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Hi-tech, ecological dream home takes shape in Japan

14 December 2009 No Comment

Technology.am (Dec. 14, 2009) — Solar panels on the roof and a fuel-cell in the backyard power the family house, a lithium-ion battery stores the excess electricity, hot water pipes double as floor heating, and good insulation saves energy all round. However it’s the little high-tech touches that give this eco-house a cutting edge when it comes to innovative low-carbon housing.

ecologicalIts maker, Panasonic, has fitted the “Eco idea house” with super-efficient and intellectual appliances that assure to save power at every turn whilst ensuring a relaxed standard of living for its residents.

Sensors tag on people as they move from room to room and can, for example, blast a jet of warm or cool air at an individual sitting in the living room, said Panasonic group president Fumio Ohtsubo during press conference.

“If the person leaves for the kitchen, the lights there can turn on, while the (living room) lights, air-con and television all turn off thanks to sensors that identify human presence, temperature and lighting,” he said.

The house in addition boasts a washing machine that halves water use merely by tilting its drum, and a fridge that ‘learns’ its users’ habits and switches into sleep mode when it doesn’t look forward to being opened for some time.

Innovations like these have made Panasonic the country’s most environmentally-friendly manufacturer, according to a survey by the Nikkei business daily, ahead of Sharp, Mitsubishi Electric and NEC.

Toyota’s Prius hybrid car has been the top domestic seller since the spring, followed by Honda’s hybrid, the Insight. Mitsubishi Motors has in the meantime bet on electric cars and promoted its zero-emission compact, the i-MiEV.

Japan has too promised to give 9.2 billion dollars in support by 2012 to assist developing countries contest global warming, the phenomenon blamed for melting glaciers and ice caps and changing world weather patterns. Japan is the world’s second largest economy although only the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Especially since the 1990s, “we can say that the Japanese individual lifestyle has become Americanized,” Kitazawa said. “Japan should change the lifestyle of its people.”

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