The design and engineering that goes into the modern home is not simply the result of a desire for a modern aesthetic. There is also a drive toward creating homes that are smart and efficient. From full energy-controlled home automation systems to water rationing and smart grids, many current home designs have energy efficiency in mind. This article discusses facets of home design that bridge the present and the future, providing you with chic, trendy and smart features for your home.
Powering your home
Newer-build homes often have smarter living options for home heating and cooling. Not only do newer homes allow homeowners to choose their ideal temperature and lighting, but these homes are also specifically designed to have optimized energy settings for environmental sustainability. From smart meters, which allow you to monitor your energy use, to solar panels for your home, which will lower your energy bill, latest home designs often center on energy efficiency. One home gadget that embodies this goal is the Nest Thermostat. This futuristic thermostat learns behavior and adjusts its setting in order to be energy and economically efficient. While you can set the Nest thermostat to turn the heating on and off at certain intervals, you can also teach this device to recognize patterns, such as wake-up times and late night meetings, and the Nest will set the temperature accordingly.
Lighting the way
Designer Taewon Hwang’s Floor Plan Light Switch brings sophistication, modernity and energy efficiency to your home’s lighting system. This customized light switch is made after a model of your floor plan, with each room represented on a centralized panel for complete light control in one place. With this device you can turn all the lights in your home on or off in one location and with a few swipes of the hand. This device will help you minimize wasted electricity by allowing you to see all the lights in the house simultaneously, so you’ll never leave light on by accident again.
The sounds of your home
While most homes have a media or music player, very few have a media player that that is solar powered. The futuristic Sony Eclipse is a solar powered all-purpose media player. The media player works by being attached to the window, so the solar panel, or photovoltaic cell, can charge throughout the day. Designed by Hoang Nguyen, the device boasts a touchscreen, WiFi, and USB connectivity, as well as the ability to sync with multiple devices. Though this device is still in the development stage, and therefore not available commercially, it is likely to have a big impact when it reaches the market place.
A modern take on water conservation
For those who are not careful with water consumption, having your water meter read can lead to the painful process of paying high bills. Water waste is common for us all, from mindlessly leaving the faucet on when you brush your teeth to ignoring faulty pipes or a leaking sink. However, newly designed faucets may forever change the way we use water in our homes and drastically reduce water waste in the process.
Modern home designers Yonggu Do, Dohyung Kim and Sewon Oh have taken on the twin challenges of chic faucet design and water conservation. The graceful 1 Limit Faucet contains a stainless steel faucet head attached to a bending glass tube. To use, you turn the faucet on which fills the liter-sized glass tube with water before the water is dispensed. Users then open the level to release the liter of water. The process needs to be repeated with a thirty second waiting time if more water is required. The theory behind this design is that most people waste up to six liters of water for each one that is used to wash one’s hands or shower. This elegant design is meant to train users to use less water while still providing a simple, modern look.
These gadgets, tools and home goods are just a few examples of how modern designers are meeting the challenges of a changing environment and evolving consumer needs. Take a look at your home and see if any of these devices will help you live a smarter, more energy efficient lifestyle.