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Coming to a Neighborhood Near You: Weather-Responsive Housing

Are you prepared for a change in weather? Smart homes can adapt to changing weather conditions.


There are smart homes and then there are really smart homes like those that can adapt to changing weather conditions.

Advances in construction and materials science, coupled with a boost from 3D printing, are inspiring developments in housing that would allow living structures to change shape or initiate responses based on shifting weather patterns or other conditions. Say, for example, you’re enjoying the sun out on the deck and the clouds roll in just before a storm. A robotic mechanism might automatically activate to move roof panels to adjust to the change in lighting or move walls to provide additional protection.

An article in Futurism describes one such project, envisioned by inventor/artist Michael Jantzen. The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a conceptual box-like building made of hinged slotted panels that can be unfolded and extended by the occupant as desired. In the article, Jantzen explains how when closing all the panels, the house stays shaded and is protected from wind. Opening the hinged panels not only changes the shape for aesthetic preferences, but it can also accommodate changing conditions, such as the need for more breeze or gaining protection from the sun.

So much for hurricane shutters and storm shelters.

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