Blogging NPR: Smart Home - Green + Wired

Blogging NPR: Smart Home - Green + Wired

Alejandra Valera
Jun 5, 2008

One of the newest exhibits at the Museum of Science of Industry that is causing quite a buzz is Smart Home - Green + Wired. A 2,500 square-foot home designed to showcase green living has made its home on the museum's east lawn. Alison Cuddy, of Chicago Public Radio's 848, recently toured the home with project director Anne Rashford.

The home was conceived by Michelle Kauffmann Designs and showcases the latest in eco-living, as well as demonstrating examples of sustainable gardens, solar panels, green roofs and more.

Throughout the home, call outs give viewers ideas on how to implement a little green into their homes with simple ideas such as changing to low flow showerheads, painting with no VOC paints and installing dual-flush toilets. One of the most interesting aspects of the home, however, is that its energy use is monitored in real time on a flat screen display. Dwellers can take note of both energy production and what is being consumed.

According to Anne Rashford, everything in the home is already on the market, "It is a home of today, a home of now." Although she does states that she doesn't expect everyone to build a home like the Smart Home, but rather be inspired to make thoughtful decisions when building a home, installing new toilets, changing lightbulbs, etc.

There are some unorthodox items (some may say "silly") in the home, as well. For instance, if a child wants to play with a video game, they must ride a bike for 30 minutes to generate enough electricity for his/her game. And the houseplants will call you on the phone to let you know it needs to be watered.

Smart Home - Green + Wired runs through January 2009 at the Museum of Science and Industry. To listen to Alison Cuddy's entire podcast visit 848's Web site.

Have you been to the exhibit? What are your impressions of the "Greenest Home in Chicago"?

More Smart Home on AT:

House Tour: Michelle Kaufmann's Smart Home

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