ORLANDO, Fla.–As the nation’s housing meltdown intensifies, architects are reporting a declining demand for recently popular high end features such as towel-warming drawers, double-sink vanities, and whirlpool baths.
A new study released by the American Institute of Architects said that with business conditions weakening, architects are reporting that even affluent clients are switching demands from high-end appliances and wine refrigerators, popular as recently as two years ago, to such energy-saving and ecologically friendly features as radiant heating floors, multi-head showers and water-saving toilets.
One example cited in the study is that, in 2006, clients expressed a strong demand for larger pantry space; this year, that demand has declined significantly.
The growing “green” consciousness is also motivating consumers to demand more renewable materials such as bamboo for flooring and countertops. They also seek fewer and smaller bathrooms, reversing or at least halting a decades-long trend.