Home design blog: Smart technology can save money and the environment by managing homes with robotic precision

"Now is the time for good design and technology to come together with the green agenda"

"Now is the time for good design and technology to come together with the green agenda" - Credit: Archant

Camden-based KSR Architects and their in house interior design company, Folio Design, are two of London’s leading lights when it comes to the wonderful world of design within your home. In the first of a new series, they look at the fast changing world of smart tech and the impact it can have on your home life.

Clients often request green credentials for their home. This might be because they genuinely want to save the planet, save pounds on their utility bills, or off-set any guilt arising from their lifestyle.

They usually love gizmos and are ‘tech-savvy’, being used to having choice and fingertip control over how, where and when they consume multi-media content. So now is the time for good design and technology to come together with the green agenda to provide a simple, straightforward and economic way to improve energy efficiency by integrating technology into the home.

Most energy consumption in homes is for heating, lighting and home electronics. An integrated approach to these functions allows them to be centrally-controlled and intelligently managed. This avoids the heating and cooling systems ‘fighting’ each other and makes everything work much more efficiently.

Systems can gather information about your house in the same way that fitness and healthcare devices like the Nike+ Fuelband provide you with information on the ‘quantified self’. In the same way that you will be able to use a personal healthcare device to monitor and control health issues, such as diabetes, this level of monitoring, diagnosis and treatment will also be available for the ‘quantified home’.

Heating systems can already sense occupancy, relate to local temperature, gather weather information from the internet, as well as react to a regular in-room thermostat.

Modern lighting control systems allow artificial lighting to automatically respond to levels of daylight whilst local scene-setting switches can save energy and get the appropriate quality of light without wastage.

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It’s also possible to use automated blinds to reduce glare and minimise solar gain, avoiding the need for cooling. Taken together these steps ensure that actual demand is the main driver. This can make a massive difference to overall energy consumption as well as enhance the quality and enjoyment of a home.

Even though as architects and interior designers we deal with this sophisticated tech on a daily basis, we always like to use a specialist IT consultant such as SMC to ensure that we are specifying the latest, most aesthetically pleasing and most appropriate system - and to guide us through the ever-changing nerdosphere.

KSR Architects has a proven track record in securing planning permissions and delivering to the market luxury residential developments, ranging from bespoke individual houses to multi-apartment buildings. Folio Design’s impressive oeuvre covers all aspects of interior design, giving the benefit of a fully integrated architecture and interior design service.

Visit krsarchitects.com and foliodesignllp.com for more information.