While we were trying to be more eco-friendly by banning the use of plastic bags and buying hybrid cars, Honda was developing a project that will make our efforts seem like child’s play. The Honda Smart Home US concept home is at the vanguard of energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, and gives us a glimpse as to what the future might hold for homeowners.
This past week Honda announced the creation of the Honda Smart Home US (HSH) at the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction site on the campus of University of California, Davis, marking the beginning of the building process. The HSH is a “showcase for environmental innovation and renewable energy enabling technologies that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery,” says a Honda press release.
This sustainable home will feature an array of technologies that will greatly reduce the energy consumed by individual households while fully providing for the needs of an electric vehicle. The home will also offer its occupants control over all the systems in the house, allowing residents to remotely and continually monitor and adjust all aspects of energy use in real time.
So how will the HSH achieve “zero net energy”?
1. A solar power system will be installed to provide the energy for the home and electric vehicle.
2. A Honda Energy Management System will actively manage energy use, allowing the home to maximize its energy efficiency while responding to the needs of the electrical grid. This will minimize the impacts of solar energy generation and electric vehicle charging on the utility grid.
3. UC Davis energy research centers will design efficient, cost effective solutions to major home energy loads like heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems.
4. The electric vehicle charging will be connected directly to the solar system to avoid the CO2 emitted by grid electricity production.
5. The home will feature passive design elements and novel material to further reduce the CO2 emissions from the production of building materials and the construction and operation of the home.
Honda expects the home to be completed by the end of 2013. You can follow the building process through the HSH website.
Although this is years away from being remotely available, I can’t wait to have this type of Honda in Austin!