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Modern Design: The Importance of Sustainability and Inclusion

People are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental footprint and there is a growing expectation for the property industry to embrace sustainability, as well as quality design and functionality, in their projects.

Sustainability for a better world

People are now more aware of what they eat, what they drink and what they wear.

In the same way, homebuyers are more educated and demand great materials — from the stone that is used in the kitchen island to the tiles, from the powder coating to the carpet, from the tapware to the wallpaper.

In the past, there was no attention at all to these details whereas lately, homebuyers understand the impact of materials not only on the environment but also on their health.

It is essential to have sustainable materials that are not toxic and will benefit the planet.

By integrating solar power, rainwater collection, improved insulation, recycling facilities and biophilic design (the integration of robust plant life into a building), you can set the standards for innovative, sustainable design in your property development. There’s also a myriad of ways to improve sustainability inside the residences through renewable and ethically sourced materials.

Here are some companies that deliver outstanding products while being renewable and ethical:

Nagoya Mosaic-Tile Co is made in Japan and supplies an unrivalled range of artisan ceramic mosaic and tiles manufactured with traditional Japanese craftsmanship and expertise

Zero-VOC is a water-based paint that does not include volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are found in regular paints and are harmful to humans, pets and the broader environment.

Bolon makes fantastic sustainable vinyl floors and rugs that not only respect nature but are also easy to maintain and clean.

It is important to invest in materials and paints that are safe to use around asthma sufferers, pregnant women, children, pets and last but not least — you.

Adaptability for inclusion

The limitations in designed environments became a hot topic after the Second World War, when we saw many injured veterans return home.

I love the growing attention that designers are devoting to creating more inclusive and accessible environments. Recently I read this article on Achitizer that provides some inspiring insights on how spaces can be made accessible for differently-abled people. Here are the most important areas to focus on that were highlighted in the article:

– Providing both left and right-handed access

– Provision for people moving at a different pace

– Inclusive space navigation for individuals with different literacy and language skills, by adding tactile, graphic and audible forms into the space.

 

The article also shared real-life examples of public areas that have been designed to be more inclusive, such as the Enabling Village in Singapore, which is a community space with retail, leisure and training services for people with special needs. Or the Friendship Park in Montevideo, Uruguay for children.

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