Smart Home Technology
Integration Technology & Utilities Tracking are hot topics in the building world right now. Home security systems are nothing new, but combine your home's security camera system with motion, smoke and intruder detectors, as well as lighting, shade and lock controls and you've got a whole new system. This is the system that Honeywell has developed. Smart outlets allow the homeowner to monitor, control & reduce energy consumption - lowering your electricity bills. Hydro Link Plus by EcoWater Systems is a water treatment system that not only softens and treats your water, but it also monitors for excessive water usage and continuous water flow.
Smart device-controlled appliances have hit the market. LG's "Smart ThinQ" appliances incorporate "Smart Access" allowing the homeowner to monitor and control their appliances with a touch of their smartphone or tablet - from anywhere! This includes running loads of laundry while working at the office, preheating your oven on the drive home from soccer practice, or checking on your refrigerator's contents while browsing the isles of your supermarket.
Bathroom Remodeling in 2015
Touchless fixtures such as bathroom faucets with sensors have been around for a while - you encounter such fixtures every day whether at the mall, at your favorite restaurant or at an airport - the idea being the fewer surfaces you have to touch the less germs you'll catch. So why not bring these fixture into our homes too? Kohler and Delta have introduced touchless toilets for residential use, and we anticipate to see these installed in many homes this year.
NKBA, The National Kitchen & Bath Association predicts that contemporary designs will dominate the bathroom remodeling market this year. Zen-like bathrooms achieve their calm vibes through simplicity, minimalism and clean, sleek lines.
Sustainable design and building practices are gaining attention. We all realize the impact that our lives have on the environment; therefor we should all be making an effort to reduce our carbon footprint. Architects, designers & builders can help their clients make "green" building decisions for their new home. You can start by sourcing local materials - for example, if you are building a new home in New England, choose to build with stones that come from local quarries and source raw wood that was locally harvested and processed, rather than choosing stones or woods that would need to be shipped from Spain or Italy. Also consider salvaging materials from your home renovation or from an offsite demolition. This practice is economical and eliminates waste.