Sustainability Trends for 2020 Homes


One of the biggest home trends for 2020 is a move towards greater sustainability, as a direct response to the growing concern over climate change. Sustainability and the use of green technology considers how we can make our buildings more energy-efficient, lowering the carbon footprint and environmental impact.

It seems that people don't only care about the size of their master bedroom or the color of their bathroom suite, they also increasingly care about where building materials come from and their impact on the environment.

In 2020, we should see a move away from outdated construction methods that have proven detrimental to both the environment and human health - HVAC issues and asbestos containing buildings are a case in point. As eco friendlier options continue to push housing development and construction businesses in a sustainable direction, top natural building design trends include

  • the use of responsible sourced, biodegradable materials
  • green and/or recycled insulation materials
  • self-powered buildings and selling excess energy production back to the grid
  • smart homes and domestic appliances to help control energy usage

More natural light

Sustainability Trends for 2020 Homes

Vitra House by Herzog & de Meuron

The most desirable homes in 2020 are predicted to be light, airy and fresh. Homeowners are catching on to what scientific studies have long been saying in terms of the mental and physical health benefits of natural light. Daylight boosts the levels of vitamin D in the body and stimulates the release of serotonin, also known as the 'feel good' hormone.

Then there's the aesthetic aspects of large windows that maximise the sunlight flooding in, particularly through south and west facing aspects, while also offering extensive views from the property to the outside. 

Finally, natural daylight coupled with energy-efficient windows creates the perfect opportunity to cut down on electricity usage. While natural lighting reduces the need for artificial lighting inside the home, energy-efficient windows can help leakage (of cold air coming in and warm air going out), reducing heating bills.

Sustainably sourced materials

Sustainability Trends for 2020 Homes

Sustainable building design, both inside and out, means greater use of recycled and vintage materials. While secondhand items reduce the environmental impact of a building, they also add a natural and individual look. "We're noticing a huge shift towards vintage furniture, upcycling, re-upholstering and curating a truly unique interior in the home by utilising found items already in existence," according to Pfeiffer Design.

Builders can use reclaimed wood from salvage yards, particularly for hardwood flooring, or look for building timber with FSC certification. Environmentally responsible building materials include bamboo, cork and recycled metal, as well as sheep's wool as a natural alternative insulation material.

Of course, location also has a big impact on the building's carbon footprint, so locally sourced materials are preferable to those shipped in from across the world.

Smart technologies

Sustainability Trends for 2020 Homes

Smart homes are here to stay. Advanced domestic technology is no longer a feature of futuristic luxury apartments, but is now much more widely available. The Internet of Things has seen to it that we are already perfectly used to connecting everyday devices in our homes to make our lives more comfortable, economical, entertaining and safe.

Research has shown that the global smart home device market is set to grow to $174 million by 2025, predicting a vast growth rate that is set to further revolutionise our homes. What's more, we are going to be seeing a push towards standardisation across different platforms to make sure that devices from Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung etc. work in all set-up situations and with the minimum of security vulnerabilities.

Renewable heating

Sustainability Trends for 2020 Homes

While renewable heating solutions currently produce more than 20% of the UK’s electricity, this should increase to 30% to meet EU targets. Across the country, renewable energy solutions – onshore and offshore wind farms, biomass power stations, hydropower system – will play an important role in reducing carbon emissions further. 

Low carbon heating will replace gas in UK homes, in particular new homes, which should lead to a reduction of the 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gases currently emitted by domestic properties that use gas boilers as their main source of heating.

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Comments (1)

Native, Architect • May 21

Hey this is a great article and very informative. We at Nativekeeps recently wrote " 11 sustainability trends that will shape coming years". Kindly have a read. We at nativekeeps write on sustainable solutions eco friendly lifestyle and conscious living. Here is the link. Do let us know the feedback as we are very new and need voices.