After watching movies like Tron Legacy and playing such 3D games as SIMCity BuildIt, one might subjectively mold an idea of what The Future Of Architecture could be.

The Automobile Industry has experienced its share of technological advancements – from analog to digital. The Telecom Industry has also experienced similar. Practically every industry – even such industries as delicate as the Medical Industry. Should one then say the Building Industry is an exception? Of course not.

Technological integrations into buildings has been on the increase since the 80’s – starting from such developments as “Shared Tenant Services in the US”, to the most sophisticated Home Automation Technology Systems found in buildings today – commercial, residential, entertainment facilities etc.

Smartphones has become so commonplace today – an indispensable part of our everyday lives; but what exactly is a Smart Home?  

Inquisitions into the term ‘Smart Home’ has steadily been on the rise over the past decade. The google chart below tells a better story.

 

But really, what comes first to the mind, at the mention of the term ‘Smart Home’?

  • A home full of IoT devices communicating over a network?
  • A futuristic home with an operating system, AI software applications, and smart user interfaces?
  • A digital-looking Architectural Expression?
  • A fully automated home that can do all sorts of wow wonderful stuffs, remotely-accessible, and full of security devices?

According to SmartHomeUSA.com, “Smart Home” is the term commonly used to define a residence that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio & video systems, security, and camera systems that are capable of communicating with one another and can be controlled remotely by a time schedule, from any room in the home, as well as remotely from any location in the world by phone or internet.(1)

Is the difference between a ‘Conventional Home’ and a ‘Smart Home’  limited to Smart Technology Systems, and Efficiency then?

Blaze defines a Smart Home as an integrated, intelligent ‘device’ holistically-designed and prefabricated; simultaneously taking into consideration The Conventional Tenets Of Architecture, as well as Technology, and Efficiency.(2)

 

A smart Home fabrication, thus, is a holistic process, designed with such Tools as Building Information Modeling and Virtual Reality, utilizing an Integrated Building Technology approach; fabricated through such processes as Additive Manufacturing, and maintained with data gotten from the BIM Model, during design – by a Facility/Technology Manager. The entire process – from the programming (Users’ Needs Analysis), through design and construction, to maintenance – is collaborative.

A major distinction with this definition lies around the Fabrication Process. A Smart Home is a unified gadget, not a discordant facility – same way a Lamborghini is a unified product, same way an iPhone is a unified product.

According to James Sinopoli in “The Smart Building Systems For Architects, Owners and Builders”, Smart Building Technology is the process of conceiving, designing, constructing, commissioning, and operating buildings, leveraging technology to optimize the goals and objectives of the built environment.

What does this approach to building delivery mean for the various professionals typically involved?

Does it put most of us out of the loop?

Does it make building delivery solely turnkey – a purview of just one ‘facility provider’? No No No!

  • The implication is more collaboration – through such tools as Building Information Modeling.
  • The implication is less wastages during building delivery.
  • The implication is more climate-responsive homes.
  • The implication is more intelligent and ‘Smart’ Homes – with feedback and remotely-accessible systems
  • The implication is more cost savings for the client – especially maintenance costs.
  • The implication is more responsive and functional overall user experience.

This obviously requires more literacy and informed decision-making on the part of the various parties involved.

It also requires more software proficiency.

However, the truth is that the building industry currently cannot compare with other industries – such as IT, Communications, Automobile – when it comes to leveraging technology to optimize process and product.

The only way to make building delivery a truly efficient, and integrated process is to see buildings as unified products, fabricated by informed specialists, for optimal user experience.

This is just a cursory definition of a Smart Home. Stay tuned for more detailed insights into the Architecture of the Smart Home, the IT infrastructure behind a Smart Home, the Technology Systems Considerations/Designs etc.


Udeze Daniel

Udeze Onyema Daniel is a Young Visionary Architect.
He bagged MSc, Architecture from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
He is currently a Systems Designer at Hausba Smart Homes: http://hausba.com
He is also a BIM Evangelist at Blaze Academy.
He has passion for continuous learning and research, especially on ways to utilize technology to optimize the AEC Industry and Building Delivery Process.
He is currently a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS), awarded by The Audio Visual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA): http://bit.ly/AVIXA_CTS_Udeze
He is also an Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) for Autodesk Revit Architecture – Revit Architecture 2016-2018 – awarded by Autodesk
http://bit.ly/Autodesk_ACP_Udeze

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