Redefining the “Smart” Home / by Jack Laken

Redefining the “Smart” Home

In our quest for advancement, technology is often at the forefront. We have systems that predict and control virtually everything from our heating to our lights to our water.  In the attempt to advance our homes and lives, we gravitate towards the latest and greatest- the best phone, latest security system, and energy conserving appliances. We are quick to discard the old, and have in turn, become an extremely disposable society increasing landfill waste and our environmental footprint.

Merriam Webster dictionary defines “Smart” as showing intelligence or good judgment. This begs the question; are the solutions that are choosing for your home, and in turn, your city, truly smart ones?

Choose Longevity

Waste is not smart.  Neglecting effective technology from the past is not smart. And yet, we do this time and time again! We are the most wasteful society that exists.  Instead of repurposing our technology, we add it to the electronic waste bin. But how is the recycling (the rebuilding) of these electronic pieces impacting our environment?

If you want to truly create a smarter city, it needs to begin not with technology but by choosing solutions that have longevity.

What is a Smart Home?

Sustainable homes are smart homes. So what are the factors that naturally lend to sustainability?

  • Homes that require less energy to heat and cool
  • Minimizing impact on the environment and the home through both the choice of materials and how they are used
  • Durable materials that will require minimal maintenance and upgrades

Learn From the Past

What if instead of looking towards new technology, we look at what worked in the past? Maybe the most effective solution has already been discovered? Maybe, investing latest and greatest technology isn’t the answer to truly building a smart city.  Instead shouldn’t we be looking at investing in materials that will sustain and lead to a net zero life?   Sustainable materials that can be repurposed to not only reduce energy but harness it.

Sustainability can not be segmented into individual pieces, systems and equipment. Instead, it is about taking inventory of the whole home and how each component will bring you closer to a net zero life style. This includes taking an inventory of what we already have and how to increase its efficiency.

Instead of discarding items, let’s look at ways that we can advance them.  In turn, we will create a home and a city that is truly smarter.