since the american institute of architects released the first quarter results of its first-ever Home Design Trends Survey in June 2005 (see 'Home Design Survey: Useful Aid,' A|L Residential, Summer 2005), the remaining quarter reports have been released. These surveys address business conditions and specific topics in the residential architecture market, and provide insight into client requests, thereby tracking residential trends year over year.

With data collected from 600 architecture firms specializing in residential work, survey questions focus on a different subject each quarter. The first survey results reflected the needs of an aging population, with trends toward greater accessibility within the home, an increase in the number of informal spaces, a general increase in overall home size, and a move toward upscale landscaping.

In the second quarter, firms were polled on requests for special function rooms. The survey found that home offices are the most highly desired space, followed by home theaters.

The third quarter focused on neighborhoods and community design strategies, as well as technology options being utilized by homeowners, revealing requests relevant to the lighting industry. Along with increased infill development, mixed-use development, recreational opportunities, access to public/alternative transportation, and higher-density development, the survey showed growing use of wireless communications and data systems, energy-efficient products, central audio systems, and automated lighting systems.

The fourth and last survey of the year was dedicated to kitchen and bath trends. In the kitchen, clients are requesting larger pantries, high-end appliances, integration of the kitchen with family space, natural stone counters, island work areas, and natural wood cabinets. In the bathroom the desire for heat lamps and whirlpools is decreasing, as multi-head and steam showers, multiple vanities, and separate showers grow in popularity.

As the AIA works to provide designers with more industry data for residential markets, the survey format will repeat next year, focusing on the same four topic areas, but with slightly altered questions. Full reports for all four quarters are available at A|L