Federal Government-supported Smart Home Activities

Promoting Smart Homes

Listed below are just some of the smart home initiatives, programs and beacon pilot programs actively supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS).

Next Generation Media Programme

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy -

The BMWi actively supports smart home application initiatives in Germany through a number of initiatives including the Next Generation Media Programme. The Next Generation Media Programme supports 11 projects in the new technologies and ubiquitous computing sectors. Innovative fields covered range from wireless networking to microsensor-based vital function measurement. The BMWi instigated the Next Generation Media Programme in 2004 in order to promote its vision of a networked world through collaborative research, the development of new technologies and processes, and the creation of innovative new technological standards. Listed below are just a few of the smart home initiatives currently benefiting from BMWi funding.

Connected Living/SerCHo ("Service Centric Home")

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy -

Connected Living brings together a network of research and industry partners with a shared goal of innovative cross-industry solutions for intelligent home networking. Connected Living builds on increased smart device convergence to combine multiple home device functionality into a single, unified home connected living solution.

The results of the BMWi-funded SerCho ("Service Centric Home") project form the technological basis for the Connected Living innovation center. SerCHo represents a holistic solution, consisting of a "Home Service Platform," a "Service Provider Platform" and an "Ambient Service Framework". Services include communication, maintenance, information, domestic appliance control, security, and healthcare services. The Home Service Platform integrates all devices in the home environment for improved quality of life.

HOMEPLANE

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy -

HOMEPLANE identifies the wireless local area networks (WLAN) of the future as the basis for fully integrated home networking. The HOMEPLANE system functions according to a universal organization and communication principle which facilitates optimal configuration of all household devices within the home network. To this end, a specially developed network operating system provides dynamic device recognition, connection and management services.

The project starting point is the development and optimization of existing wireless technologies for trouble-free high resolution multimedia data transfer (e.g. HDTV). As well as intelligent multimedia networking, a household device interface will allow household devices to be smoothly integrated into the network alongside heating and home management operations.

WiMAC@home (Wireless Media and Control at Home)

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy -

WiMAC@home is a management system for autonomous multimedia and controller components in wireless home networks which works in accordance with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standards. The purpose of the project is the development of a wireless home network concept based on multimedia devices interacting in autonomous fashion. This will create a user-friendly infrastructure which dynamically integrates household technologies while increasing user new technology acceptance levels.

Energy Plus House

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development -

Energy Plus House in Berlin Energy Plus House in Berlin | © BMVBS / Werner Sobek

2011 marks the opening of the so-called "Energy Plus House" model building with electromobility to the public in Berlin. The construction is a prototype home of the future which will generate twice as much energy as it uses. The surplus energy generated will allow an electric vehicle to be refueled right on the futuristic home's doorstep. All of the external walls are covered with solar modules, the insulation is state-of-the-art, and all electrical household devices have been selected according to their efficiency levels. Visitors to the blueprint home of the future will be able to witness the integration of urban living and mobility at first hand.

The design, submitted by the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart represents a major advance in sustainable construction: the Energy Plus House shows that it is now possible to build one-family houses which create more renewable energy than they consume. This is made possible through the successful integration of solar thermal energy and photovoltaics and the optimal alignment of the house for the best possible use of the sun's energy. Energy produced in this way serves first of all as energy for further consumption (e.g. for electromobility purposes), with surplus energy directly fed into the public power grid (effectively increasing the renewable energy share in the national power mix).

My Home, My Gas Station

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development -

As well as generating more energy than it uses, the Energy Plus House also makes a significant contribution to electric vehicle charging station infrastructure by bringing together sustainable housing and smart mobility to create zero emission communities. In 2012, a family of four will move into and live in the 130 m2 home for a year, during which time researchers will conduct their own study of life in the home of the future. The Energy Plus House is the successor to the Plus Energy House developed by the Technical University of Darmstadt as part of its winning 2007 submission to the US Department of Energy's annual Solar Decathlon competition.

Plus Energy House

- Smart Home Program supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development -

Plus Energy House Plus Energy House | © BMVBS/Christoph Vohler

Conceived as part of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development's "Future Building" initiative, the prototype Plus Energy House has helped usher in a new age of energy-saving construction; being as it is one of the first homes to produce more energy than it consumes.

Developed by the Technical University of Darmstadt (as part of its winning 2007 submission to the US Department of Energy's annual Solar Decathlon competition), the Plus Energy House is a fully transportable, fully functional lightweight construction. The Plus Energy House provides a vision of a smart home future which makes use of the most energy-efficient construction materials and smart meter technology for sustainable living.

"Das Haus" Vision: Innovation in Renewables and Energy Efficiency

"Das Haus" is a project run jointly by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS).Taking the form of a travelling pavilion showcasing cutting-edge German architectural and technological concepts for maximizing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in residential housing construction, the “Das Haus” project will visit 12 major North American cities over the period of a year (October 2011 through November 2012).

The Das Haus structure draws inspiration from Germany’s first-place entries (2007 and 2009) in the Solar Decathlon, an international solar house competition held by the US Department of Energy. The exhibition demonstrates a wide variety of possibilities for operating buildings with renewable energy sources. In addition, it shows how construction and technology can be combined sensibly to foster greater energy efficiency and energy savings in buildings. The objective of the road show is to share inspiration and engage sustainable building experts, associations, and key public officials across North America.

Detailed “Das Haus” road show and accompanying activity information can be found at the following website:

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