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Homeowners Seek Flexibility to Accommodate Multiple Generations

Monday, October 20, 2014  

Homeowners Seek Flexibility to Accommodate Multiple Generations
Sustained Upturn in Residential Billings Renews Demand for Special Function Rooms 


Des Moines, IA – October 17, 2014 – As the housing recovery continues, homeowners seek design solutions that will allow them to age in their homes. Additionally, home automation features, as well as products that promote sustainability are also showing up with increasing frequency in both new and remodeled homes.  These are some of the key findings from the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey covering activity during the second quarter of 2014 that focused on emerging home features: systems, technologies and function rooms in the home.

Special function rooms, which often disappeared from homes during the downturn in an effort to manage housing costs, are now reappearing.  Likewise, special home features are now increasingly returning to home designs. Smart home features, as well as products that promote sustainability, are also showing up with increasing frequency in both new and remodeled homes. Separate living spaces are also increasing in popularity.
 “More households are finding themselves in the position of caring for aging relatives. These homeowners want to allow their relatives independence and accessibility, making separate living suites a popular option,” said Jessica Reinert, Hon. AIA Iowa, CAE, IOM, Executive Director of AIA Iowa.

Housing market business conditions:

AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q2 2014 (any score above 50 is positive)
Billings: 64
Inquiries for new projects: 66

Reinert noted, “The billings score has been above 60 for six quarters in a row and residential architecture firms now have an average backlog of more than five months. This is the highest level since mid 2007 near the peak of the last national housing market upturn. Residential architects are finding the majoring of their work in the custom home design sectors.”

About the AIA Home Design Trends Survey
The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of over 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.  Residential architects are design leaders in shaping how homes function, look, and integrate into communities and this survey helps to identify emerging trends in the housing marketplace.  Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis.  Future surveys will focus on community design trends (December 2014), and kitchen and bath trends (April 2015).

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being.  Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


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For interviews please contact Jessica Reinert at AIA Iowa, (515) 244-7502, or e-mail her at



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