I’ve been giving some thought to how I will approach making my home and life smart and sustainable. It’s been quite difficult to come up with something robust and systematic as this is a project that will be ongoing over many years, rather than being a discrete project with a finite period of implementation.
Central to the project will be the formulation of a vision. This will set the scope and parameters of the project (i.e. how much of my life will it extend to and what I want to achieve overall). Then, for each mini-project or significant purchase, a specification will be prepared for what it needs to achieve (for example this could be the purchase of a new television or a project such as getting a new kitchen). By their nature, specifications will be performance-based. Performance will have technology elements (e.g. a mobile phone may be required to have 3G connectivity) and sustainability elements (e.g. a new kitchen may be required to have all wood from sustainable sources). The setting of specifications could get tricky when technological requirements and sustainability goals conflict, but in these cases I will try to have to revert to the vision to try to keep me on the correct path.
After applying the specification it may be that a number of products meet the brief. In these cases, the shortlist of products will be subjected to a comapritive appraisal of their sustainability performance. This is something I have some experience of through my work, and I will be looking to develop an appraisal method to guide me in this respect.
So, going forward the first thing I need to do is set the vision. This will require a certain amount of crystal ball gazing to see where technology is headed over the coming years and that is the next big thing I will be focussing on.