Elements that add value to a property should never be overlooked, and in a smart industry, these elements are best capitalized on. In terms of adding value to a home as a developer or designer, a massive modern trend includes anything that offers greener living.
While green building at its most fundamental and idealistic root is about environmentalism, preserving resources and stopping or reversing the effects of climate change, from an economic perspective the correlation between green developments and economic growth due to perceived added value is also garnering attention.
The public’s demand for a greener lifestyle is delivered through a number of different means, but perhaps one of the fastest growing trends in Canada is that of outdoor living.
Interior designers are increasingly faced with the challenge of taking interiors outside and having to create outdoor spaces for the modern client. Not only does this type of architecture create the kind of in-demand outdoor living, it also reduces reliance on interior pressures and energy use, reconnects the public to the outdoors and often encourages off-grid recreation.
The United States has seen an equally strong increase in this type of outdoor living, with the specialist industry now at $6.2 billion according to the US Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association.
Green outdoor living is easy to achieve through features such as natural stones and timber, which are simple and affordable.
According to Matt Cantwell, managing director of Sydney, Australia’s Secret Gardens, the development of these outdoor spaces adds long-term value to a space due to the common use of materials known for their longevity and simple upkeep.
When done properly, the best thing about these spaces is that they are completely off-grid. Things like lighting and climate control are all performed naturally. The problem lies in the fact that they are not always done with such considerations in mind.
While creating outdoor spaces can promote green urban living, it can also go too far in the opposite direction, as is often the case in the US. Hedonistic sustainability is replaced with an excessive ‘leisure lifestyle’, where the indoors are taken too far outdoors. Natural lighting and climate control are sometimes overwhelmed by spaces that do not use the abundant natural elements to their full potential, instead replacing them with resource-heavy cooking spaces, lighting and climate control.
Outdoor living should be designed in such a way that a differentiation from interior spaces is created. When this is executed correctly, a healthier, greener lifestyle can be achieved by owners, with developers benefiting financially from the value that this adds to a property.