Taking the Modular Home One Step Further

The Modular Home has been the subject of a new design competition, and two Texas students seem to have solved issues for homeowners facing drought and over-use of energy that seems common in high population areas. The big takeaways here have major implications for those who seek to use greywater and rainwater systems in their home.

While many aspects of the homes energy efficiency clear upon first look at the build, many secret hide in the homes touch screen called the Sensebar. Weather, energy use, and thermostat, are all accessible from this point. With this kind of technology the home is set up for energy savings at your control. However, we can take this a step further: introducing smart phone technology we have today can make a pathway to the future.

Smart, Smart Technology

This sort of technology is already in use but hasn’t quite been popularized yet. For instance, the nest technology brings smart phone control to the consumers’ hands with ease. Implementing this kind of monitoring devices is paving the way for a generation of smart phone users to use energy in a wise way.  After some time this technology will learn your preferences, which brings us to the next point.

Similarly the Smart grid can help advance the way we use power from utility companies. The way our power grid is set up is tumultuous. When large cities use power they pull from dams or turbines and sometimes even windmills. When more power is needed during a high-energy use period more coal or water is expended in order to meet this demand. Interestingly enough, there are roughly two hundred years of coal supply left in the planet.

The smart grid is able to accommodate energy use better by taking using power in an area that is in a low energy use area instead. This is possible because smart use technology monitors energy use preferences better than the old meter systems that are still in use in many places today.


Old analog meters will sometimes slow and report incorrectly, whereas smart meters can connect to the grid and, based on wireless technology, report efficient, in the moment data to utility providers. This accuracy gives usage reports that can effectively measure energy use per area and adjust properly.

The Way We Use

The combination of breakthroughs in grid technology as well as modular home building could be the next step for human kind to withdraw its reliance on damaging resources. Some possible applications include:

  • Remote monitoring in natural disaster
  • Monitoring fresh water usage
  • Sudden spikes in temperature and energy use application
  • Watering Garden bed and vegetation remotely
  • Less reliance on power lines. Energy Autonomy.

One Of A Kind?

The Texas Students’ model home will be implemented on a large scale, and production is set to begin soon.  They have envisioned this home sprawling across the Austin alley flat initiative. Smart grid technology is also on the rise, and many do-it-yourselfers are learning, collaborating, and designing online.

Hopefully other drought stricken areas will be able to take advancements like these and apply them to the infrastructure. This is just the beginning as well. Although over fifty million smart meters have been deployed in the United States as of 2014, it’s still only accounts for roughly 40% of households. The planet only has so many resources available and we must work together to save them. The technology is here, let’s work for the next big breakthrough.

Ryan De La Rosa, the author of this article, writes about the future and how to save it. Follow him on twitter @fernsandmoss


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