The Importance of a Well-Designed Building
The world around us is evolving at breakneck speed in 2023. From the way we work to the way we interact with one another, the way we consume entertainment to the way we shop, the status quo of today would have seemed unimaginable at the turn of the century.
With that said, contemporary trends in construction and real estate are just as cutting edge. Modern designers must be able to balance myriad issues facing the housing industry today. From eco-friendliness to improved safety, keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the importance of a well-designed building!
Helps Guarantee Eco-Friendliness
Right off the top, design is critical in the creation of energy efficient buildings. And with the United States eyeing a net-zero economy by 2050, this is arguably the most important factor to take into consideration.
From orientation and other sun-leveraging concepts to innovative material selection and sourcing from sustainable suppliers, there are many ways that project design can improve environmental friendliness.
Decreases the Cost of Living
Not only is great building design great for the environment, but it is great for tenant’s wallets as well. Building design can decrease the cost of living through less maintenance, fewer repairs, and lower utility bills.
The Via Sol project in St. Louis Park, Minnesota is a great example of how great building design can create a sustainable cost of living for occupants. Some features include:
- Granite countertops in the bathroom and kitchen to promote durability and ease of maintenance
- EnergyStar stainless steel appliances for lower electricity consumption
- Water sense high efficiency plumbing fixtures to reduce waste water
- LED lighting for more useful lumens and less wasted light
These types of features will stand out in a major way in the face of inflation that is gripping most of the country and to a conservation-minded market.
Increases Productivity of Occupants
Buildings are made to do things in. Whether that be to simply take shelter or deliver a stunning work presentation, buildings should help occupants function at their highest capacity. Window treatments to control natural light flow, acoustic wall panels to prevent unwanted sound transfer throughout the space, and top-notch insulation to keep interior temperatures comfortable are just a few ways that building design can help improve the productivity of occupants.
Creates an Aesthetic Standard to Be Proud Of
With May being mental health month, there has been a lot of news and resources in the media recently about the importance of alleviating stress and smiling more often. To this effect, well-designed buildings can do wonders for improving the mental state of mind of occupants. Whether it is an office building that leaves employees feeling like they can take on the world or an apartment complex that provides that perfect sense of home, there are numerous ways to create stunning aesthetics in building design. A few of the most straightforward include a higher amount of window area to create brighter spaces, innovative exterior wood cladding systems to provide depth and dimension to the building’s facade, and rooftop decks and/or green roofs to give the building a more vibrant sense of life.
Circling back to the Via Sol St. Louis Park project, another important aspect of modern building design is ease of access to the space. Not only does this entail providing accommodations for people with disabilities, but it keeps in mind those using modes of transportation other than a motorcar. Some building access features to look for include:
- Transit lines running directly from the building to downtown or other areas of commerce
- Secure bike storage
- Ample walking paths and bike routes
- Electric vehicle charging stations
As low-density suburban sprawl--and the frequent commuting that comes with it--is one of the greatest contributors to climate change, buildings designed to accommodate alternate modes of transportation are one step ahead of their peers in the quest for a more sustainable future.
Contemporary buildings are under greater scrutiny than ever. Designers, builders, and anyone else involved in the construction process must take extra steps to promote safety and security. A few ways to accomplish this include:
- Installing the latest smoke baffles and fire sprinklers
- Exploring some modern glass stair railing design ideas to keep stairs and elevated walkways safe
- Establishing an infrastructure of safety doors and credentialed access
Spotting potential safety concerns can be a bit of a challenge for the untrained eye. Therefore, it is a great idea to partner with a professional building inspector throughout the design process to ensure that no safety breaches are built into the facility.
Take the Next Steps In Building Design Today
At the end of the day, modern buildings require the forefront of planning and design to ensure that the structures satisfy all challenges, from environmental friendliness to improved safety. For more ideas on how to create mixed-income, transit-oriented, environmentally friendly structures, check out the resources at PLACE for the latest resources in the industry!
Roger Marx is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest trending building and design products. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on backyard projects in his spare time. Roger’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource site.