Sustainability is a genuine concern for students in the UK, with over 80% believing that eco-friendly development should be actively promoted and incorporated by UK universities - a demand that increases as students progress through their respective degrees. The ability to lower one’s carbon footprint through technology is one that also appeals to students, with many opting for smart houses that enable them to live in a more personalised, eco-friendly manner. These are just a few features to watch out for if you are a student looking for green accommodation close to your campus.
Top tech thermostat manufacturers like Nest, Ecboee, Honeywell, and Sensi have all recently launched Wi-Fi-controlled smart thermostats, which enable students to control their home’s comfort system from school or home, or even when they are visiting friends or family members back home. These systems are also budget-friendly, which is great news for students struggling to meet the costs of tuition and living expenses. They have been shown to save homes up to 23% on heating and cooling costs, since programmed heating and cooling systems are more efficient. For instance, if you forget to shut off the heating, you can do so from wherever you are in the world. Wi-Fi thermostats also send alerts to homeowners when it is time to change filters, thus preventing HVAC systems from breaking down and posing a big expense for repairs.
Lighting is a major cost in student residences in the UK, and many are already adopting smart lighting systems - which students seeking private accommodation should also look into prior to making a rental choice. Smart lighting systems use sensors and time-based lighting schemes to carry out a variety of functions. These include understanding a residence’s lighting needs, automating consumption optimisation, and reacting to new patterns established by residence dwellers. The aim is to reduce energy reliance and overall costs. Some smart lighting systems have adaptive lights, which change according to the light intensity on a given day. Students on a budget can rely on cheap but effective smart bulbs sold by brands like IKEA and Philips. These bulbs have inbuilt Wi-Fi and can be customised, scheduled and controlled remotely, and users can control their brightness and RBG colour.
Safety Is Key
For students living in university residences or renting a home in a student-friendly area, safety is of the essence. The average campus manages thousands of locks for its resident areas and dormitories, with a bevy of staff required to ensure safety (including locksmiths, managers and security directors). Security risks can still arise, however, when students lose keys or when these are stolen from them. Keyless locks can help reduce costs and boost safety: they permit entrance based on a credential - typically a PIN number. It is easy to see how with this technology, staff can avoid having to make copies for lost keys or, worse yet, having to change entire locks because one student has lost a key to a shared room or common area.
Top smart speakers such as the Sonos One, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod are already present at some campus residences and dorms for common use, and they can hook up to any device that is connected via Wi-Fi. Students can give spoken commands to their speaker, for instance, instructing it to turn all lights off (the speaker can also be used to turn one light or a specified group of lights on or off). It can set various alarms for more than one person sharing a room, with each user being able to choose the music or sound he or she wishes to wake up with. Features such as multi-group audio, meanwhile, make for fun moments of entertainment, and permit various students who are studying to listen to learning-conducive music or sounds. Of course, these devices can also play audiobooks and other study materials. The speakers can also be used to remind students to carry out various tasks throughout the day.
Smart homes and automation systems are increasingly becoming the norm in student residences and shared houses, since they give residents a greater sense of security and enable them to save on energy costs. Wi-Fi-controlled thermostats, keyless locks, and smart speakers are just a few affordable technologies that can make life easier for students and staff alike. Devices such as Amazon Echo and Sonos One, meanwhile, are enhancing student connection and providing various opportunities for study and social interaction.