SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA – A team of Virginia Tech students and faculty is partnering with Accuride International (https://www.accuride.com/) to reinvent smart, sustainable home design on a global scale.
Accuride’s 116RC Heavy-Duty Linear Track System powers several moving parts in the team’s FutureHAUS (https://futurehaus.tech/) – a game-changing prototype that is the only U.S. entry in the Solar Decathlon Middle East from Nov. 14-29 in Dubai.
“We are challenging the way homes are created, and Accuride innovation is helping us do that,” said Joseph Wheeler, AIA, Lead of the FutureHAUS project, as well as a Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture + Design and Co-Director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech.
Reflecting six years of research, FutureHAUS advances architectural concepts including universal design, aging in place, flexible space and the Internet of Things. The solar-powered, net-positive-energy home incorporates state-of-the-art technology and represents the future of modular, affordable, smart housing.
“We’re demonstrating how a house can automatically adapt to the needs of every individual who lives in it,” Wheeler said. “FutureHAUS makes it possible for a couple to stay in the same house for life, and for a home to accommodate every resident – for example, from a toddler to a tall teenage basketball player to an aging person in a wheelchair.”
Key to these personalized adjustments is the ability of fixtures to easily move to different heights for different users. The Accuride Linear Track, commonly used for sliding doors and available for many other purposes, enables kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and toilets to be raised and lowered based on the home’s ability to recognize individual users. Recognition devices include voice, gesture, and proximity detection, as well as fingerprint ID and facial recognition.
“The Heavy-Duty Linear Track from Accuride was exactly what we needed and has surpassed our expectations,” Wheeler said. “The Linear Track is beautifully designed, industrial-strength, and highly functional. The product has exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to finding additional ways to incorporate it in future applications.”
“We’re thrilled to be helping Virginia Tech transform home design, bringing life to concepts that can also benefit commercial architecture,” said Sid Kalantar, Accuride Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The team’s creative application of our Linear Track system in its FutureHAUS illustrates the innovation and versatility that our engineers build into all our products.”
FutureHAUS and the future of modular design: