Specialty rooms, new systems and technologies are all returning as a high priority among respondents as the housing market continues to improve throughout the country, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2013.

“High demand for systems and technologies in the home that helps to lower utility bills and promote sustainability continue to rule the day in residential design,” says AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But as economic conditions have improved, there has also been a resurgence in the preference for dedicated ‘special function’ rooms within the home.”

When it comes to products, 59 percent of respondents look for low maintenance features, while energy efficiency is a close second at 58 percent. 39 percent look for products made with recycled materials.

Regarding systems and technologies, 63 percent seek wireless technologies and 37 percent seek hurricane-resistant design.

“The market for remodeling and renovations has been pacing the upturn recently, helping to produce the best business conditions for residential architecture firms since before the Great Recession. Positive conditions should continue, since backlogs of future projects are increasing at a healthy rate,” adds Baker.

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