BY Pavither Sidhu
During our grandparents’ time, a swimming pool was considered a luxury only the super rich were privileged to enjoy. These days, it is usually the first-listed facility in any typical residential project. Looking forward, we wonder what extravagant features of today will become standard features tomorrow?
A report by Hiscox Ltd gives us a glimpse into the future and foresees that in years to come, our homes will be progressively more high-tech and will be designed to accommodate several generations under one roof.
The Hiscox Home of the Future Report 2015 said research shows that though future houses may look similar to what they are now, technology, sustainability and well-being will become increasingly important.
New regulations will pay more attention to a home’s energy efficiency in the years ahead. By 2020, new European rules stipulate that new houses must utilise nearly zero energy.
Designers are also looking at various means to harvest and recycle energy within future dwellings by applying existing technology to make home appliances much more energy-efficient, such as kettles that harvest energy from boiling water, washing machines that use their spin cycle to generate electricity as well as wallpapers that can deodorise a room.
Technological advancement will also allow homes to be regulated from a distance by using remote control, the report said.
“In the future, there will be sensors that monitor humidity, noise and smoke variations along with appropriate responses and devices that track climatic conditions in the garden and advise you on what to plant.”
In addition, other developments that might take place are smart washing machines that digitally read and identity an item and wash it accordingly and home monitoring sensors that raise an alert signal if normal daily routines have been overlooked, such as boiling the water or turning on the TV.
“This is particularly useful for elderly people living alone,” said the report.
As homes will become more sustainable, the report noted, bathrooms will gain greater significance compared to now, with a focus on health and well-being. Windows or glass cabinets will be used as interactive screens on which to monitor health statistics.
To cater to multi-generational living, more homes will feature multiple living areas and adaptable space for different generations. This so-called “dual or tri-hub homes” are likely to increase in number as children remain in the home longer and more aged parents live with their children, the report said.
The added advantage of a flexible home is that it allows for uncomplicated change in accordance to its owners’ needs, which means relocation is not necessary for upgrading.
The report also stated that the next wave of transformation will see advancements and innovations that are likely focused on prefabricated housing.