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Future Living district tests smart home concepts

The seven buildings located on the 7,604 sqm property are intelligently interlinked and are set up to offer residents smart building technology. (Copyright: GSW Sigmaringen)

A new neighborhood is being established in Berlin’s Adlershof area, with the telling name Future Living Berlin. In the fall, the first residents will be able to move into the 70 apartments and 21 studios  for temporary lease. The area comes complete with an exhibition area and cafeteria as well as 11 commercial units. A PV system and 25 heat pumps will supply tenants with electrical energy. Battery and heat storage systems will ensure that supply and demand are balanced. Additionally, the photovoltaic solar electricity will be fed to charging stations for five electric cars available to residents as part of a car sharing program. The neighborhood is 38% self-sufficient, i.e. independent from the public power grid.

Controlling power consumption via tablet

Efficient power generation balancing and use in different areas occurs automatically. But tenants will also have the option to take control of their energy demand. Using a tablet – the home manager – they will always be able to keep an eye on their electricity, water and heat consumption. An app installed on the tablet will inform them whenever more energy is available than is needed for the building. Residents could then receive the notification that it would be a good time to run the dishwasher, for example.

Beyond that, the apartments are outfitted with smart keyless entry for their residents. There are smart washing machines in the laundry room, which notify the user on their tablet when their laundry is done, as well as an automated package room, which informs residents if a package has been delivered for them. The lights can be regulated using the conventional wall switch or the tablet, or even via voice command.

The housing company GSW, located in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, is both the investor and building contractor for the project. Together with the Unternehmensgruppe Krebs group in Berlin and a partner network, GSW would like to demonstrate how future living can work. Green power supplier Polarstern also took part in the energy planning.

More information: Future Living Berlin