In the Shadow of Covid-19
We are being forced into a paradigm shift. No longer are we designing homes that are required to serve one purpose; rather, we have been forced to a new world of home offices, home schooling, home workout centers and home churches, and like it or not, the building industry needs to step up and meet the needs of the "new normal".
Necessity is the mother of invention; therefore, we are looking at a creativity opportunity of a lifetime. Today's technology is poised to assist the home builder of today In the same way that we have seen telephonic technology move from the rotary phones of the 1960's to Today's phone which acts as our calendar, camera, recorder, compass, map,...etc. We should be addressing the largest investment that most people make during their lives. The homes of tomorrow need to reflect the needs of this growing world.
This investment in a home should offer returns on the investment in more ways than we normally consider. To continue the phone analogy, we should be designing our "Home platform" to receive an assortment of different apps. Through the use of today's information technologies and as a result of the "new normal", our houses have been forced into duty to accommodate the new homeschool for the kids and office for the adults; however, this is just the beginning of what we can expect from our homes..., a powerplant, an indoor gardening area, a fresh water plant, entertainment, recreation ...etc.
- Rowing machines and stationary bicycles both offer generator options to produce current for charging batteries or running equipment while working out. There are plenty of options to explore in an effort to make your workout payoff in more ways than health.
- LED lighting and DC current equipment reduce energy waste greatly. While, a solar array on the roof willl quickly move you closer to a netzero project.
- Taking advantage of the trade winds and diurnal costal winds for cooling/ heating considerations within the house as well as turbine operation for energy is easily calculated and offers free increased efficiency for the project. By the same reasoning, we must allow for the tracking of the sun to best determine passive lighting and heating/cooling options in any specific climate.
- Passive lighting through the use of skylights glass blocks and well positioned mirrors should always be considered.
- Regarding space saving ideas and multi-use rooms and areas, today's furniture makers have gone far beyond the Murphy bed of old, and they offer a myriad of convertible desks to beds, mirrors to tables,...etc. The fundamental goal of today's interior designers is to multiply both the use and the perceived size of the space. The same is now true for the architects. Spinning walls, efficient storage, well placed mirrors and lights, easy access maintenance and clean for plumbing and electric, healthy air and water are all prerequisites to the house of the future. ....Next week, we will explore specifics in these areas as well as expand to the indoor gardening for health.