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The New Zealand construction industry had an impressive year in 2017. With housing shortages from one end of the country to the other, there was plenty of opportunity for investors and builders. Sustainability has played a revolutionary role in the construction industry in the past three years. 2017 was a breakthrough year for sustainable building. There was an increase in interest for eco-home designs and Biophilic architecture, both providing a sustainable way of living. 

Some would say that sustainable building is merely a fad. 2017 is proof that it is not a fad and is in fact the future of building. This year is going to be critical in the advancement of sustainability in the building industry. We saw many technological developments last year and expect the implementation of these technologies to be carried out in the next five years. Technologies such as automated homes, use of recycled building materials, fire resistant materials and insulation; are becoming the new norm. Advances in the building industry should not only be limited to technology, but also ideas that enhance our wellbeing. Biophilic Design is one of those ideas that changes the architectural element of building any home. 

Conducting business is all about keeping up with the latest technologies, trends, and opportunities that come by. The same goes for when you are designing or starting to build or renovate a home. Everything must be taken into consideration. The following construction industry trends can help influence you to make the best design decisions while renovating or building your new home. 

Natural Choice:

Natural elements have made a significant contribution to the way we design and build homes and offices. Using elements, such as plants and wood, are known as Biophilic Design. Last year this design was being tested and developed some incredible results. Having nature or symbols of nature indoors helps to improve the wellbeing of those exposed to this design.

This year, wooden finishes are making a come back. Woods that are white grey, and washed finished will make your interior reflect the elements of nature; making you feel as though you are outdoors. To achieve an exotic look, stone floors are a creative and unique way to bring another element to your home. Polished stone is easy care and looks incredible. To get the most out of Biophilic design, indoor plants boast a subtle yet definitive presence that emits a calming emotion. Think about it, often when we are stressed we go outside for a walk. Many of us would prefer to walk in nature where we can empty our mind and loose ourselves in the moment. 

Open Spaces:

There is a common misconception that houses no longer have a room for every occasion. The traditional dining and formal dining rooms are still their but function differently. They function together in an open space where which is maximised. There is a seamless connection between the kitchen, living and dining room. Space is maximised in the design phase, no more wasted space such as rooms that have minimal use.  Future homes will do away with hallways and start to see larger rooms with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. Its important to understand that 100 percent of space should be usable.

Outdoors:

Maximising space is not limited to the indoors. Many homeowners do not utilise the area around their homes. When building or renovating a home it is important to consider the indoor and outdoor flow. Smooth transitions from outside to inside makes your home feel bigger and emphasises Biophilic design. Large sliding doors that open onto a wooden deck surrounded by plants creates a space where wellbeing is enhanced. The smells, sounds and textures spark our natural need for nature. Adding a pool creates a fun environment for the whole family, it can become a resort like experience in your backyard. With added features like water falls also triggers our innate need for a connection with nature. We feel relaxed with the sound of water, a feeling that is good for the family. 

Get Smart:

Investing in quality insulation is critical for any healthy home. Technological advancements have allowed us to insulate our homes to a point where a heat source is hardly needed. This is also part of biophilic design where natural elements, green roofs for example, are used to insulate a home. Energy efficient appliances make a difference for your back pocket and more importantly to our depleting environment and resources. Saving costs is an important part of building or renovating a home. Although it may be more expensive in the short term, it is the long term gains that outweigh any short. 

A house is an investment, you want to do anything possible to make your investment future proof and secure. It is important to build a home that reflects who you are and your personality. Investing in the technologies and design now will pay off in the future.