Trends in High-Rise Condo Design

February 2021

One of the benefits of condo living is that “someone else” is responsible for maintaining the building.  Building residents have no need to consider most of the maintenance, repairs and improvements necessary in their home.

Technologies continue to improve allowing residents to focus on comfort and convenience while avoiding past problems relating to older building construction.

The View

Many desire a view from their high-rise and condo homes.  Looking out over the city, playgrounds, gardens or trees is highly desirable.  Large glass windows provide these views.  Motorized shades can be used to control internal temperature and comfort.  Lighting controls are increasingly popular for improving lifestyle and adjusting to the increase in natural light.


People desire greater access to their home while away.  A smartphone or tablet can now be used to monitor security systems, lock/unlock doors, control lights and adjust the temperature.


Home is more peaceful, and enjoyable, without disruption from external noise.  High-rise condo residents want to block out sounds from the street and other units in the building.  High-performance materials are available to eliminate external noise and prevent internal noise from escaping.

Water Infiltration

Maintaining your building envelope is the first step to keeping your home safe, dry and intact.  Internal water sensor systems  can ensure it remains dry.

More than 90 percent of all condo problems are estimated to relate to water.  It infiltrates through walls and roofs causing damage on its way to the ground.  Water can enter up from the ground.  Pipes leak or break.  During winter water freezes and expands causing damage, then melts during thaws creating more problems.  Roof replacements, one of the main ways to keep water from infiltrating a building, are becoming more economical.  Roofing material, derived from petroleum, are increasingly affordable as the price of oil has declined.

Today’s buildings are tighter and more insulated to protect against water and other external elements.  Older buildings can upgrade to newer technologies when a roof or façade is replaced.

Climate Change

Climate change impacts on condo living.  Air conditioning is used more extensively.  Older buildings may be unable to incorporate a modern HVAC system without extensive and possibly cost-prohibitive enhancements to common areas.  One solution is to allow units to be retrofitted to accommodate air conditioning without impact on common areas.