Homes of the Future Tour: Part 1
Posted by Steve Kleber on Jun 20, 2011
Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Homes of the Future Tour
Consumers and businesses alike are constantly looking for the next great thing in home product innovation. Consumers enjoy being on the cutting edge with the latest and greatest products, and businesses have large profit potentials for being the first in a new trend. As we all seek to understand the next big thing in home building, I’ve decided to feature a few homes that just might give us a glimpse into the future.
Our first stop is the Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The home first opened to the public in 2008 and gets a facelift every year to reflect trends and concepts that are on the cutting edge of home building. This year, the house is green and techy.
The Smart Home, built with modular construction, was designed by Michelle Kaufmann to be environmentally friendly. The home was built to be more airtight than regular homes, saving energy and improving air quality. With a spacious 2,500 sq. ft. layout, ample sunlight illuminates the home. The energy efficient appliances, tankless water heater, and rain collection system reduce the use of energy and water, and large rooftop solar panels paired with a 45 ft. tall wind turbine provide ample electricity for the home. The surrounding landscaping and rooftop garden not only make efficient use of rain water, but also provide a variety of food staples.
Inside the home, all the furnishings this year have been reclaimed, keeping with the sustainable theme. Furniture from schools, courthouses and public buildings has been given new purpose in the Smart Home. The kitchen cabinets are from a laboratory at the University of Chicago, and the bedroom dresser was found in a South Side motel.
And of course what would a home of the future be without some cool gadgets? The automation system built into the home tracks energy consumption and production by all areas of the property. The home is capable of adjusting the window shades when it senses it is getting too hot and goes into hibernation mode when no one is in the home. The bathroom mirrors strangely resemble smartphones by displaying the time, temperature, news, traffic and even recent Facebook activity. And what says The Jetsons more than a high tech toothbrush? These toothbrushes are solar powered and use electrons that react with saliva to clean your mouth – no toothpaste required!
Sustainable and high tech. Two present day concepts amped up for the future.
Check back soon for the next stop on our Homes of the Future tour!