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  • Writer's pictureJustine Rowbotham-Belot

2023 Architecture Trends

Of the many noteworthy design trends this year, a particular focus is means to address changes to our climate. New approaches have challenged architects and developers to maximize valuable space to the residential market while simultaneously responding to calls for more sustainable communities, which utilize carefully considered products and technologies.

One such approach incorporates the use of prefabricated, modular structures. This construction method has quickly become a valid strategy with many benefits. Firstly, the individual modules are constructed in controlled factory environments then delivered to site for very quick assembly. Many hotel brands and residential developers are utilizing this approach as it reduces construction schedules while being less disruptive to surrounding communities. Not only are they sustainable and quicker to build, prefabricated modular construction is often recognized as a viable approach to produce affordable housing in many urban centers.

New products to support sustainability in the form of natural or recycled building materials, have been growing in number over the years. New products being released this year supporting sustainability include transparent solar panels used in windows – meaning - the glass itself can convert solar energy to power for the building’s occupants. Perhaps in the future, these developments will also draw energy from solar farms to become completely off-grid and reduce operating costs.

Technological advancements also support sustainable approaches by incorporating reusable energy and less fossil fuels. Wind and hydroelectricity are making a significant impact on the way we build and think about energy.

Organic insulation made from recycled ocean plastic and hemp, and low or no-vac interior and exterior paint are too other examples of new products. Reduce, re-use and recycle has never been more powerful!

Application of geothermal systems have become a more widely explored option for condominium buildings. A geo-exchange system uses the earth's constant temperatures to provide space heating and cooling using an air-source heat pump. This can replace less efficient mechanical means as the building may rely 100% on heating and cooling loads managed by the system.

As we move through 2023, we gain momentum to address climate change under the leadership of many more developers, architects, and manufacturers of building products. A positive trend in the right with long-lasting impact to our future.

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