Honda makes a really nice car. (They were my first.) However, can they make a really nice smart home?
If you’ve had the chance to peek at the Honda Smart Home, you’d already know that answer. The home opened earlier this year on the West Village campus of the University of California, Davis, and features all sorts of awesome electronic goodies inside. While you won’t find the latest and greatest 4K theater inside the home, you will find technologies and products “that enable zero-net energy living and transportation.”
Construction on the 1,945-square-foot home first began back in April 2013. The finished project features three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a zero-net energy consumption. In fact, the Honda Smart Home actually uses renewable sources and a 9.5kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to produce more energy on-site than it consumes annually—and that includes enough to power up a Honda Fit EV for the daily commute.
The home also includes several Electronic House conveniences from AMX, Lutron, Samsung, Wisdom Audio, and much more. It even has a circadian lighting scheme and a home energy management system (HEMS) with proprietary hardware and software. The Costa Mesa-based installation firm Cantara was responsible for the design, engineering, and programming of a lot of those high-tech perks.
Honda is the latest in a lengthy list of companies looking to get into the smart home space. However, it makes a lot of sense that a car manufacturer would want to put some effort into making homes more energy-efficient. After all, cars and homes account for 44 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
“With the Honda Smart Home, we’ve developed technologies and design solutions to address two primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions—homes and cars,” said Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Ultimately, our goal is to contribute to the public dialogue about addressing CO2 emissions.”
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Although Honda has yet to pick who will get to live in the company’s first Smart Home, it’s expected to be a member of the UC Davis community. Besides the home and all of the furnishings, that lucky individual will also get a Honda Fit EV for cruising around town.
However, just because you won’t get to live in this house doesn’t mean you can’t have a Honda Smart Home. Due to the success of the project, Honda is making this an “open source” project, meaning that all of the architectural plans, design plans, mechanical plans and plumbing plans are readily available on the Honda Smart Home website.
If you’re looking to peek in and around the Honda Smart Home before anyone moves in, check out our slideshow.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.