How technology is changing the face of house design

Architectural plans

Holographic, virtual designs are set to change the way architects and developers work and interact with planning authorities and potential buyers…

The advance of technology is changing the way we live and work on an almost-daily basis – just look at how smartphones have become such a staple of everyday life.

And the architectural industry is no different. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the utilisation of cutting-edge technology is transforming the way architects work. The software Microsoft Hololens, for instance, takes architects away from the pen-and-paper of the past and brings them into a holographic world that enables them to visualise their buildings, alter the designs, and ensure the construction’s safety.

Look at how the TV show Grand Designs creates a 3D map of the intended home and the camera ‘walks through’ the design, showing the viewer how it will pan out in real life. This is what the new software does – but on a far bigger and better scale.

The holograms can be created to a scale that enables the architects to virtually ‘walk’ inside the building, checking the structure and marking any potential issues via voice commands or hand gestures.

Joint research

The results of research by RIBA, conducted together with Microsoft, is likely to be revealed soon, and is expected to show how the industry has been transformed by the advances in the digital world.

Here at Apex we are looking forward to reading the results of the survey. We can foresee some useful implementation ahead. For self-builders, for instance, this kind of technology is a great way of visualising how their ideas will look, and will give them the chance to make alterations in the virtual world, rather than making costly changes in the real world.

Larger housebuilders will be able to use the technology to show potential buyers what they can look forward to before any work has even started on the ground. And it can also be used to show planning officers and Planning Committees just how a development will come together and how it will integrate with the local area.

Its usefulness will continue after construction – thanks to its compatibility with SMART technology it will be easy to find out what parts are needed for maintenance – replacing bulbs in cookers for instance – and for checking where pipes and wires are before carrying out any DIY!

‘Old school’

However, as with most technological advances, there will always be those who resist change. There will be some architects who will baulk against the use of Hololens and the like due to the costs – and there will always be the ‘old school’ architects who have already resisted the use of computer-aided design (CAD) and would rather stick to pen and paper. There is nothing inherently wrong with this and we at Apex recognise that free-hand drawings often provide a softer visual compared to a CAD one.  It is necessary to know your ‘audience’ and to choose the appropriate method of presenting your development and as we all become ever more techno-savvy we suspect those architects who do not adapt will find themselves in the minority in a very short time…

If you would like to discuss your own development or just find out more about what we do, please browse the website at or drop us a line at without obligation.