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Your Idea of the House of the Future


Airbrush
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Posted (edited)

In 100 years from now, what features would you expect a house to have? 

POWER:  By 2122 you would think that all roofing material would be very durable and covered with solar cells.  The entire roof will generate power to be stored in banks of super batteries.  Only a fraction of the power generated on the roof will be needed by the household, most will go to community batteries for local public use. 

WATER:  Where I live in dry southern Calif, fresh water will become an issue.  I was thinking of gutters to collect all rainwater.  But simpler than that, and a great expansion of surface area for rain to be captured would be to have about an 8-foot concrete margin around the perimeter of the house, sloping towards the house to save all that water, channeled into drains to the reservoir under the house, skipping the need for gutters.  All the water that lands on the roof pours off and it collected in drains around the house.  Also rain runoff from streets, sidewalks, and parking lots, would channel rainwater to local reservoirs. 

INSULATION:  The walls and windows would be incredibly insulating, and yet thin, durable, and non-flammable.  Very little energy would be needed to change the climate inside the house.  Once a dwelling is room temperature, even if the temp outside is very high or low, the insulation is so good that it stays room temperature inside.

FOOD PRODUCTION:  Everybody has greenhouses to grow a lot of good stuff at home.

What else?

Edited by Airbrush
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I'd like to see high levels of cooking automation. Could be hugely time saving for cheap, healthy meal preparation.

In other areas of living as well, ideally without needing an external server.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Airbrush said:

In 100 years from now, what features would you expect a house to have? 

POWER:  By 2122 you would think that all roofing material would be very durable and covered with solar cells.  The entire roof will generate power to be stored in banks of super batteries.  Only a fraction of the power generated on the roof will be needed by the household, most will go to community batteries for local public use. 

WATER:  Where I live in dry southern Calif, fresh water will become an issue.  I was thinking of gutters to collect all rainwater.  But simpler than that, and a great expansion of surface area for rain to be captured would be to have about an 8-foot concrete margin around the perimeter of the house, sloping towards the house to save all that water, channeled into drains to the reservoir under the house, skipping the need for gutters.  All the water that lands on the roof pours off and it collected in drains around the house.  Also rain runoff from streets, sidewalks, and parking lots, would channel rainwater to local reservoirs. 

INSULATION:  The walls and windows would be incredibly insulating, and yet thin, durable, and non-flammable.  Very little energy would be needed to change the climate inside the house.  Once a dwelling is room temperature, even if the temp outside is very high or low, the insulation is so good that it stays room temperature inside.

FOOD PRODUCTION:  Everybody has greenhouses to grow a lot of good stuff at home.

What else?

How about thinking about city dwellers? Suppose you are in a terraced house or an apartment. How would you see that all working?

Edited by exchemist
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3 hours ago, exchemist said:

Suppose you are in a terraced house or an apartment. How would you see that all working?

Like this? https://thedigestonline.com/community-human-interest/sustainable-cities-of-the-future/

Or this one? https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/10/19/welcome-to-the-milan-apartments-where-300-humans-live-in-harmony-with-21-000-trees

The future is among us.

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10 hours ago, Endy0816 said:

I'd like to see high levels of cooking automation. Could be hugely time saving for cheap, healthy meal preparation.

In other areas of living as well, ideally without needing an external server.

Isn't this basically what we already have, on a mass production scale?  Those who enjoy cooking still buy basic foods, chop, slice, dice, boil, saute, roast, fry, etc.  Those who don't can buy already prepared frozen meals, or open a couple cans, or make a sandwich in very short time.  (One wonders what sort of life is it, where one would need to save even those few minutes...not a life I'd want.)

We're already to where I can make a meal with so little effort that it's hard to see the economic investment of cooking robots or whatever. Also, given the  much-needed social aspect of meal preparation in familial cohesion, what would be further eroded or lost by total automation?

 

15 hours ago, Airbrush said:

WATER:  Where I live in dry southern Calif, fresh water will become an issue.  I was thinking of gutters to collect all rainwater.  But simpler than that, and a great expansion of surface area for rain to be captured would be to have about an 8-foot concrete margin around the perimeter of the house, sloping towards the house to save all that water, channeled into drains to the reservoir under the house, skipping the need for gutters.  All the water that lands on the roof pours off and it collected in drains around the house.  Also rain runoff from streets, sidewalks, and parking lots, would channel rainwater to local reservoirs. 

This has real problems, given the toxic residues that lurk on shingle roofs and other exterior surfaces around SFDs.  That said, a cistern system with a non-asphalt shingle roof, and a purification system that's reasonably priced, could be a big part of solving water supply woes.  Could certainly help with graywater needs.  Getting it to reasonable potability standards might be pretty spendy - there's a reason we do things like that on a larger scale, sometimes.

