Green Design and Home Technology Photo by Sebastian Scholz (Nuki)

The Future of Green Design and Home Technology

Welcome to the world of the future, where the home of the Jetsons has become a reality as home technology meets green design. With the availability of advanced home technology and automation, we now have access to the “home of the future today.” This is a place where the lights turn on automatically as you approach the driveway, the temperature adjusts before you get home, and the coffee maker starts brewing on cue. We are seeing more advanced home appliances like refrigerators that notify us when we run out of milk and dishwashers that run during off-peak hours. The International Builders Show was full of innovations in both home technology and green design as well. 


Home of the Future Today

This advanced home technology and automation is a perfect fit for today’s active adults, particularly those living in active adult housing or independent housing. This new technology enables homeowners to live safely and comfortably while maximizing energy and cost savings, as well as convenience. Active adult housing typically offers luxury, low-maintenance living that supports an active lifestyle. This is the perfect environment for the “home of the future today.”

The “home of the future today” employs home technology and automation to create a low-maintenance, convenient set of systems to manage many behaviors automatically through control and communication systems. The Internet of Things allows most electronically controlled home systems and appliances to communicate to a controller or smart phone/tablet app, where they may be controlled remotely. You can even add automation to the systems for pre-set schedules to take advantage of energy and cost savings while the home is not occupied or during low use or sleep times. Sensors may also be added to the home to allow for control systems to operate from changes in conditions, such as time, light, temperature, and humidity. By combining home technology and automation with pre-set schedules, monitoring, and sensors, you can create an automated home that can optimize safety, comfort, convenience, and savings. And this enables better control and behaviors to optimize green design aspects of the home. 

Home technology also allows today’s active adults to easily understand how their home is using energy and make lifestyle choices in support of the information gained. You can use the technology to track your energy usage and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. By using this technology, you can save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. This is an essential aspect of sustainable design principles, which is increasingly becoming popular.


Smart Home Systems for Light and Comfort Control

Home technology can be added to other popular green design concepts to maximize the benefit of the total systems. Lighting technology and controls may be coupled with daylighting and automated blinds and curtains to control light and heat for optimum comfort and maximum light where and when it is needed. Communicating thermostats and controls with temperature and humidity sensors offer an excellent solution for a comfortable indoor environment that takes advantage of the energy-efficiency of the systems in the home.

The trend towards cooking as a social occasion has brought our kitchens literally to the center of our homes. The kitchen offers great opportunities for energy, water, and resource conservation, while great design makes these all work seamlessly for a beautiful, functional kitchen. Appliances and lighting especially should be designed to look good and perform well. Task lighting in a kitchen not only adds flair to the ambiance and design, but it also provides an active adult with a good place to read a recipe and see the ingredients for this evening’s culinary creation.


Smart Home Technology for Convenience, Control and Independent Living

The “home of the future today” not only offers today’s active adults a wonderful and convenient living experience, but it also offers a transition to independent senior living later in life. Today’s control systems combined with sensors and monitoring enable a senior to live on their own while offering family and friends the peace of mind that they can be notified of irregular behavior or an emergency within moments via communications and alarms. Family and friends can remotely change or control temperature and lighting while also monitoring activity and safety. Home technology not only helps optimize how a home performs, the Internet of Things may be the path to a new era of safety and independence for many seniors, allowing them to age in place longer. 

Beyond convenience and energy efficiency, the “home of the future today” also offers a more personalized and seamless living experience for active adults. With the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning, smart home systems can now learn the daily routines and preferences of the homeowners and automatically adjust the environment to their liking.

For example, the lighting, temperature, and audio system can be customized to match the homeowner’s preferred ambiance and mood at different times of the day. The smart home system can also anticipate the homeowner’s needs and provide suggestions or reminders based on their previous behaviors, such as suggesting a morning workout routine or reminding them to take medication.

Furthermore, smart home systems can integrate with other health and wellness technologies, such as wearable devices and telemedicine platforms, to provide a more comprehensive and proactive approach to healthcare management. The smart home system can monitor the homeowner’s vital signs, detect any abnormalities, and alert the appropriate healthcare professionals in case of an emergency.

As the population ages and the demand for independent living solutions increases, the “home of the future today” will become an essential part of the senior living landscape. With its ability to offer personalized and efficient living experiences while also promoting sustainability and cost savings, it is an ideal solution for active adults who value their independence, health, and quality of life.

In conclusion, the “home of the future today” has arrived, and it is here to stay. With the ever-evolving technology landscape and the growing demand for sustainable and independent living solutions, we can expect to see even more advanced and innovative smart home systems in the years to come. As we continue to embrace the possibilities of home technology and automation, we can look forward to a brighter, greener, and more personalized future for active adults.