Honda Smart Home US

We selected interior finishes and furnishings that utilized sustainable materials and were produced locally. The result is a beautiful, comfortable, safe and healthy space.

Thanks to Kristen Gong @ MAK Design+Build

Sustainable building requires much more than solar panels and energy efficiency measures, so we used thoughtful design techniques and materials throughout the #HondaSmartHome to conserve water, manage construction waste and improve indoor air quality.

In part four of our appearance, the Designing Spaces crew takes a look at how we strategically placed Honda Smart Home to reduce heating and cooling loads, and used indoor lighting scenes to complement the body’s natural circadian rhythm.

In part three of our appearance on Designing Spaces, Jonathan Woolley explains how we heat and cool the home, using only 1/5th the energy a typical home uses. 

Designing Spaces, which airs on Lifetime, visited us in Davis a few weeks ago. Here’s part one of the episode. 

We took advantage of the local Davis climate and implemented passive solar design techniques that reduce the need for traditional heating and cooling methods without sacrificing occupant comfort. Here’s how we did it.

The LED lighting used throughout Honda Smart Home is not only five times more energy-efficient than conventional lighting; it is also designed to support the health and wellness of the home’s occupants. Honda worked with researchers from the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis to explore new circadian color control logic. Mimicking the natural shifts in daylight that occur from morning to night, the circadian-friendly lighting design allows occupants to select lighting scenes that complement occupants’ circadian rhythms and support nighttime vision. The amber hallway night lights, for example, provide enough light to navigate through the home in darkness without depleting a photopigment in the human eye called rhodopsin that helps humans see in low-light conditions. This allows occupants to move about safely and return to sleep quickly and easily. 

Honda Smart Home is designed to be extremely energy efficient by taking into account local weather conditions, sun direction and the home’s outer shell. Known as “passive design,” these techniques reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling while maintaining comfortable living conditions.The Honda Smart Home’s south-facing windows are optimized for heating and cooling, while the north-facing windows are positioned to maximize natural light and ventilation. This will keep the home naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Double stud walls, cool roofing material and a fully insulated concrete slab all contribute to the home’s energy efficiency. 

In homes and cars, heating and air conditioning systems consume significant amounts of energy. In the ground beneath Honda Smart Home’s backyard, eight 20-foot deep boreholes allow a geothermal heat pump to harness the ground’s relatively stable thermal sink to heat and cool the home’s floors and ceiling throughout the year. Researchers from UC Davis will evaluate the performance of the system to determine its adaptability to mainstream use. Honda Smart Home’s heating and cooling system is five times more efficient than a comparable home. 

Honda’s experimental home energy management system (HEMSx) monitors, controls and optimizes electrical generation and consumption throughout the Honda Smart Home’s microgrid. A 10kWh battery energy storage system in the garage, using the same lithium-ion cells that are used in the Fit EV, allows stored solar energy to be used at night, when household demand typically peaks and electric vehicles are usually charged. 

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