Another thought, in America some of our energy woes (and housing costs woes) relate to the culturally dictated norms of square footage per person, which are fairly ridiculous.  I think the so-called tiny house movement, at least in its less extreme branch, has a lot of common sense to offer in creating housing options that offer much lower energy requirements and construction costs.  

I know a couple who have a house that's 2200 SF.  They know it's stupid, and wasteful, and encourages using some room as dumps for consumer crap they would have resisted in a smaller house.  Two people can generally do well with a third that square footage.  Do you really need a sewing room or a guest bedroom when you don't sew and your guests are usually ending up on the foldout couch?  

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A lot of water collection [where legal] and storage retrofits are already available, and there is a ton of information on grey water recycling. 

The Earthship home designs were developed in the desert and are entirely self-sufficient - as I believe every house should be, for survival necessities, and every community should be for conveniences and comforts.

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2 hours ago, TheVat said:

Isn't this basically what we already have, on a mass production scale?  Those who enjoy cooking still buy basic foods, chop, slice, dice, boil, saute, roast, fry, etc.  Those who don't can buy already prepared frozen meals, or open a couple cans, or make a sandwich in very short time.  (One wonders what sort of life is it, where one would need to save even those few minutes...not a life I'd want.)

We're already to where I can make a meal with so little effort that it's hard to see the economic investment of cooking robots or whatever. Also, given the  much-needed social aspect of meal preparation in familial cohesion, what would be further eroded or lost by total automation?

We sort of do though we're still presently stuck deciding between time/quality/cost when all three variables could be improved.

Your house could order all the raw ingredients, process as needed and cook a Michelin quality meal for you.

Wouldn't appeal to everyone naturally but would be beneficial for vast majority.

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28 minutes ago, Endy0816 said:

Your house could order all the raw ingredients, process as needed and cook a Michelin quality meal for you.

Where would the produce and energy come from? Ordering is easy; delivering is work. Michelin meals are not exactly "processed"; the house would need some very fine robotics with a range of chef skills... I doubt a self-catering home will be within reach of the vast majority.  

On the contrary, it looks as if the future will have to be a whole lot less lavish than past we're accustomed to.

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

Where would the produce and energy come from? Ordering is easy; delivering is work. Michelin meals are not exactly "processed"; the house would need some very fine robotics with a range of chef skills... I doubt a self-catering home will be within reach of the vast majority.  

On the contrary, it looks as if the future will have to be a whole lot less lavish than past we're accustomed to.

Energy and food sources should be based on your preferences. House could just as easily check your garden or fly a drone over to your local farmer.

Typically not much but pretty much everything requires some processing.

ie. Wheat into flour

Adds to cost while typically starting the clock ticking.

We have most of the bits and pieces so just a matter of integration and bringing costs down.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Endy0816 said:

Energy and food sources should be based on your preferences. House could just as easily check your garden or fly a drone over to your local farmer.

So, this is just wishing, not practical speculation on future resource-management.

Edited by Peterkin
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

So, this is just wishing, not practical speculation on future resource-management.

Market will value your time as a resource.

Edited by Endy0816
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Time spent cooking is a valuable, grounding thing.  Never met anyone who learned some cooking skills who regrets the time they spend cooking.   We are humans, with dextrous hands and inherent creative energy, and there is joy in the art of preparing good meals.  Good cooking comes from conscious beings with palates and noses, who can test for those nuances that makes a dish  memorable. The idea of turning that over to a robot seems both sad and doomed to failure.

And what would happen to interesting mistakes?  Ones that turn out amazingly delicious, or that become a funny story in a family or social group that becomes a shared experience.  I'm tired of imagining idealized futures that take all the wrinkles out of life, where all experiences are neatly prepared and scrubbed of imperfection.  We need a little reminder of entropy...

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TheVat said:

Time spent cooking is a valuable, grounding thing.  Never met anyone who learned some cooking skills who regrets the time they spend cooking.   We are humans, with dextrous hands and inherent creative energy, and there is joy in the art of preparing good meals.  Good cooking comes from conscious beings with palates and noses, who can test for those nuances that makes a dish  memorable. The idea of turning that over to a robot seems both sad and doomed to failure.

And what would happen to interesting mistakes?  Ones that turn out amazingly delicious, or that become a funny story in a family or social group that becomes a shared experience.  I'm tired of imagining idealized futures that take all the wrinkles out of life, where all experiences are neatly prepared and scrubbed of imperfection.  We need a little reminder of entropy...

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...

 

 

I agree cooking can be rewarding. Got pretty into it during the furlough actually. Since time is scarce though Market will try and nudge the masses at least towards convenience.

