Back in May, the news that Panasonic and eight other companies had hatched plans for a futuristic eco city of 1,000 technologically advanced green homes was met with much fanfare, but there haven't been any updates on the ambitious undertaking since. Until now, that is. Last week, Inhabitat traveled to Kusatsu, Japan to attend a meeting where more details about Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town were unveiled. Read on to see how much a typical home in this state of the art green neighborhood might set you back, what kinds clean technologies will be available to property owners and photos of Panasonic's Eco Navi show house (seen above), which offers a glimpse into what residences in Fujisawa may look like.
As you might remember from our original post, Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town is expected to be one of the most advanced eco cities in the world. Located on the site of an old Panasonic plant, in Fujisawa, Japan, the mega neighborhood will be comprised of 1,000 homes as well as a few stores, healthcare facilities, a nursing home and public green spaces and parks. Each home would be equipped with the means to generate much of the electricity its members need to live, and the goal for the entire community is to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% and cut household water usage by 30%.
Now onto the new stuff. Haruyuki Ishio, Director of Panasonic’s Corporate Division for Promoting Energy Solutions explained that each home in Fujisawa SST would be equipped with a solar array that he feels could provide about 70% of a household’s energy needs. In addition the the standard PV setup, owners could also opt for a fuel cell cogeneration system to provide additional power when the sun is not shining.
In order to make the most of the clean energy that is generated, Panasonic plans to equip each home with energy saving air conditioners, washing machines, LED lights and AV equipment similar or perhaps even identical to the models we saw in the Eco Ideas House and the Eco Navi House. These machines are so intelligent that they can actually remember what a family’s eating habits are and adjust refrigerator temps accordingly or detect where a person is in a room and direct a concentrated flow of heat right towards them instead of needlessly warming the entire space. While each appliance would be able to cut electricity usage on its own, Panasonic has linked them together using an integrated Home Energy Mangement System (HEMS), which allows them to communicate with one another for optimal energy savings.
While we were certainly all interested in the clean tech features of each home, the question on everyone’s lips seemed to be “how much will they cost?!” Mr. Ishio explained that typical (non-eco) residences in the Fujisawa area, which is a relaxed, beach area that is close enough to Tokyo to commute daily aren’t exactly cheap, running about $500,000 on average. Ishio also indicated that that was the approximate number he was hoping to meet for a home in Fujisawa SST also. And while the town has an estimated completion date of 2014, Ishio expressed that they would start placing the homes on the market as early as next year.
Want to see what a home inside Fuijisawa Sustainable Smart Town might look like? Click through our gallery for pics of the Eco Navi House, which is full of Panasonic‘s latest green innovations, some of which you may very well find in a Fujisawa SST residence in 2014!
Editor’s note: This reporter’s travel expenses were covered by Panasonic.