biy7kp6kTHome automation is advancing fast, especially in respect to controlling advanced features in green residences and small commercial buildings. The 2015 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) featured a variety of home automation vendors showcasing their latest products. For those of us who have had the opportunity to view these items in an exposition format the take-away is: "WOW"

Unfortunately, most of us don't have the means to attend shows so, therefore, our options are limited... Or are they? Perhaps we need to be looking at ways to get the people who need to have access to, and education about, said equipment in a manner that makes it accessible locally. To do so, one would need to look for projects that provide local citizens a venue to learn about various types of security and control systems that make sense for their needs and locale.

leed_homes_logo_colorOne such project is starting to move forward in the Kansas City, Missouri area that has the potential to 'fill the bill'. This project is part of the "Make It Right" (MiR) Foundation, a New Orleans based non-profit founded by actor Brad Pitt. This project consists of six different LEED® Platinum homes designed by six different architectural firms with ties to the KC area. (Renderings of these homes can be found on the homepage)

EnergyStarLogoThese super-efficient (ENERGY STAR) green homes will be located across the street from the Bancroft School LEED® Platinum conversion project that transformed a dilapidated and abandoned school in the Historic Manheim neighborhood into beautiful below market rate apartment units.

Because these six unique homes will be built along the same street and within a city block of each other, this project provides an opportunity to showcase different residential control systems and strategies. Manufacturers of home automation systems are constantly seeking venues to allow their products to be viewed and tested by potential customers and here is a project that can make this possible.

The questions now become; "Which of the home automation and control vendors will be most interested in showcasing their products?" and "How will they make their products understandable and usable for their future clients?"

Watch for upcoming postings on this topic and subscribe to our "Charrette Gazette" newsletter for updates.