technology for a smooth surface (such as a wall or window) minimising any intrusive noises that could impact health and wellbeing.

The Ultimate Futuristic Home  

With 2030 really only around the corner, we look towards what the ultimate future homes over the next 30 years may include, from technological, demographical and generational influences.

1. Super High-tech 

Humanoid androids will tend to homes capable of cooking, cleaning and even childcare
Augmented reality with AI and AR technology changing the entertainment industry, with homes equipped with separate ‘entertainment pods’
Reusable water the water from your sink will drain into a filter and feed a hydroponic plant system, taking advantage of wasted water
Walls, floors and ceilings might be able to transform themselves in response to voice commands, with nanotechnology turning walls solid or translucent

2. Green Power Advances  

Advanced renewable energy such as energy-harvesting technology integrated into the building’s structure and solar panels may mean that future homes will be so efficient they contribute power to the grid

3. Micro Dwellings

Smaller spaces pave the way for increased modular construction, helping buildings and suburbs of the future adapt to demand – with ‘shifting’ floor patterns allowing for quicker, more sustainable creation of homes.

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