'Honda Smart Home US' to showcase environmental innovation
May 03, 2013 00:00 By The Nation
American Honda Motor has announced a plan to create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase for environmental innovation and renewable-energy enabling technologies.
The US subsidiary of the Japanese auto giant says the project demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit battery-driven electric vehicle.
A ground-breaking at the construction site on the campus of the University of California, Davis, marked the start of the building process, which will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.
“As an academic leader in sustainability research, UC Davis is proud to be the site of this innovative research home, which will take us to the next level of energy research and deployment,” the university said.
Envisioning a lifestyle of renewable energy for home and transportation, the Honda Smart Home US will feature new and emerging technologies to greatly reduce the amount of energy consumed by individual households, and will provide a pathway for the full integration of electric vehicles into the home.
The hi-tech sustainable home will demonstrate an approach to meeting the state of California’s goal of requiring all new residential construction to be “zero net energy” by 2020.
It is expected to produce more energy than it consumes, using less than half of the energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area for heating, cooling and lighting.
The Honda Smart Home will also give its occupants comprehensive control over all home systems, allowing residents to remotely and continually monitor and adjust all aspects of energy use in real time.
Among the many technologies that will be applied to the Honda Smart Home US are a solar-power system, a Honda energy-management system, high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, and a lighting system designed by US Davis, and direct solar PV-to-vehicle charging.
The home will be designed to achieve top-level green building certifications from the major US rating systems.
With a holistic approach to sustainability, it will feature passive design elements as well as novel materials to further reduce CO2 emissions from the production of building materials and the construction and operation of the home.
Honda anticipates construction of the Honda Smart Home, at a site in the UC Davis West Village development, to be completed by the end of this year.
The home will be leased to individuals associated with UC Davis, though further details have not been finalised.
Last year, Honda unveiled the Honda Smart Home System in the Japanese city of Saitama.
The HSHS project includes two homes: one is a demonstration-only home, while the other serves as a residence for Honda associates.
Both feature comprehensive controls of in-house energy supply and demand, and help manage both the generation and consumption of energy for the home.
“With Honda Smart Home US we will showcase our vision for a lifestyle that produces zero CO2, and that could even save consumers money,” said Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor.
“Home energy use and personal mobility account for most of an individual’s carbon emissions. By addressing both sources together, we are advancing technologies that will reduce carbon and eventually transform home design,” he added.
“We [at UC Davis] are excited by the opportunity for our scientists to test new ideas for integrated and commercially viable carbon-reduction technologies,” said Nicole Woolsey Biggart, director of the university’s Energy Efficiency Centre.