Innovative, Zero-Energy Home

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Read the Discovery News article, by Renee Morad, here.


Your house is outdated. We’re not talking about the color choices, window treatments, countertops or appliances. The whole. Entire. House.

A new startup called Acre Designs plans to mass-produce net-zero houses that create as much energy as they use and are controlled by innovative sensors, computers and robots that handle everything from lighting to landscaping.

Smart Modular House Has Solar Tech In Its Walls

The affordable, 1,800-square-foot Axiom House will sell for around $220,000, not including land.

“We feel that on many levels, the typical home is terribly out-of-date,” Andrew Dickson, cofounder of Acre Designs, which created the new house, told Fast Company. “We view this as an opportunity to redefine what the American home is, and tailor for a lifestyle that is more focused on doing great things than having things.”

So what do these homes do anyway? For starters 40 sensors monitor variables such as weather, temperature and occupancy to automatically adjust window shades and heating. As a result, the house uses 90 percent less energy than a standard home.

Energy-efficient doors, windows and appliances help as does the layout, which is designed to maximize sun and shade, while a grid of pipes under the floor provides renewably powered heat. The home also uses solar panels.

Robots vacuum the floors, mow and water the lawn and garden.

The first prototype is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo and will be built in Google’s so-called Fiberhood in Kansas City, where it’ll be fully connected to Google Fiber and the cloud.

The company also plans to defy the tradition of real estate agents for home buying and will instead rely on a Web store to manage inventory.

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After the home in Kansas City is built and lived in temporarily as an experimental test, Acre Designs hopes to build additional smart homes throughout California, Austin, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, to start.

Before you splurge on your next kitchen remodel, you might want to sit back and watch this technology unfold.

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