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Responsive Architecture Home Automation

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This type of house totally adapts to its environment and desired living conditions with the use of computers. Much experiementation is currently going on in the USA and Europe.

Adaptive Architecture Home Automation Design
Lumenhaus Adaptive Architecture Home Automation Design

One project currently taking place now by a multi-disciplinary team at Virginia Tech University, is called lumenhaus. Using home automation, the lumenhous has many features that reduce energy use and enhance quality of life. A lumenhaus has the following home energy efficient features through home automation.

  • Adapts to climate conditions.
  • Maximizes use of computer technology for home efficiency and improving quality of life.
  • The house opens to outside with cross ventilation, allowing fresh air light to enter the living space.
  • It uses low energy, computer driven panels converts house to well insulated. Upon leaving, the thermostat reduces and the insulation panels close as the house goes into hibernation until you return.
  • Responsive architectures are those that measure actual environmental conditions (via sensors) to enable buildings to adapt their form, shape, color or character responsively. In an lumenhaus responsive architecture performs similar functions of home automation; such as controlling lighting, entertainment, solar panels, shading panels.
  • The house maximizes occupants' exposure to bright light during the day through its open, flowing spaces. At night the light radiates it back via a low-energy LED lighting system in the insulating panels.
  • Solar (or photovoltaic or PV) panels cover the roof. The house uses passive energy systems, radiant heating and building materials from renewable and/or recyclable sources. The prefabricated construction process reduces waste and increases efficiency.
  • The solar panels collect light from both sides of the solar array.
  • A meter records the usage of energy throughout the day. If the house produces more energy through the photovoltaic panels than it uses, the net energy gain provides an opportunity to sell energy back to the power company or to power an electric car.
  • The fully automated Eclipsys System is an advanced building facade comprising two layers: a metal shutter shade and a translucent insulating panel. The shutter shade slides along the north and south facades, providing protection from direct sunlight while allowing for indirect, natural light, views to the exterior and privacy.
  • The sliding insulating panel is a translucent polycarbonate panel filled with aerogel, a super lightweight, highly insulating translucent material that provides insulation equivalent to a typical solid wall during harsh weather conditions without blocking natural light.
  • When the Eclipsis System is open, floorspace doubles and the interior and exterior of the house meld seamlessly, connecting the house to the natural environment outside.
  • The panels automatically adjust to best capture the sun's energy in all seasons and all weathers. In the cold months, the Eclipsis System will open up to allow sunlight to passively heat the concrete slab floor, decreasing the amount of energy needed to heat the house.
  • Computer automated controls, which can be activated via iPhone or iPad, allow the house to automatically adapt to changing environmental conditions.
  • Two heat pumps: water to water and water to air. Both are powered by geothermal techniques. Hot water from the heat pump heats the floors through radiant tubes.

    Lumenhaus Geothermal Radiant Floor Heating
    Lumenhaus Geothermal Radiant Floor Heating

  • Space saving features: foldable bed, hide-away kitchen, closets double as bedroom doors allowing privacy or openness.
  • The entire house is portable. Wheel structures on front and back are removable once house is in permanent location.
  • During warm months, house is open to decking, expanding the living space.

    Home Automation Panels Provide Optimum Daylight
    Home Automation Panels Provide Optimum Daylight

  • Water harvesting. Water is collected from the roof, allowed to waterfall into a pool on the patio. Using weather sensors, a rain gutter folds out over a patio cover. Then roof rain water drains into a pool on the patio. The water is cleaned and used in the house.

    Lumenhaus Rain Water Harvesting Trough
    Lumenhaus Rain Water Harvesting Waterfall Creation

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