The importance of 'future proofing' new homes

The importance of 'future proofing' new homes

The latest research by the NHBC Foundation has found that homes of the future will need to be properly hard-wired as technology plays a greater role in looking after the health and wellbeing of owners.

The ‘Connected Home’ report identifies and examines the benefits of smart technologies which are transforming the way we live, including those which are already available through to those on the near and distant horizon.

From current technology such as movie streaming to the possibilities offered by the ‘Internet of Things’, the NHBC Foundation report finds that smart homes will increasingly offer better comfort, improved energy efficiency and health benefits.
The report offers guidance to house builders, recommending that they ‘future proof’ new homes by including a small amount of additional hard wiring.

Research has found that the penetration of ‘smart home’ technology is set to rise from 11% today to 27% by 2020

Smart technologies identified in the report include:

• Door entry and security systems that are controlled by face recognition and alert parents when their kids return home.
• Real time medical monitoring of the elderly – such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and sleep patterns – with a function to call an ambulance or alert the GP.

• Ovens with cameras that notify homeowners when their cake has risen.
• Toothbrushes that monitor oral hygiene and send alerts directly to the dentist if medical conditions are detected.
• Floors or stairs that can weigh homeowners, track activity and automatically ‘lock the biscuit cupboard’ if they are watching their waistline.

Neil Smith, Head of Research & Innovation at NHBC said: “Continual developments in technology over recent decades have transformed the way we work; they are also increasingly changing the way we live in our ‘connected’ homes.

Connectivity to the Internet at faster speeds is becoming more important, and something that we now expect as a matter of course in just the same way as the supply of other utilities such as water and electricity.

The connectivity of homes will become more and more important in relation to people’s health and wellbeing. As our population ages, people will increasingly benefit from technologies that are able to monitor health and activity levels.

Regardless of how smart technology develops, house builders should aim to provide the basic infrastructure for a good home network. Even simple measures at construction stage such as the installation of a couple of wired network points can reap rewards for residents now and in the future.”

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