Smart Features That Deserve a Place in Your Sustainable Home
“Smart Features That Deserve a Place in Your Sustainable Home”
Choosing a home for yourself and your loved ones can be considered as one of the most crucial decisions that one has to take in their life. Making sure that every single box on that checklist is ticked can be stressful and overwhelming at times. You get to hear a thousand and one different opinions that can send your head ringing. The market on the other hand is of little help, flooded with innumerable options, each better than the one before. Our choices directly impact not just ourselves but also the environment. In the 21st century, making sustainable choices is the only morally acceptable lane to drive on and we are ready to reiterate so, as many times as we need to. Smart living is not just about getting things done at the press of a button but also leaving a hospitable world behind for future generations to thrive in.
Often times you might want to do away with smart features because of the immediate investment, but just because something seems affordable at the moment doesn’t make it economical in the long run. Sustainable design is all about minimizing waste, looking towards healthier alternatives, reducing the impact on non-renewable resources and so much more. Here, we put together a list of smart features that aid sustainable living, which truly deserve a place in all our homes:
1. Smart Lighting
Smart lighting fixtures and bulbs allow much more control over traditional fixtures, functioning according to your mood, need, or convenience. State-of-the-art technology has now enabled us to manipulate indoor and outdoor lighting remotely by utilizing IoT. What is IoT, you may ask? Internet of things is basically a network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors and software with processing capabilities that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. Adding a sense of digital intelligence to these otherwise inanimate objects to create a more responsive and smart environment.
So, how does IoT help with lighting? As opposed to conventional lighting, smart lighting can be programmed at your convenience to save energy. For example, instead of having your porch light on the entire time, you can set them to light up automatically upon your arrival or to follow a sunrise-sunset schedule, saving a significant amount of energy and money. You can also control individual or group lighting fixtures, make it brighter or dimmer, change the color, and also be alerted in case of a malfunction, all in real-time.
2. Enhanced Security
As they say in movies, it’s a big bad world out there. Feeling anxious for your own or loved one’s safety is natural and the emerging trends in enhancing security are here to put your mind at rest. Nowadays remote-controlled security cameras are equipped with HD resolution, night vision modes, and wireless installation. The cameras can be set to start recording only when their sensors detect a movement, making them energy-efficient. Smart security uses your wifi network to connect sensors and sirens to smart door locks and lightbulbs. Integrating the whole system to make your life much more convenient and secure.
3. Water Saving Features
On average, Indians waste about 0-45 liters of water per day. To put it into perspective, that is about 30% of an individual’s water requirement per day, translating to 125 million liters of water wasted daily. Considering the frequent headlines of water shortage, the situation is far from ideal. Just by installing water-saving features in your household, you can contribute greatly to the efforts being put in to reduce water loss. Smart water meters allow the users to monitor their water usage, alerting them when their consumption goes overboard. Smart water sensors are another feature that can help regulate the network of pipes that are hidden from our view. These sensors can immediately detect the exact location of leaks or damage and alert the owner or maintenance crew of the building, thus saving time and conserving water.
4. Tap into Solar Energy
Having already discussed home automation and IoT, it must be considered, that everything runs on energy. None of these contemporary features can function on their own, and we can’t talk about saving energy all the while augmenting our electricity bills. With the advent of smart inverters, energy monitors and solar energy systems can be integrated with IoT to boost energy efficiency in automated homes. Like lighting or water, an IoT device will help you detect the most favorable conditions for energy production, to maximize output. It is needless to say that it takes off some pressure from the main grid to meet our energy needs, saving precious fossil fuel.
5. Green Roofs
What is so smart about green roofs? Apart from the obvious ecological and health benefits, green roofs aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, they bring you closer to nature, even if you are in the middle of an urban jungle. They can be installed on any kind of roof- be they sloped, flat, or vaulted. It absorbs rainwater, unlike impermeable roofs, which can be sent through a water harvesting system to be used at a later date. A living roof provides excellent insulation, keeping indoor temperatures optimal and saving energy.
6. Eco Paints
Safe indoor air quality is key for the overall well-being of a building’s occupants. Oftentimes, it is not as safe as we think it is and the repercussions of breathing in toxic substances for a long period can take years to show themselves. When choosing finishes for our walls, we usually look at the color scheme more than the content of the paint itself. Eco paints are called so because they are free of toxic chemicals that can be harmful to our lungs. These toxic emissions are called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), these fumes can persist in our homes for a long time and cause respiratory discomforts, headaches, etc.
There are of course many more features that you can integrate to up your sustainability game, and this checklist is just a start. If we don’t let the ‘what is in it for me?’ question cloud our judgment, we can open doors to myriad possibilities that don’t just benefit individuals but society as a whole.