TIME Magazine’s recent July 7-14 issue featured a special report on ‘The Smart Home’. Dedicating no less than 39 pages to stories relating to yards that keep occupants active, and walls that can weather a hurricane, the interesting issue also included a list of 10 gadgets that help homes lower their energy bills.
Companies operating in Australia that featured on the list include Fujitsu General and EnduroShield, with the former’s air-source heat pump noted to be four times as efficient as traditional electric heating, and the latter’s protective coating reducing the need for toxic cleaning solutions.
Inspired by TIME’s story and building on one of the products they listed, we compiled our own list of 10 ‘smart’ products for Australian homes by Australian companies.
EnduroShield is an easy clean protective coating that creates a long-lasting invisible shield on glass, ceramic tiles, grout, stainless steel and chrome surfaces. Using the product reduces cleaning time by up to 90 per cent, and protects against staining, build-up and etching caused by soap scum, dirt and grime, to salt and chlorine spray. For more, check out how its glass treatment was used at the Forest Lodge ECO House (pictured above-right)
Solatube’s Smart LED Lighting System is a 24-hour home lighting solution that uses energy efficient LEDS and daylighting to cut energy use by up to 94 per cent. Its SunSense Technology continually assesses light levels, and automatically triggers LEDS to provide optimal light output when supplemented light is needed. Find out more
Astec Paints’ Energy Star Heat Reflective Coatings is the only range of roof and wall coatings to be Code Mark certified and approved for guaranteed compliance with the Building Code of Australia Section J – Energy Efficiency Guidelines. The paints allow dark coloured walls and metal and concrete roofs to remain cool by using colour infused nano ceramics technology that reflect heat by selective reflection of infrared light. Find out more
Geberit’s HyTronic 185 and 186 touchless sensor taps produce their own power, with the flowing water generating power to recharge the units, thereby eliminating the need for a mains supply and standby power consumption. Find out more
Fujitsu General’s new KM Series of wall-mounted air conditioners boast a full five star energy rating with energy-saving features such as inverter technology, high density multi-path heat exchangers and high efficiency compressors. Its Human Sensor Control automatically switches to energy-saving mode if no activity is detected in the room for 20 minutes. Find out more
Glassworks’ SolarAdapt, Australia’s first Solar Responsive Thermochromic (SRT) adaptive glazing film, uses the sun’s energy to trigger the tinting of windows and control building temperatures. Achieving a U-Value of 1.63, the SRT film is laminated between two panes of heat-treated or tempered glass as specified by customers. Find out more
Ecoflo Water Management’s waterless composting toilets are designed to suit Australian conditions, and are a great solution for homes in areas without access to town utilities. Designed with a ventilation system, the composting toilets are odourless, and reduce the average family’s water consumption by 35,000 litres per year. Find out more
Formula Interiors’ Shift Demountable Partition System is a removable and reconfigurable partition system that seeks to reduce the waste generated in removing and relocating walls. Modular in design, the fully recyclable partition walls can be reconfigured as many times as possible to accommodate for changes in work spaces. Find out more
Viridian’s SmartGlass features a high tech low E coating which insulates homes all year round by reducing the amount of solar heat that enters a home in summer. It works in reverse in winter, reflecting warmth back into homes. Built to withstand Australian climates, it fits almost any style of window frames, and can be cut to fit existing windows. Find out more
Monier’s SOLARtile works exactly like conventional PV panels to convert sunlight into electricity, but is not bolted on top of traditional roof tiles. Instead, it is integrated seamlessly with flat roof tiles, allowing home owners to maintain aesthetic appearances while saving on energy costs. Find out more