Chicago Smart Home

October 3rd, 2012 2:05 pm

I bet you’d be just as surprised as I was, if you stumbled upon a live size residential structure in the courtyard of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. This is not a new exhibit, yet I have not heard about it before. In fact, 2012 may be the last year it is open to the public. Designed by Michelle Kaufmann, it is a true representation of smart and sustainable living.

Welcome to Smart Home!

Designed to “let the green in”, the Smart Home is the perfect scale and size for a home owner conscious of his own health and well-being as well as the environment. It is a gem from both efficiency and design stand point.

It shows a lot of character and community involvement. Thanks to a creative team from Scout, the living room and many other rooms in the house, tell unique stories with repurposed furnishings and decor elements.

All bathrooms, and there are three, utilize cleverly recycled or repurposed counter tops and tile. If you are searching for a sustainable alternative to the all-times popular granite or quartz counter material, check out Terra Green Ceramics, made with 55% recycled glass content,

or Glass2, a 99% recycled glass product, which contains no resin, glue or chemicals.

Besides the expected green systems like solar panels on the roof, and rain water collecting system installed under the floor,

the home includes top of the line technology features:

  • The master bathroom’s mirror can report the time, temperature, news and traffic, track weight gain and loss… and even access your Facebook account.
  • A digital camera lets you change the focus of pictures… after you’ve already taken them.
  • A water oven brings sous vide—precise cooking with vacuum-sealed pouches in temperature-controlled water—to the consumer kitchen.
  • Self-watering plants monitor their own moisture levels.

Upstairs, function meets fun. A kids room maximizes on space with a modern bunk bed, lots of interactive play features and abundance of natural light.

On the opposite side of the house, the master bedroom and bath combination offers enough storage space and comfortable quarters for adults.

Guest what I found in the closet.  A pair of handsome looking shoes by Oat which, once worn out, can be put in the ground and will grow a tree out of. Ha!

The Smart Home brought back my desire to build a modular home for me and my family one day. Time and time again, we are shown the limitless possibilities in sustainable building, which should no longer be an option for geeks (like myself). It is a choice that is accessible for all, and it should be seriously considered.


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