RIBA heralds Housing Design Trends for 2016


Thinking of building a big house extension or your own home in 2016? You aren’t alone! The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Thursday 17 December) published new research forecasting the main trends in UK housing design for the year ahead.

Over the course of 2015, RIBA Chartered Architects have reported the design trends in greatest demand:

  • Sustainable and energy conservation measures – demand for sustainable materials, advanced insulation products, water conservation and recycling features
  • Larger extensions and bigger new build bespoke houses
  • Adaptable designs – increased demand for homes that can make living easier for ageing occupants and live-in relatives
  • Family social hubs – multi-functional open-plan spaces are still highly desirable

An increase in land availability and the relaxation of planning restrictions have led to an increase of one-off single houses and housing extensions. 55% of our

Architects reported that bespoke homes and housing extensions are getting bigger in size.

As the ageing population increases, more of us are planning ahead for later in life by seeking designs solutions to facilitate easier living. Adaptations to make independent living simpler, or adjusting a family home layout for the addition of an older family member are the two main drivers in this growing market.

The popularity of generous multi-functional living spaces – combining cooking, dining and living space shows no sign of diminishing – when these spaces are combined with direct access to gardens and outside space, they are even more popular with 66% of our Architects reporting a demand.

Sustainability and energy conservation are no longer niche concerns but factor prominently in the design decisions of many clients. 70% of our Architects expect to see an increase in specifying advanced insulation products and 66% expect to see a rise in the use of solar/PV panels.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“The appetite for building or improving your own home for your family and future shows no sign of abating, with architects experiencing increased demand from creative and ambitious homeowners. This new RIBA report gives a glimpse of what to expect in housing design for 2016 and beyond. It shows the insight, value for money and peace of mind that an architect can bring to any housing project.”

Find your own architect in 2016

Choosing an accredited RIBA Chartered Practice will give you peace of mind. They comply with strict criteria covering insurance, health and safety and quality management systems.

Use the RIBA’s free ‘Find an Architect’ directory at and search for an RIBA Chartered Practice that is right for you. You can create your own shortlist from over 3,000 practices and 40,000 projects.

Architects are highly skilled, and professionally trained to turn your aspirations into reality.


Notes to editors

1. For further press information contact Howard Crosskey 

2. To download the full report click here: 

3. To ‘Find An Architect’ visit 

4. Alternatively, RIBA can create a tailored shortlist of practices with the appropriate skills and experience on your behalf. The service is confidential and provided free of charge. Contact us on 020 7307 3700 or email

Posted on Thursday 17th December 2015

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