SMART HOUSE – Architects should focus on the “Software” too

I remember when I was at DSDS conference last few weeks ago, there is a significant highlight of the conference when one of the keynotes was addressing towards the need to emphasize of how Information Technology can involve in Sustainable Development. At sometimes I fear that in the future, programmers will take over the role of Architects instead if the architects are not well versed with the “software” of the house… if we are comparing in terms of Smarthouse or Energy Efficient House.

Most of the time we talk about Green Building and zero carbon… but to push it further I believe we have to start thinking about the programs of the buildings that can involve technologies like this to make the building more efficient in resources and energy. What kind of IT? In a nutshell, one of the examples is using an Ipad to control a building mechanism, setting up the time of air conditioning.. lightings everything. 

That comes in very well for social setting as well, especially Security. Also, we can adjust the light ambiance and temperature to create the atmosphere we want.. or perhaps any mechanisms in the house. We are talking about smart homes, and it has already happened and it will definitely happen in the next 30 years. And this I feel is the cutting edge for any architects to recognize the significance of IT aka “house software” to be integrated into their homes during the design phase.

It is rumored that “smart home” is first used by a home automation salesman trying to sell his products in a “consumer-friendly” language. It is actually about using the latest information and communication technology to link all the mechanical and digital devices available so to create a truly interactive house.

Systems are never smart, they do not think, they can process vast quantities of data quickly, but they can only do what they are programmed to do. Imagine if we can save energy according to occupancy time of day, light level and temperature, imagine if lighting control is not about reducing light. It offers the correct light when and where required while reducing wastage. Imagine blinds and shutters open and close automatically, based on light intensity to optimize the mix of natural light and artificial light.

That’s what I see as a different stage of architecture when you have “software” that assist your building to “change” across time. Everything is about time scheduling helps security while energy saving.

In a home Environment: The best lighting + Lighting Control System = Save as much as 30% of electrical energy WITHOUT affecting the comfort level.

The best thing about Smart house is also about allowing an individual to control their environment, personal dimming control can optimize the light intensity of your personal comfort at a minimal effort.. and same goes to other mechanisms.

The conclusion here is that this “software” part of the building is seriously a revolution tool for any building. As architects we focus on the overall design and many things we are ought to, but with the possibility of this “software”, we are able to change the user’s experience completely while ensuring a sustainable lifestyle with minimal environmental impact.

Just that, it takes time for users to accept this concept as technology in this field is still young and not affordable in general. We shall see.

One of the exposures I got when I was during Schneider Electric Conference.. they introduce their energy saving management system and anything else related.