Last Update: Aug 6, 2009
The ‘eco ideas’ House, which recently opened on the premises of Panasonic Center Tokyo, presents a lifestyle in which CO2 emissions from an entire house are virtually eliminated so that we can live in harmony with the global environment. This House is actually an extension and evolution of the Eco & Ud House, which was established in 2005 to demonstrate eco-friendliness and universal design. Journalists from various fields were invited to view both the Eco & Ud House and the ‘eco ideas’ House and to engage in constructive dialog about the concepts of these houses. What helpful feedback did we get about the Eco & Ud House in 2005, and how were those lessons applied to the ´eco ideas´ House? Let´s look at comments we received about the new house along with a review of the 2005 discussions.
The Eco & Ud House presented a lifestyle that lessens our impact on the environment while raising quality of life. The participating journalists had no shortage of comments on our proposal for a lifestyle five years into the future (2010), which was premised on the importance of taking action to reduce household CO2 emissions.
Although the Eco & Ud House won a certain degree of recognition as an ecological house that brought together much of Panasonic´s collective wisdom, there were many suggestions for improvements. Using this feedback, we made another bid to create an eco-lifestyle for an eco-friendly society.
We raised the stakes for our second house to “virtually zero CO2 emissions in an entire house,” far ahead of the previous goal of “CO2 emission reduction.” We also paid close attention to living in harmony with nature and residents´ comfort, which were frequently mentioned in 2005. What did the visiting journalists think of our new plan?
- Yoko Aoki,founder of cafeglobe.com
- It´s a great idea to construct a house that creates a comfortable living environment and saves energy even if residents do not actively try to conserve energy. Having said that, for someone like me, who loves feeling the sunlight coming into a dark room when opening the curtains in the morning, there should be more flexibility for people to make their own choices.
- Takashi Izumi,Reporter of Editorial Department, Keizaikai Co., Ltd.
- I got a good sense of the neo-futuristic eco house, which has both good and bad aspects. I think it would be better if the house had slightly more playful ideas. I´d like to see a videogame-like interface to change the impression that it is tiresome to lead an environmentally-conscious life. I expect Panasonic to create original ideas.
- Yumi Kawabata,Automotive and environmental journalist
- The living room is more comfortable compared to the one in 2005. And the new technology that lets you know at a glance that VIERA and all the devices connected to it are turned off is very Panasonic. I would like to try turning them all off with a remote control, too. The exhibit on ‘eco ideas’ in wind opened my eyes to a pleasant breeze beneath the floor. I loved the LED fixtures that change colors to produce a sensation of either warmth or coolness because this is an example of technology evoking human sensitivity.
- Shizuka Komahashi,Industrial journalist
- This house gave me a good idea of high-tech wizardry and technical excellence. I also like ‘eco ideas’ in wind and energy storage concepts. My favorite was the varicolored LEDs, and I hope these become commercially available as soon as possible. Panasonic makes the best heat pumps in Japan, but hopefully their application will be expanded beyond hot water, for example for floor heating. Panasonic should also present more ‘eco ideas’ houses that are designed for other areas and other types of residences such as apartment buildings.
- Momoko Kyukawa,Editor of Nikkei Ecology and Producer of ecomom, Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
- This is an attractive house I´d like to live in. It reminded me that telecommuting and efforts to achieve zero standby power can make a huge difference in CO2 emissions. I hope this type of lifestyle will gain more traction around the country. Because women are more likely to work at home than men, the house could be made more realistic by incorporating a woman´s perspective in terms of housework, nursing, and childcare.
- Katsuyuki Ohkawara,Journalist
- This house realized ecology in an entire house. I think specific numerical examples would enhance people´s eco-awareness, such as the actual power saved by making smart choices when replacing your electric appliances and the associated costs. Also, it would be nice if there were some materials or exhibits for kids so they could experience ecology first-hand.
- Ryuji Suzuki,Freelance editor
- I enjoyed the concepts of wind, light, water, and heat that focused on traditional technologies and not just new ones. Also, universal design should take precedence over ecology, but it is not always easy to combine both into a viable product. Still, I believe it is important to incorporate eco concepts into universal designs that aim for usability and comfort.
- Nagisa Tatsumi,Representative of Kajijuku
- The exhibit in 2005 didn´t work for me, and to be honest, I was itching to leave the house as soon as possible. However, I didn´t feel like that this time and I thought this was a house where people could feel at ease. And though I´m more of an analog person, I liked the fact that you can see visually how ecologically you are living moment by moment with digital technology.
- Sei Togashi,First Editorial Division of STYLE max, Takarajimasha Inc.
- This could be a practical home with a little more effort. It would be better if there were more products you could try yourself and if the design were more upbeat. I was surprised by the excellence of the eco-ventilation exhibit and by how my perception of temperature changed with the hue of the LED light. The accumulator batteries are another good idea. I drive a hybrid car and it tells me how much battery capacity I have left. It would be good if the batteries also indicated how much charge they have.
The ‘eco ideas’ House succeeded in giving the visiting journalists an understanding of our concepts, such as a virtually zero CO2 emission lifestyle and synergy between technology and nature, which we designed based on feedback on the 2005 exhibit and in line with current world trends. In addition, we received many useful ideas we can use to improve our initiatives for this year´s meeting. The ‘eco ideas’ House is now open to the public, and we are receiving many wonderful comments from our visitors. We will use these suggestions not only to improve the ‘eco ideas’ House but also to create more advanced products.
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