Future homes save the time and money of the people who live there, while saving nature and providing warmth for the home.
Expert Heiki Jürisaar from Natural House OÜ will open the topic of energy-saving passive houses and smart dream houses.
With the desire to save energy and the advancement in technology, there is a lot of talk about a smart home and different smart solutions – but what does a well-designed smart home really do?
With smart solutions, we could talk about the home as a whole, which is more than just technology. “Organic architecture” means that the home could be architecturally adapted to the surrounding environment. The layout of the rooms and the design of the home should be convenient for both, the children and the elderly, ie the design should be universal. “Universal Design” (short for UD).
When creating your home, you should emphasize on organic materials – more natural materials like wood, clay or lime should be used. For finishing materials however, I recommend using oils and natural colors that help to create a healthier living environment.
Passive house solutions, on the other hand, save on the monthly heating costs. Add to this all the smart home technology solutions, that control the various functions in the home, we have ourselves a smart home.
How do you foresee the future development of the smart home solutions?
Smart home solutions are no longer utopian. Once upon a time, ATMs and bank cards probably seemed mysterious, but nowadays they are used everyday. I predict that smart home solutions will spread fast in the world. Just because they are comfortable and improve the quality of life.
The indoor temperature is very important in the context of our climate. After all, it is extremely convenient to turn remotely on the heating at home and arrive home from work to a warm home.
Wisdom is infinite, so is technology and innovation. Some smart home solutions that look new today are likely to be widespread and new ideas and exciting solutions are constantly coming into daylight.
Quite realistic is the old saying that everything you can imagine actually already exists somewhere. The ideas of a smart house are always ahead of time, they are visions that have become or will become reality.
As ordinary people, we probably don´t even think about it that there are engineers working on solutions that will see daylight in twenty years.
Many ingenious inventions have been created by people who value comfort – even washing machines or vacuum cleaners. In the past, stories and visions of these products probably seemed as utopian as smart home solutions seem to some people today.
Home solutions that can be controlled remotely, are already possible. But smart solutions are not enough if the architecture and planning have not been knowingly solved in advance.
What should you keep in mind when designing your home to integrate with the smart home solutions?
Creating your own home is a big step in every person’s life. Many have a vision of their future home – where it is located, what it looks like, how much space it has, what does the layout look like, or how the sound insulation has been solved.
If you are about to buy a home and the vision of your dream is starting to take shape, it is a good idea to think about the future costs of your home before you buy it.
It is not worth targeting the lowest price if subsequent costs prove to be higher. Although energy-efficient houses, including passive houses, are more expensive, the energy costs associated with conventional houses outweigh the costs of energy-efficient homes.
So by investing in a passive house, we actually save time, energy and live in a much healthier environment.
How much does technology support the concept of a smart home and how much does a smart home rely purely on technological capabilities?
Smart home planning begins with architects already in the design phase. A well-planned home also simplifies the use of smart solutions. When there has been different priorities during the planning phase, then smart solutions do not optimally solve all issues.
Energy saving starts with the planning and construction of the house, whether it is a passive house, a low-energy house or an energy-efficient house. Smart solutions only support energy savings by controlling heating and ventilation and, for example, turning on lights based on whether people are in the room or not.
How should a smart dwelling serve a family living there? Skeptics tend to think that excessive technology at home only makes life more confusing and increases the likelihood of potential breakdowns …
It’s not a matter of convenience. Apparently, most people use electricity in their homes without fear of malfunction. Smart house solutions are the same – they are designed to help people, save time and energy.
However, there are many options for how a smart living space should serve the family, and here every family should find its own solutions.
What aspects of everyday life could a well-planned smart home solution control or help us with?
Start with the basic needs. When you get home, you would like the rooms to be warm – why not let the technology control the heating of the house to our needs. It is probably not necessary to allow ventilation to change the air at home as often when nobody is there. There are also different rooms used in the evening and at night, where the air should be refreshed more often.
If the sauna heater is powered by electric heating, then the heater could also be turned on. When you get home after a cold winter day, you can go to the sauna right away.
Security systems, motion detectors and security cameras alert you when you when there is movement around your home, so you can check online what is going on even before the security company arrives.
The south facing large windows could have electrically controlled blinds or curtains, for example, by shading or lighting the room.
There are solutions that today are still considered a luxury, but will become a commonly used tomorrow. Biometric locking systems allow you to recognize every incoming family member at home and turn on the lights accordingly, play your favorite music or select your favorite TV channel.
A smart home also allows you to open doors to let pets in or out when needed. The possibilities are endless, even watering and mowing the lawn, or other household electricity-powered jobs.
One can assume that a smart home full solution contains so much electronics and installer-designer hours that the cost savings won’t even reduce those costs over the years … Or is this a misconception?
The more the opportunities offered by technology are used, the cheaper the technology itself will be, as well as equipment and solution providers, but competition will once again bring prices down and the customer will have more choice.
Should you think of a smart home solution as a whole, or do you recommend starting with so-called step-by-step, adding features? Where to start in this case?
It would be wise to start with the full system and build everything at once. If there is no such opportunity, a smart home can also be built gradually as needs and opportunities arise.
For a new home, I recommend designing solutions all at once or at least laying the cabling during construction. This part of the job is also not very expensive. Later on, it’s a matter of hauling the cables in a way that doesn’t distract the eye or damage the interior design.
In the case of a smart home with an electronic brain, the idea will inevitably also go down the aisle of security – how big is the risk of my home becoming “open to the world”?
The risk of someone breaking into your life is always there. That’s what locks, security systems and smart home solutions are all about. The more open your home is, the easier it is to break into it.
A smart solution can also be built as a closed system, with almost no risks. At the same time, a more open system gives the user more options – home control over the internet, in-house wifi, etc. However, it is always possible to leave the system only partially closed.
For each home, risks should be assessed and solutions planned in a sound and safe manner. Systems can always be built securely and encrypted.