Employing an off-site “cartridge” building process adapted from the modular and manufacturing industries, FutureHAUS demonstrates a more efficient way to build than conventional construction.
Virginia Tech’s student-faculty research team pre-configures complex home components, like kitchens, bathrooms, mechanical rooms, and bedroom walls, in a factory setting. The process creates a controlled environment to integrate and test advanced technologies, electrical, plumbing, and other home systems.
Once at the construction site, cartridges can be quickly installed and linked. By moving building of these sophisticated parts off-site, many concerns about scheduling, weather, safety, and waste are eliminated.
The concepts modeled in FutureHAUS can be used to build homes that intuitively respond to the needs of everyone from millennials and centennials to the aging and housebound – allowing people to live better and more sustainably.
The house’s smart technology “learns” user needs and responds to changing conditions and activities. Residents interact with the house through traditional and non-traditional user interfaces (e.g., voice recognition, touch, gesture, proximity, motion). The home’s systems monitor living patterns and resources (e.g., energy, food consumption, dwelling habits), making it easier to perform daily tasks and supporting a more comfortable and healthy lifestyle.