Thoroughly modern living
PUBLISHED: 13:01 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 13:01 14 April 2015
New homes are a barometer of evolving public tastes and expectations, says Alex Leader, head of residential development sales for Savills Ipswich. He looks at how developers have responded to the challenges
In 2007 colleagues of mine travelled to Freiburg in Germany on a fact finding mission to see how renewable technology was being incorporated into the built environment.
New energy efficiency rules were on the way for the British new homes industry and it was important to learn from experiences elsewhere. Back in the day it all seemed remarkable – solar PV panels on rooftops? Would that really catch on here?
It has, of course, and eco-friendly features are part and parcel of numerous new developments. Energy efficiency has become key, and developers often include details such as A-rated appliances, triple glazing, high performance insulation, and air and ground source heat pumps as part of the delivery package.
One such home that includes all these features is Woodlands in Ipswich, a magnificent individual five-bedroom A-rated home inspired by efficient Swedish design. On the market through Savills with a guide price of £899,995, it combines a sleek, modern exterior and an impressive internal specification with an abundance of intelligent technology. It speaks quality, luxury and functionality.
In many cases buying a new home is a passport to the latest technological advances. While this could be considered a ground breaking change, new homes schemes display many more subtle signs of how our daily expectations have moved on in a relatively short space of time.
As recently as the 90s, the product delivered by national housebuilders was fairly basic by today’s standards. That is what the market expected and accepted. New homeowners would move into a house with bare floors and space for a dish-washer. If you wanted coving, you were likely to have to pay extra.
These days not only are carpets the norm, but you will probably get a choice
of flooring – often with heating underneath, as well as integrated kitchen appliances. While once you might have been lucky to get a shower as well as a bath, and perhaps one en suite for a four or five bedroom house, today three en suites are by no means uncommon.
New home building has adapted and responded to our changing lifestyles – we’re seeing increasing use of smart home technology to control heating, lighting and entertainment systems, as well as the provision of energy consumption monitors.
And of course, there’s that other great indicator of changing tastes – the colour of bathroom suites. White is unquestionably the norm now, but many of us remember the days when avocado was hot. Who knows what may be next . . .
For further information on Woodlands contact Savills Ipswich on 01473 234839