With the advancement in technology - everything from cable services to iphone carriers - are allowing consumers to program settings in their homes and their cars remotely. Now, Honda and UC Davis are joining in with this high-end technology. Honda has built their Smart Home on the campus of UC Davis to study and learn more "Green" efficient technologies for "Smarter Homes". This home is built from FSC certified lumber, metal roofs, and other materials of the highest standards.

Businesses and consumers alike are opting for technologies that will save us money when cooling our homes, or recharging our electric cars! How about the actual design of smart homes from the framework up?

Google, Bosch and GE are all using their technological skills to design thermostats, heating pumps, and sensors for the next smart home.

Solar Design:

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Using their best technical minds, they have studied the best ways to reduce cooling and heating costs by studying various angles of the sun and various times of day - when full sun or shade come into play.

Construction:

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Using Grade A exterior double stud walls made from two 2x4 stud walls on 24" centers that eliminate thermal bridging, except at the fire blocking. Wall cavities are insulated with cellulose, and windows are constructed with triple-glaze. The home is tested at 2.0 air changes every hour at a difference of 50 units of pressure.

Concrete:

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Concrete is accountable for 5% of all man-made emissions. These emissions are the result of producing concrete by heating limestone to more than one thousand degrees Celsius. This form of heating requires burning fossil fuels which causes a natural porous variety of volcanic ash. This is then injected into the Honda Smart Home's concrete, replacing the typical amount of cement needed. Post-tensioning is a technique that uses steel cables to compress the concrete slabs and thereby reduces the amount of concrete and steel normally used.

Intricate Ground Resources:

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This home also has the most intricate, complex heat recovery systems anywhere. Gray water travels into tanks in the garden, and is then renewed and placed through heat pumps for heating and cooling the home. The downside is these systems are extremely expensive and not necessary for high-efficiency homes in the first place.

On the other hand, combining domestic hot water and the use of radiant cooling and running everything out of one heating pump, is highly cost efficient. This would lead to savings in hardware and software.

Lighting:

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Honda has worked with researchers at California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis to look into a new day-to-day color control lighting. This copies natural light throughout the course of the day and provides the best lighting alternatives for night hours. At night, hallways will provide ample light for one to walk through without overbearing light fixtures.

Electricity:

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Should the electrical grid become overloaded, this smart house is perfectly capable of restoring back power. This will allow for the distribution of renewable energy to electric vehicles without deterring the grids reliability.

With the level of technology being poured into this smart house, the most impressive aspect is the house and car working together. This alone, will equate to zero energy consumption and zero carbon emissions. It doesn't get any better than that!

The Honda Smart Home is revolutionizing technology for the future of home building and electric cars.

Hydroponics and The Future:

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Hydroponics has grown in leaps and bounds due to consumer concerns regarding healthier, green living. Imagine tending your hydroponic garden 24/7 with an iPhone. Such technology is steadily on the rise for gardeners today. Adding nutrients on time, or setting timers on plant lights, has never been easier. It's literally a click away!

Photo credit: AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO