4 Architecture Design Trends in 2024

Architecture design trends are set early in the year, but at Seth A. Leeb Architecture, we feel there are four major ones that are worth highlighting again. Sustainability was, after all, prioritized during the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2024 Conference on Architecture and Design held in June.

Led by Seth A. Leeb, AIANJ, a multi-award-winning NJ architect, our team is always up to date with the latest trends influencing architecture, our local community, and clients both new and old. We explore carbon-neutral architecture, biophilic design, smart building technologies, and multi-functional spaces in this article. 

Advancing Towards Carbon Neutral Architecture 

The AIA states that buildings contribute nearly 40% of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and set a goal of net-zero emissions in the building sector by 2040. To reach this target, architects incorporate energy-efficient technologies and eco-friendly materials into their designs and embrace green building practices. Energy efficiency is at the core of sustainable architecture and vital to achieving carbon neutrality. This concept can be achieved through building orientation, using natural ventilation, geothermal heating, and solar panels – to name a few. 

Recycled materials used in building designs include reclaimed wood, recycled steel and plastic, while sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork are utilized in new ways. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) New Jersey chapter mentions that as of May 2023, there are 816 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified commercial projects in the state and 906 residential projects.  

The Essence of Biophilic Design Principles – Harmonizing Nature with Modern Spaces   

Biophilic design uses natural elements, materials, and building shapes to bring people closer to nature. We have an inherent longing to connect with nature – the connection keeps us healthy and productive. Six basic biophilic design principles harmonize nature with modern spaces through its intentional use.

  • Environmental features
  • Natural shapes and forms 
  • Natural patterns and processes
  • Light and space
  • Place-based relationships
  • Evolved human-nature relationships.

Examples of these principles include living walls, water features, arched doorways, and daylight flowing into a building through features mimicking a forest. Architects also use local materials and indigenous building techniques to create a sense of belonging. 

Breakthroughs in Smart Building Technologies for Sustainable Living  

The evolution of technology allows architects to create intuitive homes and buildings that adapt to environmental conditions, energy demands, and user preferences in real-time. Smart technologies such as sensors, automation systems, and data analytics are used to improve energy efficiency, contributing to sustainable living while enhancing comfort. 

Smart building technologies in commercial buildings activate the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) only in areas used by employees, resulting in extensive energy and cost-savings. Homeowners can preset their intelligent thermostats to activate the underfloor heating or air conditioning at a specific time for a more personalized experience. 

Innovating Multi-Functional Spaces in Northern NJ  

Architects are required to be more innovative to futureproof the buildings they design. Sustainable buildings are adaptable to market changes and designed to be multi-functional rather than created for a single purpose, thus increasing the building’s lifespan. An example is collaborative workspaces replacing static conference rooms as modern business environments require colleagues to engage in multiple ways.

Historical homes are a particular specialty of Seth A. Leeb, and we have worked on several home additions and renovations in New Jersey. Our expertise enables clients to add functional spaces such as a home office, while preserving the architectural features and charm of their period-based home.  With more than 25 years experience, Seth A. Leeb Architecture is committed to sustainable practices and looks forward to incorporating eco-friendly architecture design trends into your home or commercial building in NJ. Contact us today or visit our website at: https://leeb-architecture.com/

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