How to address changing U.S. housing trends is the subject of a new exhibition entitled “Housing for a Changing America” now on display at the the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. For those who may not have heard of this museum, it was created by Congress in 1980 and is dedicated to “architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning.” A rather unique niche.
The website of this private, non-profit museum includes many details regarding the “Housing for a Changing America” exhibit which just opened and runs from November 18, 2017 through September 16, 2018. The rationale for the new exhibit and its importance of changing U.S. housing trends to our future was described as follows:
“The post-World War II suburbanization of America was driven by the housing needs of nuclear families, the nation’s leading demographic. (The nuclear family is defined as a married couple living with one or more children). In 1950, these families represented 43% of our households; in 1970, it was 40%. Since then, unprecedented shifts in demographics and lifestyle have redefined who we are—and how we want to live.
- Today, nuclear families account for only 20% of America’s households, while nearly 30% are single adults living alone, a growing phenomenon across all ages and incomes. Supply, however, has been slow to meet the demands of this burgeoning market—or to respond to the needs of our increasingly varied mix of living arrangements: from roommates to single-parent, extended, and fluid families. Innovation has been constrained, often by deeply-rooted zoning regulations.
- A groundswell of action by housing entrepreneurs, however, is beginning to expand our options—making room for new models and design solutions. Looking beyond typical choices and layouts, they are offering alternatives at all levels of the market, from micro-units, tiny houses, and accessory apartments to cohousing, co-living, and beyond.
- Making Room: Housing for a Changing America explores these cutting-edge typologies through case studies and the presentation of The Open House—a flexible, 1,000-square-foot home designed for the exhibition by architect Pierluigi Colombo. The Open House features a hyper-efficient layout, movable walls, and multifunctional furniture, allowing the space to meet the needs of a variety of today’s growing but underserved households – retired couples, extended families, and roommates.”
The November/ December 2017 issue of Dwell magazine highlights the National Building Museum “Housing for a Changing America” exhibition. Magazine contributor David Friedlander references these same changing U.S. housing trends and maintains that “despite these demographic shifts, housing development seems frozen in time. Last year there were more than twice as many new single-family homes built as multi-family units.”
This is clearly not the direction we need to go. Friedlander is but one voice encouraging a new vision – not only a new vision in response to these current U.S. housing trends but in understanding how and why we need to make the buildings in which we live, work and study more energy-efficient. Whether we are talking existing buildings or new construction, energy efficiency is critically important.
Today’s building industry does appear to be slowly evolving towards minimizing the energy, carbon, and environmental footprint of commercial and residential buildings. Not necessarily of their own accord. As so often in human history, this shift is being driven by a need to optimize and conserve limited resources — specifically, clean air, water, and energy as well as land. And, once again, transformative technologies hold the key to meeting these challenges. As designers, developers, and owners search for ways to minimize the operating costs and environmental impacts of buildings, while also increasing their functionality and appeal to occupants, “green” trends are becoming observable in the marketplace. That’s where solar comes in.
Because solar energy generates no greenhouse gas or any other chemical by-products like the burning of fossil fuel, this alternative form of energy has never been more critical to our future. Solar energy doesn’t require the mining of raw materials like oil or coal, materials which have to be extracted, refined and then transported to a power plant. The impact on our environment – whether the strip mine or the smelter – is considerable.
These are many sound reasons to invest in solar energy for your home or business. But the fact that it is a clean energy source seems most critical to note. Learn more by contacting one of our solar experts at Venture Home Solar. Call us today at 800-203-4158 to find out how you can help the planet and save money at the same time by investing in solar energy! We know the “ins and outs” of our state policies here in New York, including the tax incentives and rebates that can make a solar installation on your home or business even more cost effective. We’re the local experts who stand ready to help you evaluate the feasibility of going solar with your home or business. Call Venture Home Solar today (800-203-4158) to get started! Help contribute to changing U.S. housing trends that will make a critical difference!