Richard Carr looks at the first smart housing development in the UK

The future is here, at least in terms of houses that do everything for you. Just like we were promised decades ago, houses in 2018 can use technology to take the hassle out of every day life for their owners.

Although most people are aware of smart technology used to control appliances from a smartphone app, or speaking assistants like Alexa and Siri, every day smart homes can seem a far away prospect. While we can assume that millionaires may use technology in ever-increasingly sophisticated ways in their homes, what about the more ordinary houses?

Latest technology

This is where Sommar Place comes in. The housing development in Milton Keynes looks very ordinary, and that’s the point. The houses are normal, every-day houses, but utilise smart technology as standard.

So, this isn’t a dream home for the future, it’s a home for now. They’re not for the superrich, but affordable homes for expanding families. Using this kind of interconnected technology will very soon be expected as standard for new developments.

Scandinavian design

richard carr TrivselhusThe 39 houses were developed by Swedish builder Trivselhus, using Scandinavian energy efficient design along with the most up tod ate smart home tech by Apple.

The system is fully interconnected throughout each property and is both easy to use and fully customisable. People who live in these houses can programme their home to do everything they want. For example, it’s possible to instruct the house to put the kettle on in the morning, programme the lights to come on at a specific time, or warm the towel rails in the bathroom as you’re waking up.

Automated from outside

Residents can also automate the house when they’re out, based on when they’re due to come back. For example, setting a customised programme named ‘coming home’ would make sure the lights come on, the heating is at the correct temperature and music is playing as they arrive home.

An Apple watch and an iPad come with the house, and residents can instruct their house using Siri, as well as Apple TV and HomePod.

What about privacy?

These days, many people are worried about the impact of interconnected technology on their privacy. This system uses end-to-end encrypted security to ensure that whatever residents do remains behind their closed door.

Previously only available in multi-million-pound bespoke homes for the very wealthy, this is the first time integrated smart tech has been used in affordable homes from the outset. While it’s possible to retrofit any home, this development is paving the way for technology to become standard in new developments.

Ken Forster is the MD of Tivselhus. He said: It’s our mission at Trivselhus to develop family homes that have a positive impact on how people live. Technology is essential in easing people’s lives, so it is important that moving forward family homes are designed with smart home technology at their fore.”

Ecological credentials

Any home of the future built in 2018 also has to consider the environment. Technology is not enough to make it cutting-edge, and these houses are built to sustain extreme climate change due to something called Climate Shield.

This is a mineral wool insulation system that, along with air tightness incorporated into the closed panel timber frame walls, ensures a level of protection that will last into the future. Added to this impressive manufacturing, the houses can be assembled in just one day.

Manual control is also possible, as technology can always go wrong. Day to day, the technology will seamlessly, efficiently and unobtrusively make life easier. This kind of development will one day be standard, and it’s exciting to see it take shape in real terms for people looking for an affordable and future-proof property.

– Richard Carr

Popular Help to Buy scheme scraped by the government

185,000 UK home owners had benefitted from government Help to Buy schemes, which will now be scrapped by the end of 2016, writes property developer Richard Carr.



How will scrapping the Help to Buy scheme effect first time buyers?

Despite the schemes proving popular amongst first time buyers, the initiatives haven’t helped solve the country’s growing housing crisis, which the new government led by Theresa May are keen to do.

According to one estate agent, the average house prices across half of the country’s 326 districts will exceed the Help to Buy threshold by March next year.

As a result, Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that the scheme will close to new mortgages on 31st December 2016.

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