Novel and varied recipes are doable. Probably have to anyways as identical meals would still get old fast. Could pause to ask your opinion as well.

 

 

Edited by Endy0816
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Posted (edited)
On 5/17/2022 at 2:38 AM, exchemist said:

How about thinking about city dwellers? Suppose you are in a terraced house or an apartment. How would you see that all working?

Good question!   The maximum surface area is used to collect as much solar power and water as possible.  The suburbs surrounding the city maybe can contribute their excess water and power.  Remember that all city pavement (sidewalks, parking lots, streets, and highways) will have rainwater runoff.  As much as possible will be channeled to local reservoirs.  You can't solve ALL problems.

Maybe besides covering all roofs in a city with solar cells, you can also have solar cells embedded on pavement, sidewalks, parking lots, streets, and highways?

Another thing, storm shelters for all houses.  100 years from now weather may be so extreme that hurricanes and tornadoes are more common.  Tsunami shelters for all island and coastal dwellers!

Edited by Airbrush
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Maybe besides covering all roofs in a city with solar cells, you can also have solar cells embedded on pavement, sidewalks, parking lots, streets, and highways?

You don't have to go so far. The roadways only need to be permeable, or convex (whichever is appropriate to its use) in order to collect water, and a light colour, to reflect sunlight, instead of absorbing it. OTH, your house walls - what isn't covered in vegetation, need to be thick and heat-retentive, to cut down on heating/cooling.

You need not depend on solar energy (which still carries a biggish ecological burden in its batteries and distribution system); you can augment it with whatever natural energy is most readily available in a locale: wind (This is one of many available models https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/04/06/could-this-be-the-safest-most-powerful-wind-turbine-in-the-world) wave or tide generators (not sure about these; they seem to need a lot of unwieldy infrastructure and mechanical devices https://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/wave-energy/wave-energy.html   https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/tidal-energy/) and of course, good old hydro, which ought to be done on small scale, according to local ecology and conditions, instead of damming the big, life-blood rivers, so that the trickle that finally reaches the ocean is too shallow for salmon to negotiate.  https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/planning-microhydropower-system   

Of course, the most important, decisive aspect of power is how it's used. We've been unforgivably wasteful for a very long time. We need to make our houses and factories far more efficient (and wherever possible, self-sufficient) https://www.nxtcontrol.com/factory-ecomation/  and we need to rely a lot less on technology and a lot more on human motive power - we'd be a whole lot healthier, too.

There are ideas and experiments and projects all over the world - and people (I mean normal people, not eco and architecture geeks like me) hardly ever hear about them.

2 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Another thing, storm shelters for all houses. 

If you build earth-sheltered, packed earth, straw-bale or cob house, or build thick rock walls to collect heat, you have protection from heavy weather, and a lot less sail surface for the wind get hold on. If you then make the roof a low curve, it's a natural shelter. https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/underground-homes  You have to make sure you're digging above the water table and the  flood-plain of the nearest river. 

With city apartment buildings, this is more complicated. I would very strongly recommend low-rise, low-profile, blunt-cornered buildings with deep cellars and reinforced exit tunnels.  Those tall forest-buildings in Milan and Singapore look beautiful, but they are vulnerable, and hard to escape from.

Put a berm around the whole complex, https://www.stantec.com/en/ideas/elevating-low-rise-development-its-a-swell-idea and you're practically home-free - plus some really good skateboarding, sledding opportunities for the residents... 

Here is a cool design for a public building https://www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/eastern-norway/oslo/oslo-opera-house/

Edited by Peterkin
my god, it's full of typos....
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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Peterkin said:

You don't have to go so far. The roadways only need to be permeable, or convex (whichever is appropriate to its use) in order to collect water, and a light colour, to reflect sunlight, instead of absorbing it. OTH, your house walls - what isn't covered in vegetation, need to be thick and heat-retentive, to cut down on heating/cooling.

You need not depend on solar energy (which still carries a biggish ecological burden in its batteries and distribution system); you can augment it with whatever natural energy is most readily available in a locale: wind (This is one of many available models https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/04/06/could-this-be-the-safest-most-powerful-wind-turbine-in-the-world) wave or tide generators (not sure about these; they seem to need a lot of unwieldy infrastructure and mechanical devices https://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/wave-energy/wave-energy.html   https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/tidal-energy/) and of course, good old hydro, which ought to be done on small scale, according to local ecology and conditions, instead of damming the big, life-blood rivers, so that the trickle that finally reaches the ocean is too shallow for salmon to negotiate.  https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/planning-microhydropower-system   

Of course, the most important, decisive aspect of power is how it's used. We've been unforgivably wasteful for a very long time. We need to make our houses and factories far more efficient (and wherever possible, self-sufficient) https://www.nxtcontrol.com/factory-ecomation/  and we need to rely a lot less on technology and a lot more on human motive power - we'd be a whole lot healthier, too.

