Articles + Awards ─── August 01, 2023
Architect Insider: Three Trends in Architecture in 2023
Architectural design is all around us and, just like the clothes on your back or the automotive technology you find on the road, architecture changes with the trends. We sat down with Berry's associate partner and Kelowna studio manager, Carlos Gamez Ruiz, to get an insider look at some of the big trends we’re seeing in the architecture industry right now.
1. Environmental solutions in B.C.
Carlos has found that B.C. is more open to architecture and environmental design solutions in building practices. Take, for example, the Energy Step Code. “Something that’s in vogue right now in B.C. is step code,” he explained. The step code, as of May 2023, calls for 20% better energy efficiency for most new buildings in B.C. “B.C. is always going above and beyond building requirements.”
To help meet these environmental standards, Berry Architecture looks at things like better efficiency in windows and doors, avoiding air leakage, improved mechanical systems, thermal bridging and more. If a client is seeking LEED or Passive House certifications, that’s doable, but either way, Berry is ready to apply the efficiency concepts and guidelines to any project, resulting in a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly building.
2. The AI factor
AI is touching almost every industry in the world right now, and that includes architecture and interior design. While AI may seem trendy, there’s so much more to a satisfying project for the client than the push of a button can manage. “At the end of the day it comes down to a personal interaction, you need someone who understands and guides you and gives the proper direction in the process.”
In an AI-driven world, the value of interpersonal communication—a dialogue where one person understands the other’s needs and is able to share ideas and collaborate—is more important than ever.
3. Small community needs
Carlos has found that smaller communities are diving into more niche sustainability products, for example, Passive House buildings. “In small communities, the cost per square foot is not as high, so they have the opportunity to build those types of projects.” In a bigger region like Kelowna, the price tag can be much higher so the building decision needs to make financial sense.
For a market that’s growing quickly, like Kelowna, the city’s planning is in flux. “The design guidelines are being established,” he said. It’s something Carlos is excited to see unfold and help shape the future of.
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