Architecture is best viewed as a revolving door. Yes, there are time-tested elements and principles that still exist after centuries of change. But, that doesn’t mean old trends don’t evolve and gain traction as innovative design principles.
Trends change by the year, producing new, creative developments along the way. As we ushered out yet another decade and entered 2020, we revisited some of the top 2019 highlights and compiled a few notable areas to keep an eye on for the upcoming year.
Revisiting 2019 trends
By now, you’ve likely seen the forward-thinking approach of smaller, more environmentally sound designs when it comes to commercial or residential buildings. There are even television shows that feature couples or families living in tiny houses and, in some cases, refurbished shipping containers.
This lines up with an eco-friendly movement that picked up steam in 2019. Many Americans are frequently more interested in downsizing, trading in their sprawling houses in the outskirts for smaller, hip buildings that are in chic, walking neighborhoods.
More and more buildings are using recycled materials and waste products to better the environment. This ranges from tree bark serving as siding on a house and wood pallets from shipping companies used for house foundations. Even materials are becoming more complex. This article from Architect Magazine highlighted things like reduced-carbon concrete and carbon-eating plastic as new developments in architecture.
Many of these eco-friendly trends align with degrowth, an economic model based on reducing energy and materials. What does that mean for architecture? Reusing and refurbishing existing structures as opposed to building new ones.
Looking ahead to 2020
When discussing the future of metalwork, we explored 3D metal printing and how it has evolved.
As a refresher, this process shapes, cuts and molds the metal to achieve the design, size and structure set forth by a digitally formatted design.
The process of 3D printing uses layers and generally takes four to 18 hours to complete. You’ll find many 3D objects made with plastic, but metal is also a common material.
A few years ago, experts predicted the global 3D printing market would reach $8.7 billion by 2020. A recent report from Wholers predicted that number to reach $15.8 billion in 2020. Advancements in additive manufacturing technology created these heightened expectations.
Aside from typical uses (robotics and design), 3D printing is starting to show up in new fields and products like cars, buses and medical devices. Hearing aids, and various other custom shapes, use 3D printing as part of the manufacturing process.
Zero energy buildings
We touched earlier on how 2019 included several environmental trends. Well, the same theme is likely to continue for 2020.
During the past few years, the term net energy consumption has become more popular. The concept is simple: constructing and designing buildings to produce net zero energy. In other words, the building produces as much renewable energy as it uses on an annual basis. The point is to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
Zero energy buildings focus on energy efficiency and proper insulation to achieve a carbon-free building. It uses insulated windows and doors, proper sealing in buildings, improved ventilation systems, energy efficient lighting and energy efficient heating and cooling systems.
Passive solar building design is a staple of zero energy buildings. This process uses specific construction and design techniques to collect and reflect solar energy. That could mean passive solar heat gain in the winter or shading during the hot summer months in warmer climates.
To achieve zero net energy, it starts with the proper site selection and knowing how the climate you’re in will affect the energy consumption in that particular building. Architects use energy modeling software to create net zero buildings.
Why is this trend so important? Studies show 40% of greenhouse gases come from carbon emitted by buildings. This pledge from the American Institute of Architects about climate change features a five-step initiative focused on things like preparing architects to strive for a zero-carbon environment, changing building codes and guidelines and partnering with policymakers to address climate change.
California is one of the leading states for zero energy buildings. The state’s strategic plan will require zero net energy for residential construction by 2020 and commercial construction by 2030.
Modern industrial design found its way into 2019, and that trend could continue in 2020. These elements include open floor plans, dramatic lighting, exposed brick, metal finishes and sturdy flooring like concrete or hardwood.
Wood and metal are key components of modern industrial design, which makes for a perfect time to incorporate custom metalwork into your living spaces. We have experience in upgrading kitchens using HVAC grilles or custom grille borders. Additionally, we can produce residential or commercial items such as ornamental trim, railings, handles and pulls and column covers to boost the appearance of your modern industrial design elements.
We can help you start your own custom metalwork project. Contact us at 631.482.9449 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re in need of some inspiration, feel free to take a look at our extensive Grille and Metalwork catalog.