Building a Sustainable Future: Barratt Developments at the Forefront of Smart Home Innovation
Barratt Developments, the UK's largest housebuilder, is leading the charge in setting new sustainability standards for home building. Committed to building regulated zero-carbon homes from 2030, the company is at the forefront of green building technologies. Two notable projects, the Zed House and the Energy House "eHome2," showcase Barratt's commitment to sustainability and smart home technologies, representing the future of home building.
The Zed House project, initiated in early 2020, demonstrates Barratt's ability to go beyond the government's Future Homes Standard. In fact, the Zed House achieves a reduction in carbon emissions that exceeds 125% of regulated energy. By collaborating with over 40 leading organizations, Barratt created a sustainability-led blueprint for the housebuilding industry. The project focused on energy, embodied carbon, biodiversity, offsite construction innovations, and smart technologies.
Data analytics played a crucial role in measuring the success and identifying areas for improvement in the Zed House. Barratt partnered with the University of Salford, renowned for zero-carbon construction research, to collect data on indoor air quality, thermal comfort, heating, and renewable regeneration. With 95 sensors and extensive wiring throughout the home, Barratt gained insights into the performance and livability of the house, informing future designs and technologies.
Building on the success of the Zed House, Barratt embarked on the eHome2 project in collaboration with Saint Gobain. This project involved constructing the house in a climate-controlled warehouse, simulating extreme weather conditions to test and implement future-proof solutions. By subjecting the home to various weather scenarios, Barratt gathers data to inform designs, technologies, and customer preferences.
Looking ahead, Barratt is conducting a nine-month research program at the eHome2 chamber. The project features cutting-edge technologies such as infrared panels for zero-carbon heat, smart showers, air-purifying plaster, energy-efficient appliances, AI solutions for optimized electricity consumption, and Vehicle to Grid technology. Learnings from the Zed House were applied to enhance the eHome2 project, focusing on harmonious integration of IoT solutions and seamless smart home experiences.
Barratt has formed partnerships with Google Nest, Give Energy, Tribe, and other companies to deliver advanced smart home solutions. By leveraging global technologies, Barratt aims to create energy-efficient homes that provide comfort, reduce bills, and meet the evolving needs of homeowners. The Zed House and eHome2 projects are ongoing, reflecting Barratt's commitment to continuous innovation and the industry's adoption of smart technologies.
Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director at Barratt Developments, emphasizes that house builders should embrace technical smart solutions to achieve zero-carbon targets. He sees an opportunity to help the industry understand and effectively utilize smart technologies, ultimately benefiting customers and driving greater efficiency.
The future of sustainable and smart home building is exciting, and Barratt is dedicated to tackling the challenges and seizing opportunities together with industry partners. As smart technology becomes increasingly integral to home construction, it has the potential to revolutionize the industry and contribute significantly to achieving zero-carbon goals.