Enel has unveiled architectural plans for ‘the home of the future’.
Part of the NO.V.A project (Nós Vivemos o Amanhã or We Are Living Tomorrow), the home is the first to be built through a crowdsourcing initiative.
Ideas were collected via the website www.nosvivemosoamanha.com.br and the plan is to have the house ready for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
According to a statement by Enel, the house will be able to make decisions for itself through a variety of sensors and controls which will be able to close windows when rain approaches, or alert the fire brigade if there is a fire in the house.
Intelligent home features
In addition, intelligent, remote controlled appliances will be installed, which will have the ability to determine what time of day it is best to operate – resulting in more efficient energy use.
Other innovative, sustainable features in the house include:
- The house will be energy self-sufficient and work as a micro-power grid, producing around 105% of its required electricity demand thanks to solar energy generated by panels installed on its roof. Surplus electricity can be stored in high-capacity batteries or transferred to the local distribution grid, increasing the generation and consumption of clean energy.
- Innovative materials, such as wood that has high capacity for thermal insulation, and flame-retardant paints with soundproofing qualities, will be used in the modular construction of the house.
- The house will be self-sufficient in water use. Rainwater collection will reduce the risk of flooding. All water and effluents, including sewage, will be treated and reused;
- Smart metering equipment will measure water, electricity and gas consumption in real time;
- Health monitoring technology will be incorporated into the house;
- The windows will be of self-cleaning glass that will get lighter or darker depending on the amount of available sunlight;
- Flooring will use footsteps to generate electricity;
- Interactive countertops will be equipped with internet access;
- See-through TVs will be installed;
- A bio-digester will produce gas from organic waste that will be used in the kitchen.
Designed to be a living lab, the house will be a place for people to live and test the house’s innovative solutions.
According to a release by Enel, “The technologies and their impact on both its residents’ everyday lives and consumption habits will be constantly monitored, with a view to improving the solutions offered by the project.”
According to Marcelo Llévenes, Head of Enel Brazil: “We need to understand our customers’ relationship with energy in the future. We are therefore taking a very open-minded approach to understanding intelligent consumption.
“We will use feedback from the people living in the house to enable us to learn more about how the most innovative solutions available can be made to work for people, and we'll even have the opportunity to test solutions that are still in the pre-market stage. This is a very exciting project.”
The NO.V.A project is also opened to other possible partners, who will be able to test new products and services. Prátil, the Enel Brasil company operating in distributed generation, will test innovative in-home solutions for distributed generation and storage systems, as well as energy efficiency solutions.
Enel Brasil’s house of the future will also be the first building in South America in the running for the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge (LBC) certificate, a rigorous performance standard that calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as the natural environment (http://living-future.org/lbc).