Smart technology is undoubtedly on the rise. First, it was smart phones and TVs, now it’s smart homes. These homes are designed with high tech features and advancements that bring safety, comfort, convenience, style — and now — efficiency to a level that was unfathomable just 10 years ago.

With this exciting market still evolving and gaining momentum, the definition of a smart home is being refined, but remains open to interpretation. A recent project called the Honda Smart Home, headed by automaker Honda, the University of California and the college town of Davis, demonstrates the wonderful possibilities with the future direction of smart home technology.

The goal with this experimental demo was to leverage the latest technologies to transform a 1,945-square-foot, three-bedroom house into a net-zero energy consumption smart home. Rather than focusing on just luxury features, the project is also heavily centered on sustainability, energy management and efficiency.

From xeriscaping to electric car management and ground-source radiant heating and cooling, this smart design is paving the way for sustainable homes of the future. The entire home was constructed with FSC-certified lumber and sustainable materials were used in every possible instance throughout the design.

The layout, windows and insulation were fully optimized using passive design techniques. All appliances, as well as the heating, cooling and water systems, were chosen for their ultra-efficient functionality. The result was a home that operates using half as much energy as a conventional residence. In fact, instead of consuming 13.3 megawatt-hours of energy per year, this home produces 2.6 megawatt-hours per year.

We couldn’t be more excited and inspired by research projects that are propelling the sustainable building industry. Here at TMS Architects, we believe sustainable building and design is simply the right thing to do because it results in both a happier home and a healthier environment. Conservation of resources and the preservation of natural habitats has motivated us to use sound environmental practices and green design techniques for over 28 years. Contact us to learn how we can guide you through your next home project using our green design expertise.