By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


House of the future will 'pick and mix' technologies


The late 1980s vision of the home of the future with a computer in the kitchen and a goat in the garden has been superseded by a new incongruity: a house with a reed bed outside and computerised lighting within. These are two of the possible 'pick and mix' elements in integer (Intelligent and Green Housing Project), a vision which will start to be realised when it goes on site in Harlow and West Bromwich later this year.

A team from the European Intelligent Building Group, Berkeley Partnership Homes and the bre has been working on the project for two years, and will reveal its findings next week. A report produced by Peter Concannon, of engineer Oscar Faber, highlights a number of opportunities which he says 'provide designers with a 'shopping list' to choose those technologies appropriate to their integer developments'.

These technologies include: solar panels for hot water or whole-house solar heating (photovoltaics are too expensive to install to be used widely); water from bore-holes; rainwater collection; recycling of grey water; reed beds for natural filtration; central computers to control lighting and energy; 'intelligent' controllers that respond to variations in room occupancy, weather conditions and fuel cost; remote monitoring and control of the home; stack ventilation and automatic blinds in tempered zones such as conservatories; enhanced security measures, particularly for vulnerable groups.

Eighteen flats will be built on the Harlow site, and more in West Bromwich, where the site area is 1.6 ha. A total of 12 local authorities and housing associations have signed up to take part in the realisation of the project.

Some of the integer ideas were incorporated in a model house which formed part of a dti-sponsored exhibition in Australia last November.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters