Building trends are constantly changing and adapting to the changing world around us. New concerns about health and the environment have led to the development of new approaches to architecture and the need to find new, sustainable building materials. Here are five building trends that focus on helping the environment, saving money, and creating homes that are comfortable for all different people:

1. Earthen Architecture. There is no better way to save trees than not using them at all! Earthen architecture is building trend that continues to gain popularity around the world. Imagine a building material that is inexpensive, durable, and helps cut heating and cooling costs… That material is dirt. Creative architects and designers are using a variety of earthen materials (such as adobe, rammed earth, and compressed earth blocks) to construct unique homes that help the environment and help homeowners save money. 

2. Healthy Homes. Organic foods and products are all the rage right now, as people are trying to shift to a healthier lifestyle by eliminating hazardous chemicals and weird additives from their homes. Food and cleaning products are a great start, but these hazardous chemicals lurk in many other places-like the materials used to build houses. Heating and cooling systems, paints, fabrics, wood, and synthetic and composite building materials all contain allergens and chemical additives that can make a home very unhealthy. Healthy homes are created with natural, sustainable materials and are solar-powered. A healthy home helps inhabitants breathe more easily and feel better overall. Many existing homes can be updated with healthier alternatives to their existing materials. 

3. Outdoor Spaces. Outdoor rooms continue to be a rising trend, with more people looking to incorporate outdoor entertainment areas with the floor plans of their new homes. Beautiful decks, patios, and garden areas are incorporated into the overall design of the home, offering a place to relax and entertain company while enjoying the beauty of nature. Many sliding doors now lead to over-sized patio areas including a second kitchen-stove tops, ovens, refrigerators, and grills are now being built in to brick or stone patios. 

4. Usable Storage Space. Gone are the days of lofty, vaulted ceilings and areas of wasted space (even though they are aesthetically pleasing!). Building trends are all about putting that space to good use-plenty of storage is important when building homes today. Homeowners often complain that they never have enough storage space, and while adding shelving and cabinets can help, the ideal time to think about storage is before the home is built. Adding storage spaces into the design plans of a home prevents the need for bulky storage alternatives that take up too much space in the future. Built-in shelving and cabinetry, extra rooms instead of cathedral ceilings, large walk-in closets, and bigger garages are trends that focus on storage space in new buildings. 

5. Universal Design. Fancy staircases, sunken rooms, balconies, high sinks and cabinets-all embellishments that don’t fit the universal design trend. The idea behind universal design is that a home should have features that are accessible to people from all walks of life, young and old, handicapped or not, without any need for adaptation. Swirling staircases may be pretty, but are they practical for a person with a walker or bad knees? Universal design plans feature wider, open spaces that require little physical exertion to navigate around. Counter tops, sinks, and cabinets are built within an easy reaching distance, and everything is scaled for simple use. 

New building trends continue to emerge as architects, designers, and engineers learn about new materials and more efficient ways to use existing materials. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about exciting new building trends. 

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