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American Institute of Architects: E-Star Appliances Trending Up
Sep 25, 2013
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The housing market rebound in the United States has brought the return of specialty rooms, new systems, and new technologies as high priorities among homeowners, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2013.

The survey found particularly strong interest in energy-efficiency products and products that reduce maintenance.

"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," said 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."

For the first time, the AIA Home Design Trends Survey asked about the popularity of Energy Star-rated appliances, and gave the trend an index rating of 53. (The index takes the percentage of respondents that report the sector is improving, minus the percentage that report the sector is weakening.) Other popularity-rated characteristics:
* Low Maintenance: 66 in 2Q 2013, from 59 in 2Q 2012
* Energy Efficient: 63 in 2Q 2013, from 58 in 2Q 2012
* Smart Thermostats: 61 in 2Q 2013 (this technology was not asked about in 2012)
* Energy Star-Rated Appliances: 53 in 2Q 2013 (this technology was not asked about in 2012)
* Water Saving: 47 in 2Q 2013, from 48 in 2Q 2012
* Tankless Water Heater: 45 in 2Q 2013, from 51 in 2Q 2012
* Improved Indoor Air: 35 in 2Q 2013, from 28 in 2Q 2012

The AIA Home Design Trends Survey found that home automation is beginning to dominate in popular emerging systems and technologies. (The index takes the percentage of respondents that report the sector is improving, minus the percentage that report the sector is weakening.)
* Wireless Systems: 63 in 2Q 2013, from 48 in 2Q 2012
* Energy Management: 53 in 2Q 2013, from 48 in 2Q 2012
* Long Range Controls: 50 in 2Q 2013, from 14 in 2Q 2012
* Back Up Power Generators: 48 in 2Q 2013, from 44 in 2Q 2012
* Solar Panels: 41 in 2Q 2013, from 38 in 2Q 2012
* Security Systems: 37 in 2Q 2013, from 22 in 2Q 2012
* Automated Lighting Controls: 31 in 2Q 2013, from 14 in 2Q 2012
* Geothermal Heating and Cooling: 30 in 2Q 2013, from 30 in 2Q 2012
* Electric Car Docking Station: 29 in 2Q 2013, from 22 in 2Q 2012
* Central Audio: 29 in 2Q 2013, from 20 in 2Q 2012

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