As populations around the world increase exponentially and our impact on the environment becomes a growing concern, the way we live is changing. As a result, new homes are being created using innovative technology and with an increased focus on developing communities rather than stand-alone houses.
Perth-based Fastbrick Robotics achieved a world-first by constructing a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in less than 3 days using a robotic arm called Hadrian X. As other companies like Apis Cor in the US and Japan’s Komatsu adopt similar technology, the homes of the future could be constructed more efficiently, at a lower cost and with fewer carbon emissions than they are now.
If the Passivhaus movement takes over, most households won’t require heating or cooling. And with new developments being built with solar energy and recyclable water mechanisms, as well as communal vegetable gardens and composting deposits, the homes of the future could be (almost) self-sustainable. Concrete is also making a comeback because the material is both a great thermal insulator and can reduce household heating and cooling operations by 90 per cent.
Electric vehicles became a major talking point during this year’s election campaign, as both parties made commitments to boost usage. The Opposition set a target of making 50 per cent of all new cars sold in Australia electric by 2030. The Coalition argued these numbers were unrealistic and would more likely sit between 25 and 50 per cent. Either way, electric vehicles will hopefully take over the world and thus dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
This will result in more developments being built with on-site EV charging stations and, in some cases, you will be able to use solar energy to do so — reducing the cost of running an EV while simultaneously reducing your impact on the environment.
While it will probably still take decades to make the transition to eradicating traditional vehicle use, new house and land communities are being created on the ‘20-minute neighbourhood’ principal. This means everything from schools and medical services to cafés, retail outlets and supermarkets are within walking (or cycling) distance of your front door, so there are fewer chances residents will need to use cars for the daily essentials.