Move over Millennials, Generation Z represents the new kids in town, and they are more environmentally conscious than you! This new demographic is also forcing builders and developers to rethink designing for the future and adapt to create more thoughtful spaces that include sustainable, affordable materials. Gen Z is defined as people born between 1996 and 2010 and have become the largest generation to ever live, at somewhere between 60 million* to 90.55 million**.
Designers are learning more about the psychographics of this new demographic to ensure their visions are in-line with the Gen Z belief system and way of thinking. Design for residential and commercial projects must take their goals, aspirations and values into consideration.
Generation Z is now entering the rental market, but research shows that they are eager to buy their own homes. Unlike Millennials, Gen Z is willing to move to suburban areas in order to afford homeownership. Growing up with technology as part of everyday living, telecommuting is also becoming more of a norm – reducing the concerns regarding commuting to and from their place of work.
While energy efficient construction practices and green building isn’t new, Generation Z views eco-friendly features as must haves. A few of these features include:
- Inclusion of energy efficient appliances
- Foam insulation and geothermal heating
- Solar panels and/or exterior lighting
- Drought resistant and low maintenance landscaping
It is not as much about saving money, it is more reducing environmental impact and being a good steward of our natural resources.
Technology as a way of life
Smart home and building features that were once considered luxury are also now becoming more and more standard. Designing for the future means designing for buyers that are accustomed to managing everything from a device and to having information accessible 24/7. Features like smart thermostats and security systems allow residents to manage their homes from anywhere at any time. In addition to making things easy, it also creates an environment that operates more efficiently and allows the homeowner to customize to their own liking and lifestyle needs.
Design features that matter
Open spaces for entertainment and outdoor living are more important than design features such as hardwood flooring. They are seeking common areas that offer flexibility for gathering with family and friends, as well as allocating space for working from home. With the likes of Post Mates, Door Dash and Uber Eats, Generation Z tends to order in more than cook, making the need for a large kitchen with double ovens and other bells and whistles, less important than a good working microwave. To relax and unwind, a private bedroom suite is highly desired as a place to retreat.
Home and work overlap
Designing for the future requires blurred lines between commercial and residential spaces. Just as homes must have designated areas for a home office, office spaces require communal areas for co-workers to connect. Employee lounges and cafes with wireless workstations and open office plans encourage collaboration and connection.
Whether it is a design for home or work, real estate developers and builders, need to better understand Generation Z. They represent 40 percent of the population and as they enter the workforce and begin renting and buying their own homes, that converts into a significant market impact. Specific design trends will come and go, but we can expect the lifestyle preferences, habits and views of Gen Z will drive changes in the real estate industry for years to come.
Landmark Title specializes in both residential and commercial title and escrow services. Visit ltaz.com to learn more.
*Per data researcher VisionCritical
* Per Statista