The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) marks a monumental moment in the national fight against climate change and its unsavory effects on human health and wellbeing. Within the $430 billion climate bill are provisions that aim to make the purchase of clean technology more affordable, provide incentives for investments in energy monitoring and electric vehicles (EVs) and ultimately steer residential design towards a more environmentally friendly future.
A lot of it puts the power to do so in the hands of the consumer, allowing them to reduce their carbon footprint while offsetting the associated costs. As a result, the bill will have its own knock-on effect, taking many of the trends that were already gaining significant traction within the industry, especially with regards to home improvement projects and renovations.
Smart Home Improvement Projects Expected to Grow
With this new legislation, we will see a spike in the already rising popularity of smart, sustainable homes as consumers invest in smart home tech to monitor their energy use and set goals to reduce and save on utility bills. As demand for clean technology in homes becomes more prevalent and as connected living becomes a more affordable undertaking for homeowners, many industries will see a direct impact on their work.
This will lead to professionals in the residential design field interacting more and more with smart home technology in their projects. On a separate level, this will result in them having to identify new ways to integrate these technologies into their designs.
Interest rates are on the rise, too, and with it becoming more likely people will be staying in their current home for a longer period, they are likely to invest in newer technology. As a result, the need to be able to incorporate newer technology into existing infrastructure is expected to rise over building new homes with smart technology already included.
Tech and Design Will Meet Far More Frequently on Projects
Once defined by a video doorbell or an Alexa speaker, the smart home of yesteryear is simple compared to what’s available today. These smart, sustainable domiciles being driven by the Inflation Reduction Act are so much more, with fully connected energy management ecosystems aimed at driving efficiency. At their core, the smart electric panel is what drives the environment, enabling components to communicate with one another, as well as the homeowner to drive a more efficient, sustainable home.
As a result, the work of residential design professionals has transformed to meet the needs of these connected ecosystems. Homeowners and homebuilders are already beginning to include smart, sustainable technologies as a standard, and with the Inflation Reduction Act, the growing demand for greener home automation will bring architects and designers together.
How It May Change the Design Process
At the planning stage, design professionals will need to incorporate smart wiring, dedicated spaces for smart panel systems, and sensor placements to facilitate remote control of appliances. Designs should reflect an integration of house activities and spaces with technology, embedding smart devices and household items into a home’s infrastructure in a way that’s unobtrusive and maintains a clean, sleek aesthetic.
Designers should also be prepared for an influx of retrofit requests that require them to develop innovative ways to update old structures with new technology. With less intrusive solutions, such as wireless technologies and smart outlets that raise the bar on aesthetics, ease of installation, and connectivity, designers can utilize these solutions without putting function over style.
What Else Does the Future Hold?
The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic step toward a greener future. Its massive energy-related funding aimed at high-tech solutions incentivizes sustainable practices and acknowledges the fight against climate change. By making clean technology more affordable, homeowners will be able to prioritize residential energy efficiency, while the work of designers will increasingly center around partnering with architects and homeowners to deliver well-planned, quality designs that integrate smart, sustainable home innovations.
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site KBB Online on September 2, 2022. It has since been updated for DesignWell. Want to hear more about what experts are saying about the new climate bill? See how building health advocates and commercial manufacturers are weighing in on some of the bill’s prospects.
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site KBB Online on September 2, 2022. It has since been updated for DesignWell.
Want to hear more about what experts are saying about the new climate bill? See how building health advocates and commercial manufacturers are weighing in on some of the bill’s prospects.