Competition Winning Entry – Smart House 2000 Competition – Department of Housing and QMBA
By using conventional construction materials and techniques in innovative ways the Smart House does not cost more to build than a conventional house. However, good design reduces the lifecycle cost of the house.
The Smart House incorporates features that allow it to be suitable for a wide range of family groups over a wide range of age groups. The use of wider passageways, doors and distances between work benches allows the house to be accessible to everyone. Ramps at door thresholds to avoid steps, accessible design of wet areas to comply with AS 1428, and the positioning of doors, do not add considerably to the cost of the house but ensure it is suitable for a wide variety of people.
The Smart House has been designed to incorporate home safety features to protect the general population and children. The design allows for visual supervision of front and rear yards from the central living/cooking area. This house’s safety features include smoke alarms, residual current devices, security screens and doors, thermostatic hot water mixing valves, childproof locks and gates, childproof oven guards, and power plug guards.
The Smart House has been oriented to maximize the solar efficiency of the design. Living rooms and bedrooms face north, ancilliary spaces face south or west. Wide roof overhangs and window shading devices control entry of sun and protect openings from rain. Abundant north and south facing glass allows natural light to enter all spaces. This reduces the need for artificial light during daytime.
Rooms have been designed to have cross ventilation. Insulation of the roof and walls makes the house thermally efficient in all seasons and reduces the need for mechanical heating or cooling. Ceiling fans have been incorporated in living and bedrooms for times when natural breezes are not available. Ceiling heights have been increased to 2700mm to assist natural ventilation and prevent heat entering the house.
Smart Houses of the future will contain a Communications Hub to control communications, home finances, and building services monitoring.