Covid 19 and Design, New Model and Modifying Floorplans
THE IMPLICATIONS OF COVID 19 ON NEW HOME DESIGN
As the coronavirus spread and lockdown life became the new normal we have all ended up spending a lot more time at home. It’s as if we live our entire lives in rooms where we once spent just a couple of waking hours. While this huge change is bound to have enduring impacts on all of us it serves to remind us how significant our homes are to our day to day lives.
If anything, the new normal has created a renewed appreciation for the potential of our homes’ spaces and the degree to which we value them.
Seeing life through a new lense, we’re sharing how this new reality may reshape home design.
Simpler, Cleaner Homes
Hygiene and cleanliness are now at the forefront of our thoughts more than ever before. Less nooks and crannies, and more ability to clean our surfaces will no doubt be highly important considerations in new home design. There will be an increased demand for heat recovery ventilation and fresh air exchange to make sure that we are breathing only the best air.
This may also prompt more compartmentalization of designated spaces for transitioning from outside to inside. For instance, laundry and mudrooms may turn out to be progressively essential to contain, wash, and sanitize oneself and one’s clothing before fully entering the home. As far as wellbeing and health, we’ll see more enthusiasm for home gyms and reflection/yoga areas, since our exercise may need to happen at home. Sunrooms may turn out to be increasingly mainstream in colder atmospheres, like here in British Columbia and Alberta, to give normal light and vitamin D when we can’t be outside. Gardens and home-developed food production will be more common, as trips to the grocery store may be reduced. Areas like the Okanagan are especially well served.
Increased Emphasis on Energy Performance, Solar, and Sustainable Building Practices
All in all, we’ll have an increasingly educated sense regarding how our homes and the frameworks inside them work. We’ll need to build efficiency and versatility while lessening waste and reliance. Decreasing absolute reliance on the outside world, the vast majority of which may prove unreliable in the evolving economy, will be increasingly significant. Incorporating solar, a good idea under even normal circumstances, is even more so as demand increases on our power grid. The ability to produce your home’s own energy is on more people’s minds now than ever before. The sunshine available in our location of Kelowna and the greater Okanagan region is well suited for solar, but even the Lower Mainland, Vancouver and Vancouver Island have plenty of solar gain.
Getting Back to Distinct Private and Public Areas
When planning a residence, there’s always been the need to create diverse rooms, some smaller and some larger, that serve multiple purposes. We’re now aware that a dining or breakfast room table is now used for homeschooling and a basement or garage is now a gym or rec room. Within our families, spending more time as a group inside our homes means the need for increased flexibility and the benefit of acknowledging the various functions that these rooms now serve. We need to love and enjoy our homes more than ever, which is possible with thoughtful and dynamic planning.
More Windows, More Light, More of the Outside In
One of the main elements to be maintained under these circumstances are our continued priority for access to natural light and fresh air. Well designed homes with well designed window placement will help us remain connected to the outside world even if we’re spending up to 90% of our time indoors. Light, and fresh air through fresh air exchange, aids in all our mental wellbeing and is necessary, especially in circumstances of weather, location or family priorities. High ceilings, open concept rooms, and large, well placed, windows, all help avoid a sense of confinement, even if physically we’re indoors, even the visual connection with the outdoors is beneficial.
Doing More With Less
Investing more energy at home likewise implies finding innovative approaches to utilize existing space. Changing over an attic to usable space or having a finished basement could create an important area for a home office, an activity room, or a play zone for the children. By and large, discovering approaches to make spaces progressively practical, increasingly productive, and progressively flexible will be critical, as will discovering underutilized spaces. As we store more food, toiletries, equipment, and even toys, inventive storage ideas will be expected to help keep our spaces clean and uncluttered.
The Globe and Mail recently reported that dogs and other pets have come into a very high demand as humans long for more connection during Covid. Function and form for pets will become more important than before, potentially prioritizing the mudroom and entry areas to enhance our pets’ lives.
Designing homes in a technical fashion may never be the same, as the ability to meet face to face has become increasingly harder. With that, there will be a greater emphasis on the use of online tools in both the creation and communication of the design process.
Built Prefab has a unique system of design, whereby the team and customers regularly meet via conference call and screenshare to complete the steps of the design process. More information can be found here.
A home’s essential function is to give shelter to its inhabitants, yet we progressively request that it perform an ever increasing number of jobs. While we don’t know without a doubt what’s coming up for the future in home structure, we do realize that the emphasis will be on a wide scope of configuration issues identifying with the points we notice above: protection, network, adaptability, effectiveness, independence, maintainability, wellbeing, and cleanliness. What’s more, we’re certain this rundown will keep on developing as homes become progressively vital to our reality.
MEET THE BREEZE
The Built Prefab design team, Built Labs, has been working on some new enhanced designs with larger windows and more aggressive design elements throughout.
With that we are happy to introduce a version 1.0 of the Breeze, a 2240 sf, 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath Home.
The home features floor to ceiling windows and enhanced facades. See below for renderings and floorplans with more information to follow in the near future.
If you’d like to learn more about the Breeze, please get in touch.
MODIFYING AN EXISTING FLOORPLAN
The Built Prefab Build and Price tool was created to allow our customers to spend time with our product and to understand the kinds of features and options available to them when purchasing a Built Prefab modular home.
While we believe that standardized design elements lead to consistency of build and happy customers, we also understand that one size does not fit all. That’s why our design process allows for our customers to modify our flooplans to meet their needs, zoning and bylaw requirements and the lot for which the home will be built, among other things.
For example here is a standard version of our Forest model, a 1442 sf home with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.
During a recent design project, we took the Forest, and added 2’ of width to each module and added significantly to the window and door package in the home. The results are below, which adds 206 sf to the plan making the unit 1648 sf and adds a garage to the design.
Similar changes can be made to any one of the existing floorplans.
Of course with these modifications comes added cost to the project, so many of these changes may be budget-dependent.
If you would like to learn more about options or to discuss your project, get in touch with us at email@example.com or head back to our site at builtprefab.com where you can learn more about us, our product, and our process. Built Prefab is a licenced general contractor that designs and manufactures premium prefab modular homes in Kelowna, British Columbia and ships them across Western Canada.