A significant part of FutureHAUS research has been to explore the best ways to integrate new digital technologies into the home for various purposes but primarily entertainment, energy management, aging-in-place and accessibility. Whether a child or an adult, a tall person or a short person, disabled or not disabled, the home has many ways to accommodate any individual. Ideally this can be done autonomously where the home can recognize the user through voice, height, or gait recognition so when an individual enters a room or performs a task, the room or item adjusts itself for that user. Whether autonomous, gesture, touch or voice control, we search for the best and most practical ways to use technology to make living better and safer.
With FutureHAUS, we have a rare opportunity to integrate technology into an architectural space. Below is a description of each room in the house with all its futuristic features:
The kitchen incorporates many smart features for cooking, inventory management, and user preferences. Adjustable counters accommodate a range of users and address the important concept of “aging in place.” Smart fixtures allow for water temperature control and water dispensing. Technologies for cooking are seamlessly integrated making the kitchen easy to use, clean, and manage energy. Additional features include: voice control volume specific water dispensing, electronic mixing valves to regulate kitchen faucet water temps, backsplash touch interface to access home interface to monitor cooking activities and performance. The kitchen cartridges partner is the island or “social table.” With its integrated, interactive display, users have access to the whole house interface, instructional cooking videos and interactive media to entertain users and guests.
The full size master bathroom includes many smart fixtures that makes this room one of the most exciting in the house. The interactive smart mirror and voice interface gives you control of the many of the bathroom features. Fixtures include an adjustable vanity cabinet with a 3D printed sink and automated controls, an adjustable height NUMI toilet, a Vibr-acoustic tub with a built in sound system and integrated video screen for bathtime entertainment. The fully accessible room is designed to accommodate any user of any height or age or disability and is focused on user comfort and experience. A floor sensor detects slips and falls and provides user weight on the smart mirror. The shower incorporates water sensor technologies that allows recycling of clean waste water, greatly reducing water consumption by as much as 90%.
The Living Room
With our “flex-space” concept, this room can be adjusted in size according to real time needs with the movement the two flanking walls, the AV wall and the closet wall. Both can move back and forth along cordless dc powered overhead rails for easy room size adjustments. A large screen TV mounted within a rotating partition of the AV wall can be stowed to allow art to be exhibit instead. The room can also transform into a dining room by deploying a stow-able dining room table. The atmosphere of the room can be tuned with an integrated sound system in the glass clad AV wall and the beautiful LED illuminated glass ceiling.
The Home Office
Various office sizes can be generated depending on the positioning of the moving AV wall, from closed office, to standard (1 desk) , to executive (2 desks) to conference room (desk + conference table). When in office mode, the TV on the AV wall swings around 180 degrees to provide teleconferencing capability. The primary desk is actuated and adjustable for sit/stand working options.
The entryway cartridge is a unique design element responding to the context of the Middle East. For energy savings, it contains a mudroom for removing shoes and doubles as an airlock. The window features a BIPV technology from Pilkington Glass called Sunplus, glass frit that doubles as solar collection. A powder room with many smart accessories includes an automated foot washing station for prayer preparation. The closet incorporates a mailbox of the future, a drone delivery roof hatch that detects overhead delivery vehicles.
After many late nights, research, hard labor, and coffee runs, the FutureHAUS is complete! The competition called the Solar Decathlon is being held in Dubai from November 14th-29th, 2018...
On November 14-28, 2018, Virginia Tech will compete in the Solar Decathlon Middle East as the only U.S.-based team in a competitive pool of 21 universities worldwide...
Solar Decathlon: Dominion gets behind an employee who is working to lower electricity demand in houses
Imagine you are waking up in your FutureHaus, a smart, solar-powered, prefabricated domicile with 950 square feet of space that looks like it was made out of Lego blocks...