The Virginia Tech FutureHAUS team may have just built the house of the future. Inspired by both the automotive and airplane industries, the FutureHAUS team created a prefabricated modular design that integrated new materials, 3-D printing, smart technologies, and energy-efficient systems. The result is a new way to build homes and a new way to live.
Inspiration—Tradition and Technology
The FutureHAUS features a 3-D printed sink with baked-in plumbing, a T.V. that swivels in a cutout wall so you can watch T.V. in the living room or participate in a teleconference in your office, moveable walls in the living room to adjust for use, a foldup bed to create more space, and a roof mailbox for drone deliveries. More, the house was able to produce more electricity (50kilowatt hours) than it used (35kwh), while keeping itself at a comfortable 73F.
Further, FutureHAUS is a smart house—and a very smart house at that. Whether for entertainment, energy management, or accessibility, the FutureHAUS adjusts each room according to who has entered or exited. It could bring shelves down to those in wheel chairs or dim the lights for those with sensory issues. Individuals can be recognized through voice, height, or even the way they walk.
The kitchen has a monitor to allow you to access recipes or watch cooking videos, and the backsplash is also a touch interface to help you access the home’s smart system. The bathroom not only has a 3-D sink—it also has an adjustable-height toilet, a tub where you can watch TV or your favorite videos, and a mirror that displays your weight. A mirror that displays your weight? Yes, because the floor is actually weighing you.
And the Winner Is…
Using their cutting edge designs and the most recent technology, FutureHAUS has gone on to win first place in the Inaugural Solar Decathlon Middle East in Dubai. Virginia Tech was the only U.S.-based team out of the participating 22 teams. The Solar Decathlon, an international biennial competition aimed at sustainability, innovation, and research, was created by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002. The Solar Decathlon Middle East also requires teams to design a home based on Middle Eastern culture.
The FutureHAUS team was able to combine modularity, green technology, 3-D printing technology, and a high degree of space adjustability with a Middle Eastern architectural style—demonstrating the full versatility of their approach. This means their design is both universal in its design and innovation, while allowing for diversity in style.
The Elements of Design
Element Designs is proud to have been a part of Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS sustainable design. At Element Designs we provide custom, contemporary cabinet doors, sliding door systems, and surfacing products made of aluminum, glass, and acrylic. Manufactured in the United States using completely recyclable long-lasting aluminum and glass materials containing post-industrial recycled content containing no VOCs in their manufacture, 100 percent recyclable packaging, using eco-friendly practices, our products are perfect for residential and commercial environments.
To learn more about how Element Designs can bring an eco-friendly, fashionable future into your home or business, visit us at https://www.element-designs.com/sustainability today!