How Has Covid Changed The Way New Developments Will Be Designed?
COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, shop, socialise and interact with the world around us. But what does all this mean for the future of home design? How might property developers look to modify their floorplans and developments to better suit the changing needs of buyers?
Here is a look at some of the trends the McGrath Projects team have been working closely on with developers to implement in their floorplans, especially since the onset of COVID-19.
Flexible interior layout
The work from home trend is most likely here to stay. While there is an expectation and a desire to return to the office to connect with our work colleagues, there is also an appreciation for the work life benefits working from home can offer.
As a result, McGrath Projects are seeing an increasing demand for flexible interiors and space-related features. Buyers are increasingly looking for spaces that can change as their needs change. Spaces that give them flexibility to have open plan living, but also the option to close off areas for meetings, work and privacy.
While we don’t expect to see the total square meterage of a property change, we are seeing architects and developers making the space work harder to balance living, working and relaxing.
They are incorporating a range of enhancements to create multiple functions and zones from a single floor plan. Some examples of changes to the floor plan we are seeing include:
- Sliding doors
- Moving walls
- Multipurpose rooms
- Efficient use of storage space
- Acoustic separation
- Fold-out, wall mounted, or retractable ceiling-suspended beds
- Multifunctional foldable wall-mounted shelf tables
Even smaller one-bedroom apartments are set to be reimagined by minimising any wasted space, in turn maximising liveable versatility, with increased natural light and outdoor space.
Sanitised transition zones
A popular trend across many parts of the world is to have a transition zone at the entrance of a property, where shoes can be stored, coats hung, hands sanitised, and surfaces can be cleaned easily.
In addition, a desire to reduce contact with surfaces in the public spaces of a building has led to some developers starting to incorporate contactless elevator buttons, door handles and sensor taps or toilet switches in shared bathrooms in large households.
We may see this trend appear in floor and building plans moving forward.
Contactless and secure drop off
Due to lockdowns and people’s need and desire to stay COVID-Safe, we have seen a phenomenal rise in online shopping and food order deliveries.
According to Australia Post, online purchases grew 57% year on year during COVID, with an additional 1 million households shopping online each month compared to 2019.
Similarly, meal delivery services such as Uber Eats and Menulog, supercharged by a nationwide lockdown, experienced rapid growth during 2020 with a 19% increase in orders year on year.
What this means is there is growing demand for contactless and purpose-built secure package delivery and storage rooms in apartment buildings.
Many existing apartment developments are having to retro fit these options into their buildings which is proving a challenge, but for new developments we expect to see contactless and secure delivery as a standard feature. We also expect to see demand growing for 24-hour concierge services in higher end, premier developments.
Increasing demand for pet friendly developments
As we all know Aussies love their pets, but according to a new study by Pawshake , over the COVID period, pets have become a source of strength for many of us. In fact, 69% said pets helped them deal with loneliness and 56% said it helped them maintain a healthy routine.
So, what does this mean for new property developments?
According to McGrath Projects, we are seeing many would-be buyers making a decision on whether to purchase a property off the plan based on whether it will allow pets and if so, are there restrictions around the type of animal and its size?
From a developer’s perspective we expect to see more pet friendly properties being marketed with flexibility and consideration given to a range of animal breeds and sizes.
A Final Word
COVID-19 has unequivocally changed the way we want to live. As a result, many architects and developers are modifying home designs, and our broader living environments, to better meet demand and to keep us safe. We expect to see our housing needs evolve and change over the next few years as we redefine how we want to live in a post COVID-19 world.
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