Published at Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 - 10:36:00 AM. Kitchen Room. By Adal Meier.
Why its happening: Natural disasters are occurring more frequently and sometimes with little warning. The most forward-thinking homebuilders are developing resilient solutions for new and existing homes. “The weather is getting almost biblical, and homes that dont address that run a legitimate risk of being seriously damaged or destroyed and having their resale value put in question,” says Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture and Planning Solutions in Chicago. His designs include oversized gutters and downspouts that direct water to rain gardens or other landscape features that can handle intense rain. He also recommends an ice and water shield on the roof to create a rain barrier, so the interior has greater protection. Coastal homes should add hurricane straps where the roof and walls intersect, he says, to reduce possible wind damage. Sustainable features are also critical to decarbonize the built environment and conserve resources. Kipnis favors all-electric systems, including induction cooktops, mini-split HVAC systems, and heat pump water heaters. Homeowners could take it a step further and have the garage wired to be a charging station for electric cars and add solar panels to the roof.
McClain loves it when someone wants to walk up and touch walls hes designed. Papers today are made with a variety of textures, such as grass cloth, leather, vinyl, silk, linen, suede, and even mother of pearl, creating excitement and countering the flatness of most paint finishes. Some textures are woven onto metallic paper so theres a glint of sheen in the background. New breathable wall coverings aim to enhance indoor air quality, and many companies offer environmental sourcing information. “I think we will see more of these, though its still a very niche market,” McClain says. Shifting economies, demographics, and land shortages are issues altering how we live and what buyers are looking for in a home. Going smaller has become bigger—a trend Not So Big House author and architect Sarah Susanka first advocated more than 20 years ago.
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