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Now that you've planned on future-proofing your home, here's how to bring it together in part 3 of our guide

Here is where everything comes together. Through ‘the internet of things’, a future-proofed home can be dynamic instead of static, interacting with the people who inhabit it. It isn’t just about having a smart device (or several dozens), but how these objects can be linked—enhanced with adaptive software—to create a home truly ready for tomorrow.

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

Ever wanted to turn the lights on without having to get up? Or boil some water from the living room? That’s possible already today using integrated smart home systems. There are plenty available—Google, Apple and Amazon—where a simple vocal command is enough to control connected devices, from lights to speakers to air-conditioning. Alarms and notifications can be integrated too, creating a home that is always responsive.

While this might be a convenience, in some situations it is necessary. A smart home could assist the elderly, for example, with medication reminders or health monitoring with automated emergency notifications. Upcoming innovations using artificial intelligence could even inculcate better household habits: monitoring energy or water to save money. 

Beyond technology, there are also interior details to consider—furniture with rounded corners for growing children, modular fittings to adapt spaces for new uses or non-slip tiles in bathrooms.

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ENVIRONMENTAL STABILITY

Technology comes at an increasing energy cost. This is why it is important to compensate for energy demand intensification with a low carbon footprint. Numerous carbon footprint calculators available on the web provide a reasonable guide but by far the most impactful in a home is to switch to modern low carbon devices.

Energy-efficient lighting uses up to 75 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs, with smart variants even automatically adjusting to ambient lighting conditions. A low-flow toilet cistern dramatically saves on water usage while most manufacturers now publish the carbon footprints of products to enable informed purchases.

Personal habits also play a role: Composting provides organic fertiliser while reducing pressure on landfills while optimising laundry schedules could eliminate up to 30kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per household each year.

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TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES

Of course, ‘the internet of things’ is dependent on one important factor: connectivity. It is not unknown for a specific corner of a house to be an internet black hole, which counters the objective of a smart home. Circumvent that with a mesh WiFi system, which creates a network of nodes across the home to provide a wider and more reliable network than a single router can.

A smart home that falters because a network connection is not available isn’t very smart. But once that connection is secured, no one even needs to be present or awake for a smart home to function. Pets can be fed by scheduled dispensers, thermostats adjust to desired levels and coffee could brew just as the car enters the drive.

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MARKET VALUE

The generation inspired by Greta Thunberg will become the property owners of tomorrow. Preparing a future-proofed home that is environmentally aware, socially conscious and programmed for smart living is key to maintaining the attention of millennials and Gen Zs. Eschewing that could make the property unfashionable or worse, ranked below market value.

While the values and focus of the next generations may differ, some things remain the same. Security, for one. Advances in smart surveillance tech—connected home security cameras for remote-monitoring, self-locking door mechanisms, video-enabled motion-sensing doorbells—address a fundamental human concern that is of intangible value.

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