After making its Smart Home a reality, Honda opened up access to designs and blueprints to make building your own smart home that much easier.
Honda unveiled its Smart Homeearlier this year, a net zero energy demonstration home located on the West Village campus of the University of California, Davis. The home was designed to produce more energy on-site from renewable sources than it consumes annually, including enough energy to power a Honda Fit EV for daily commuting.
A Honda-developed home energy management system and an energy efficient design will allow the home's occupant to use less than half of the energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area for heating, cooling and lighting. The home is also three times more water-efficient than a typical U.S. home.
The home has received a lot of attention since the opening, including people who want to incorporate the designs and technology into their own projects. Honda decided to provide detailed information to help drive adoption of some of these green building technologies.
"Many of the people and companies we’ve met with wanted to know how they could incorporate what we’ve demonstrated into their own projects, or build upon what we’ve learned in their own research. We want nothing more than to facilitate this effort, so today, we’re releasing a batch of files the get the process rolling," Michael Koenig, Project Leader for the Honda Smart Home, wrote on his blog.
Architectural Plans – We worked with Lim Chang Rohling & Associates to create a beautiful form that incorporates passive design, and Monley Cronin, Inc. to build it. Although the details of our design have been fine tuned to take advantage of the sun and weather at our site, I hope that any interested individuals are able to use our plans as a starting point to create their own sustainable homes around the country. This download contains PDFs as well as the 2D and 3D CAD data to facilitate the design process.
Interior Design & Plans – Love the tile we chose in the bathrooms? Or the efficient appliances in the kitchen? Thanks to MAK Design+Build, we were able to spec local and sustainable materials throughout the home – a critical part of the holistic design process. It can be daunting to find furniture and materials that you feel good about, so if you are building or renovating your home, please take a look at these files which list all of our interior materials and where to find them.
Mechanical & Plumbing Plans – Some of the most innovative work we’re doing on this project involves the ground source heating and cooling. Many researchers have expressed an interest in building upon this work, and these plans are a great starting point.
See the downloads tab at the Honda Smart Home site.
Honda Smart Home is designed to be extremely energy efficient by taking into account local weather conditions, sun direction and the home’s outer shell. Known as “passive design,” these techniques reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling while maintaining comfortable living conditions. The Honda Smart Home’s south-facing windows are optimized for heating and cooling, while the north-facing windows are positioned to maximize natural light and ventilation. This will keep the home naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Double stud walls, cool roofing material and a fully insulated concrete slab all contribute to the home’s energy efficiency.
In the ground beneath Honda Smart Home’s backyard, eight 20-foot deep boreholes allow a geothermal heat pump to harness the ground’s relatively stable thermal sink to heat and cool the home’s floors and ceiling throughout the year. Researchers from UC Davis will evaluate the performance of the system to determine its adaptability to mainstream use. Honda Smart Home’s heating and cooling system is five times more efficient than a comparable home.
Honda did not release the details for the Honda-designed Home Energy Management System (HEMS). Located in the garage, HEMS is a hardware and software system that monitors, controls and optimizes electrical generation and consumption throughout the home’s microgrid. The 10kWh energy storage system uses the same lithium-ion cells that are found in the Honda Fit EV. The HEMS stores solar energy generated during the day for use at night, when household demand typically peaks and electric vehicles are usually charged. It is also capable of “listening" to the grid to ensure we only draw power at the most carbon-efficient times, Koenig said.
Connected to the HEMS, the home’s systems generate 278 channels of data that are stored locally on a data logger at one-minute resolution. This information is uploaded every 12 hours to the cloud via a third-party data service that also performs error-checking functions in case any sensor becomes damaged. Data channels include all energy flows within the home and the HEMS system, water flows, temperatures within the walls and floors, weather and various system information flags. The data is stored in CSV format, then aggregated and analyzed by Honda engineers and our industry and academic partners. Ultimately, the data will be released to advance the state of research into the home’s experimental systems.
Read more about smart and connected homes.