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As with any industry, residential construction tends to have trends that come and go, often driven by a combination of regulatory changes, homeowner preferences, and even environmental factors.

Let’s dive into some of the key residential construction trends we expect to see in 2024 and beyond, from bringing the outdoors in to the appeal of compact living.

1. A bigger focus on smaller homes

The Australian dream is being reimagined, as smaller homes and compact allotments grow in popularity. The rental market is in crisis and with a vacancy rate hovering around 1%, many people are feeling the urgency to transition from renting.

In response to this, coupled with the current affordability crunch, prospective homeowners are recognising the value in opting for a smaller space without compromising on quality and lifestyle. There will be plenty of smaller designs coming through that are big on style and innovation.

2. Biophilic design: blending nature with living spaces

The benefits of being around nature are well-known, and biophilic design offers a way of harnessing the power of nature in the home. Biophilic design involves integrating natural elements such as wooden features, plant life and natural light within the home.

This design approach will play a crucial role in enhancing smaller homes by incorporating interconnected areas that seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, imparting a sense of spaciousness beyond their actual size.
Plus, when done well biophilic design features can look fantastic.

3. Design response to liveability standards

The introduction of new liveability standards under the National Construction Code (NCC), including requirements like a stepfree theshold, wider passageways and doors, greater clearances around toilets and doors, is poised to transform home designs in 2024 and beyond.

Builders and architects are now challenged to thoughtfully incorporate these features without detracting from the overall space. The most noticable change will be in how builders address the absence of steps leading to the front entrance of houses, particularly when the terrain is steeply graded. Landscaping and facade design will undoubtedly require more deliberate planning to effectively address this, striking a balance between aesthetics and accessibility.

4. Modular construction to streamline building processes

Modular construction has the potential to lead the way for a whole new era of efficiency for the building industry.

By prefabricating components such as steel framing off-site, construction timelines are significantly reduced. This method not only minimises delays caused by factors such as human error and unpredictable weather, but also aligns with the growing demand for rapid development particularly in the case of large residential estates.

5. Embracing energy efficiency: The 7-Star Standard

In 2022, Victoria agreed to increase minimum energy efficiency building standards for new homes from 6 to 7 stars under changes to the National Construction Code 2022. This 7-star energy benchmark commences from May 1, and aims to ensure newly built residences are more comfortable to live in, cost less to heat and cool, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This regulation not only signifies a leap forward in energyefficient design but also brings a range of benefits for homeowners. Lower energy consumption translates to reduced utility bills, providing financial relief in the long term.

Plus, the emphasis on energy efficiency is expected to boost the resale value of homes, making this an attractive investment for future-minded buyers. Expect to see more innovative designs, including passive solar homes, to stand out in a competitive market and meet these new standards.

They’re our top five residential construction trends to keep an eye on throughout the year — all in all, there’s an underpinning movement towards design and construction that is more sustainable, accessible, and efficient. No doubt the future of Australian housing is going to be exciting.