How Can Smart Homes Support People with Complex Needs?
Portland College and ADS Independent Living Solutions are working together to launch their first Smile Homes installation on campus. Housing Industry Leaders explores how smart homes can support people with complex needs.

It is said by Portland College that this installation will deliver a new standard in sustainable, smart homes for independent living for people with complex needs from learning to physical disabilities across the age spectrum.

Smile Homes are constructed off-site and delivered as a fully completed personalised home, with the building coming pre-fitted with a technology backbone. This aims to make the home intelligent enough to help support the health and well-being of the person living there.

Technology Can Be Used To Address Health And Well-Being Issues

Co-funded by Innovate UK, the first unit was installed at Portland College and will be used as a living lab to demonstrate its flexible technology infrastructure.

The infrastructure is said by Portland College to be able to support a range of systems for integrated building, environment, and personal management.

Principal and CEO of Portland College, Dr Mark Dale, said: “Smile Homes is a fantastic example of exploiting technology to address major health, social and well-being issues, bringing innovation to the challenges of building fully accessible housing for people with disabilities and a range of medical conditions, using environmentally sustainable technology.”

We’re proud to be hosting the first Smile Homes unit on campus and look forward to being involved in shaping the future of independent living.

Portland learners and citizens will be provided with the opportunity to test this new way of independent living and provide feedback on their experience to help shape future developments of Smile Homes.

Providing Housing That Meets People’s Needs And Wishes Is Essential

Looking forward, Smile Homes has the capacity to add personalised assistive technology driven by the needs of the person who will live in the home. It is said to have the ability to be programmed to function as the user needs, creating a person-centred system to support routines and sensory needs with multi-sensors.

Multi-sensors can constantly assess environment, physical and behavioural aspects whilst keeping data in the home for privacy and security.

Chief Executive of ADS, David Adams, said: “Our intelligent Smile Homes® system is a transformational change in the delivery of personalised homes for independent living for people with different abilities and complex needs.

“We are delighted to have completed this milestone with our first Smile Homes® installation at Portland College.”

We are looking forward to using this platform to drive innovation and delivery to enable people to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives in a home of their own, in a community of their choosing, which meets their needs and wishes.

Smile Homes is hoping to lead the way in sustainability and is already making significant progress. The buildings themselves are highly insulated, have solar panels and a green roof and use no concrete – the prototype has screw pipes. When it comes to its operation, Smile Homes is targeting operation at net zero.

In addition to this, the buildings are revealed to be capable of being re-used or re-manufactured and moved effectively to a new site in line with the principles of a circular economy.