Homes of the Future
As technology advances faster than ever before, our homes are undergoing a transformation to become smarter, more efficient, and better suited to the modern family. With all these changes happening so rapidly, and with the potential to be built out of "new materials not yet imagined", we couldn’t help but wonder: what might the homes of the future look like?
We partnered with Chris Lawson, owner of an architecture firm, to find out the future trends and materials in house-building. We then fed this information to an AI tool, which created the following images, revealing what our homes could look like in the future - with a focus of them being adaptable and durable.
Homes of the Future in the United Kingdom
The AI has predicted what homes could look like in the future in five major cities of the UK - London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Manchester.
The structure of this building is made from fast growing timber, with the need to move away from using 1,000 year old trees for structures in mind.
Metal cladding has been used in Belfast’s AI-generated home of the future, perhaps to ensure it is protected from the weather.
Solar panels - which work even when they don’t have direct sunlight - feature heavily in Edinburgh’s homes of the future.
As well as solar panels, houses of the future in Cardiff will likely use wind energy, featuring personal wind turbines.
Large, mirrored panels are a big feature of homes of the future in Manchester, which will act as solar panels that capture and reflect excess light energy to lower panels. Reflecting the energy to different areas of the surrounding area can help promote more diverse surroundings as sunlight can reach even the darkest of areas.
There is a lot to consider when thinking of homes in the future, including increased occupancy requirements, reduction of green spaces and global desperation for sustainability.
The AI designs for homes in London and Edinburgh feature living walls and concentrated fungus, which is likely due to cities needing to be more sustainable on a "monumental level" with a key focus being on how homes can "live more harmoniously with nature", according to Chris.
International Homes of the Future
But it’s not just in the UK that homes will need to advance to adapt to changing needs and weather circumstances. AI has imagined what homes could look like in the future in five major international cities - Toronto, Dubai, Amsterdam, Paris and New York.
This house has been created with carbon blocks, which have good thermal values made from scrubbing carbon out of the air.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, solar panels are a main feature of the roof in the AI-created future house in Dubai. Chris predicts in the future Dubai could become "a giant crater in the desert area meaning all buildings will cool naturally from being connected to the lower ground and have wind protection all at the same time".
The AI was sympathetic to Amsterdam’s well-known architecture but including flower beds around the building which can help with any potential flood damage by absorbing the water into the soil before it gets to the building itself.
Living walls along high-rise buildings are to be expected in Parisian homes of the future, which could help replace the biodiversity of the sprawling city.
Large windows and a curving roof allow as much light to be caught by the solar panels in this futuristic New York house. Chris explains the sail-like shape could "rotate to capture sunlight, and also reflect said light to other panels, like a network on top of homes and buildings and massively increasing renewable energy capture".
When looking at cities like Amsterdam and Paris which are well-known for their traditional architecture styles, and that have listed buildings that need to be preserved, Chris says aside from building new, more sustainable homes, retrofitting is a good step forward: "Retrofitting is one great way to utilise existing materials and products to create aesthetics that are well suited to their existing environment or traditional appearances. All retrofitting of traditional housing needs to be done internally and without damaging the original fabric, construction methods etc".
High-rise buildings can be problematic in highly-populated city centres such as New York and Dubai, which is where Chris suggested "an introduction of light poles, hundreds of metres high, could help bring light to the lower levels and streets, as high-rise buildings block out the sunlight".
How to speed up sustainability in your home
Although many of these homes may seem a long way away, it’s important to begin making changes now, as government reports show nearly 20% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions come from energy used in our homes, meaning there is no time like the present to begin making our homes more sustainable and future-proof.
We’ve spoken to our in-house expert on some ways home-owners can upgrade their homes with green and eco-friendly renovations:
Invest in solar panels. Despite the name, solar panels still produce energy on cloudy days. They connect to your home’s electricity system, meaning the sunlight can help power your appliances.
Insulate your home. This is one of the easiest ways to lower your energy bills and have a positive impact on the environment. There are several different types of insulation, including cavity wall, floor, and draught-proofing. Talk to an expert about the best option for your home.
Get a heat pump. This is an expensive addition to your home but can help save a lot of money on your energy bills in the long-run. They work by taking heat from the ground or air and using this in your home.
Install water-saving taps. These taps allow you to use less running water by combining air with water, making them a great way to reduce your water usage without seeing a noticeable difference.
Install a green roof. These can be added to out-buildings like bike stores and sheds. They benefit wildlife and can also prevent flooding by reducing the amount of rain-water that runs off the roof.
When it comes to making your home more energy efficient and sustainable, make sure you communicate any changes to your home insurance provider to avoid invalidating your home insurance.
Sources and Methodology:
Utilising expert commentary we fed key-words to the AI tool MidJourney which created the images.
Expert comments were provided by Chris Lawson, Managing Director of CK Architectural.