Home technology installation is becoming a buzzword in construction today. Parks Associate, an information provider on emerging technologies, surveyed more than half of the builders who offered electronic installation of home theaters to their clients. The results reveal that many of these same builders have gotten a positive response, with almost 50 percent of families agreeing for an upgrade or installation of electronic technology in their homes
This show how home technologies are becoming an integral part of people’s lives today. What was once an idealized sci-fi concept has now become a fixture in the lives of many people – allowing architecture, engineering, and information technology to merge harmoniously together. Many houses have taken this path as well, but not everyone has done it successfully. However, there are two properties that have succeeded in merging everything together: the Heliotrope and Harbour Hide
The Heliotrope, Freiburg, Germany
The Heliotrope is an environmentally-friendly house created by German architectural firm, Rolf Disch SolarArchitektur. The first experimental version was built in 1994 in Freiburg im Breisgau, which became Disch's residence, while the other two versions were used as exhibition buildings in Offenburg and the other as a dentist's lab in Bavaria. According to Disch, The Helotrope is the world's first home that creates more power than it uses, as the energy it uses is entirely renewable, CO2 neutral, and emissions free. The secret can be found in its structure. The house’s solar panels actually rotate to track the sun, allowing it to get the maximum sunlight needed to power up the home. It can produce around four to six times its energy depending on the time of the year. Some of other impressive features include:
- a system that unifies climate and floor warmth system
- a rooftop collector that traps and filters rainwater
- a human waste disposal system that effectively produces dry, odorless solids for composting, together with a clarified liquid waste for a cascading pool in front of the home.
Harbour Hide, Dorset, United Kingdom
Harbour Hide uses state-of-the-art android tablets that allow the homeowner to set the right temperature, lighting, mood, and desired ambiance for any room. This same system also controls a room's audio-visual entertainment setups, blinds, curtains, and even electronic photochromic glasses that lightens or darkens depending on the degree of sunlight outside the home. What's more, the house has a hidden, heated swimming pool with a continuous jet stream and tablet-controlled hatch and temperature that allows for better pool temperature control system
Harbour Hide has a unique structure. It offers a luxurious blend of solid olive wood and burr oak joinery, mosaic tiling, fabric wallpapers, handmade furnishings, and natural stone flooring. The kitchen is made from granite, sculpted in the shape of a sail. The bathrooms are all individually-finished, with attractive tiles and advanced fixtures. There is also a spectacular view of the beach when the main bathroom is used. Those who want some privacy can just turn a key that closes the aluminum bi-folding doors and privacy blinds shut
Technology has gone a long way in making people's live more convenient and comfortable for its owners. In the future, houses will continue to evolve and become more advanced, but one should never forget that a high-tech house only makes up a small portion of one's life. Those who can strike a fine balance between technology and harmonious relationships will stand a much better chance of finding happiness and fulfillment in their homes, because at the end of the day, a house truly becomes a home not just by its technology but by the people who live in it.