Modern housing design and construction seems to be pulling from the best facets of both construction and living: Essentialism or minimalism as needed to build a healthy life of enough but not too much, and concrete, glass, and steel for durability.
1) Open Air Construction
Access to open space and natural light within the safety of a concrete building has moved from commercial design into home construction, and homes are better for it. The tiny house movement has made minimalism an acceptable and even admirable lifestyle, and while there is little that is minimal about a concrete home with a sizable footprint, we are moving in a direction that offers humans the chance to readjust our body clocks away from the false imposition of electric light and toward the use of the dawn and the dusk. Small, mean window spaces and solid walls of siding and sheetrock are not a part of modern home construction.
2) Squared Off Corners
Modern architecture is also turning away from the sloped roof. As this roofing style has long been implemented for the shedding of precipitation, new home design is doing a better job of
- not adding to the stormwater deluge so common in coastal cities, and
- not forcing homeowners to deal with odd corners, tiny attics, and loft HVAC challenges
If the second floor has an 8′ ceiling, it extends across the whole property. No knee-walls, no eaves, no odd corners on the second floor, or spaces where the heat builds up or escapes.
Stormwater management, in particular the water that drains away from homes with peaked roofs, will become critical as sea levels rise. Coastal cities from Miami, Florida in the United States and Sydney, Australia will suffer tremendously from overloaded storm runoff systems, local flooding, and the risk to life and property. Modern construction that offers residents the chance to collect and manage rainwater may not be able to collect all of it, but it could reduce the burden on overloaded stormwater systems.
3) Glass and Privacy in Combination
There’s that old adage about not throwing stones if your house is made of glass, and it’s still a good point. However, it’s also important to avoid living in a glass house if you live in the desert or anywhere with dangerous temperature extremes.
Modern construction and design teams are coming up with window treatments for the floor to ceiling windows that can easily be put to use to provide privacy as the sun goes down, protection from extreme heat and cold, and access to solar-powered heat on cool or cold days. The Central Coast Architect Granny Flat offers an ideal solution; full windows for plenty of light-shielded by a roof extension and a small deck.
4) Multi-Season Living
Time in the great outdoors can be a challenge to enjoy, but with a home with plenty of window space and great design, you can move from your indoor space to enjoying the outdoors on the worst days and living in the outdoors when the weather eases. Again, flat-topped porches, open-air pergola construction off the roof of the house, and a construction style that connects to the path of the sun contribute to this effect.
5) The Ornamental as Edible
As we move away from pointy houses and picket fences, we are slowly moving away from the resource-intensive lawn as well. Garden design, specifically to include edibles, has moved to the front yard for the benefit of many. Modern edible garden design is moving us away from the work of fertilizing and watering something we’re just going to cut off into easy to access, raised sources of food.
6) Space Plus Experience
Living in a modern home means connection to the outside world. A space that provides windows instead of walls means a home that lends itself to the world outside. If you tend to be a hermit or a recluse, make sure that the design you choose provides you with a square corner where you can escape, in addition to your home with a view.
7) Light and Beautiful
Modern construction and design trends use materials that are not only sustainable, but they are lighter weight and put less stress on older structures. If you have an older home that you want to expand but are concerned the structure may not tolerate the addition, discuss the use of lighter, stronger materials in the renovation or build.
Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community