The Virginia Tech FutureHAUS™ is a revolutionary prototype for the home of the future, offering a stunning preview of how digital technologies, cutting-edge products, and smart building design will unite to make our homes more responsive to our future needs and way of living.
Unveiled in four phases — starting with the kitchen in 2015, the bathroom and living room in 2016, and culminating in the bedroom and home office in 2017 — Virginia Tech and our industry partners are showing how smart design and technology can solve universal challenges in home building to make homes of the future more efficient, sustainable, and affordable.
Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS™ research proposes an alternative to conventional construction: a pre-fab delivery method for assembling medium and high-density urban housing, which can be less expensive, safer, energy-efficient, and of the highest quality. Additionally, the advanced electronics that we expect to have in our homes today can be immediately integrated into the construction and assembly process.
Kitchens, bathrooms, audio visual walls, mechanical rooms and closets can be assembled in a factory as plug-and-play “cartridges” that are fully pre-finished, pre-plumbed, and pre-wired. 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 kitchen prototype is the signature cartridge for the FutureHAUS research proposal, providing proof of concept for the “Internet of Things” kitchen. Featuring a wide range of smart appliances and interactive displays, the FutureHAUS kitchen demonstrates the ways smart technologies can assist with daily tasks in the kitchen and the home.
The bathroom prototype integrates new and innovative fixtures, technologies, and materials to create the bathroom of the future. User-friendly, electronic interfaces help control water and temperature flow, monitor energy and water consumption, accommodate working heights for multigenerational users, and customize music and lighting.
The living room prototype demonstrates the “connected” home and how multiple systems, including lighting, climate controls, entertainment, security, and other features, can interact and automatically adjust to the user’s needs as conditions change throughout the day.