Energy efficient houses are perhaps not new to realm of architecture; however, energy efficient houses controlled by smartphones are certainly original! And, that is exactly what Soleta zeroEnergy One house ‘brings to the table’ with its efficacious design complemented by a slew of smartphone-controlled green features. Envisaged as a project outside the American Embassy in Bucharest, Romania; the smart, modular house is capable of maintaining an optimized indoor temperature all throughout the year, and that too by consuming only 45 percent of energy required by comparable structures. According to the designers, Justin Capra Foundation for Invention and Sustainable Technologies (FITS), this is only possible through the application of passive architectural techniques like strategic insulation, open floor plans, natural ventilation, along with usage of efficient building materials available in the local sector.
Of course, beyond passive techniques, the Soleta house also utilizes more ‘traditional’ forms of green energy solutions including solar heating, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and radiant floor heating. And, this is where the smartphone controlling comes into the picture. With the Soleta being integrated with a KNX climate control system, a specialized smartphone app helps (at a micro-level) by adjusting air circulation, temperature and carbon-dioxide levels all throughout the user oriented spaces. Furthermore, it can also control the positioning of the louvers in the windows and activate a special heat recovery system in scenarios of very low temperatures.
Finally, the modular nature of the building allows various instances of flexibility for the user. For example, with a few structural adjustments, the energy efficient Soleta can be converted into a summer home, an office and also a spacious studio.
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