There are ideas and experiments and projects all over the world - and people (I mean normal people, not eco and architecture geeks like me) hardly ever hear about them.

If you build earth-sheltered, packed earth, straw-bale or cob house, or build thick rock walls to collect heat, you have protection from heavy weather, and a lot less sail surface for the wind get hold on. If you then make the roof a low curve, it's a natural shelter. https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/underground-homes  You have to make sure you're digging above the water table and the  flood-plain of the nearest river. 

With city apartment buildings, this is more complicated. I would very strongly recommend low-rise, low-profile, blunt-cornered buildings with deep cellars and reinforced exit tunnels.  Those tall forest-buildings in Milan and Singapore look beautiful, but they are vulnerable, and hard to escape from.

Put a berm around the whole complex, https://www.stantec.com/en/ideas/elevating-low-rise-development-its-a-swell-idea and you're practically home-free - plus some really good skateboarding, sledding opportunities for the residents... 

Here is a cool design for a public building https://www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/eastern-norway/oslo/oslo-opera-house/

Very interesting.  You have many good points here.  That gets me thinking.  I like the idea of low-rise structures for small communities.  You can have communal green houses for raising as much food as possible.  Build geodesic domes over or around buildings to support them better.  Have hanging gardens. 

"Deep cellars" are needed for my idea for stand-alone single-family structures.  Stand-alone houses would be less common, and more expensive, than low-rise apartment complexes.  But if you can afford it, many would prefer the autonomy of their own stand-alone home.  Deep cellars are necessary for water storage of a thousand gallons per house, banks of "super" batteries, and a storm shelter stocked with survival supplies, which may be more common in 100 years.

In 100 years, I think battery technology will have improved so much that the entire roof of a stand-alone house will produce far more than enough solar power for a single family.  The excess power generated can be sold.

"With climate change and extreme weather events in mind, the carbon footprint of the stand-alone home and the automobile-centric infrastructure required to sustain it is hard to rationalize."

Maybe.

 

Edited by Airbrush
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On 5/17/2022 at 10:52 AM, TheVat said:

 

This has real problems, given the toxic residues that lurk on shingle roofs and other exterior surfaces around SFDs.  That said, a cistern system with a non-asphalt shingle roof, and a purification system that's reasonably priced, could be a big part of solving water supply woes.  Could certainly help with graywater needs.  Getting it to reasonable potability standards might be pretty spendy - there's a reason we do things like that on a larger scale, sometimes.

Another thought, in America some of our energy woes (and housing costs woes) relate to the culturally dictated norms of square footage per person, which are fairly ridiculous.  I think the so-called tiny house movement, at least in its less extreme branch, has a lot of common sense to offer in creating housing options that offer much lower energy requirements and construction costs.  

I know a couple who have a house that's 2200 SF.  They know it's stupid, and wasteful, and encourages using some room as dumps for consumer crap they would have resisted in a smaller house.  Two people can generally do well with a third that square footage.  Do you really need a sewing room or a guest bedroom when you don't sew and your guests are usually ending up on the foldout couch?  

@Airbrush, since I posted a fairly extensive reply to your OP (mainly directed at your segment "Water") the other day, I am reposting in hopes of getting a reply this time.  

If my main point was obscured, let me just say that many techno fixes work better when scaled up to blocks or communities, simply because their per-person cost drops so much.  Highly engineered systems for SFD (single-family dwellings) may be prohibitive in cost for all but the wealthy.  That said, I think there are simpler water recovery options, at homes, for graywater purposes.  

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8 hours ago, TheVat said:

@Airbrush, since I posted a fairly extensive reply to your OP (mainly directed at your segment "Water") the other day, I am reposting in hopes of getting a reply this time.  

If my main point was obscured, let me just say that many techno fixes work better when scaled up to blocks or communities, simply because their per-person cost drops so much.  Highly engineered systems for SFD (single-family dwellings) may be prohibitive in cost for all but the wealthy.  That said, I think there are simpler water recovery options, at homes, for graywater purposes.  

You are correct about upscaling to blocks or communities.  My hopes are that engineering a SFD intelligently could be affordable to many, if not most people of 2122.  It would require excavating a deep cellar under the home for water and battery storage, and survival supplies, and it's a storm shelter.  Cover the roof with solar panels, collect all water runoff in a reservoir.   And in the back yard a green house.  If the house is not too big, maybe living away from the grid could be affordable.

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