This shape-shifting house transforms with the weather

This shape-shifting house transforms with the weather

Architect Todd Fix has developed a concept for a house with an external shell that changes shape depending on the weather, making your "smart home" look very dumb indeed. It's called the "Motus", and is based on several years of work including another "Mo Ventus" concept.

The aim was to build a zero-energy home that doesn't utilise the typical 'Passivhaus' design specification. Instead, the living area is all glass but that glass is automatically covered up with different materials in different circumstances - a sun-blocking shade or an insulating shell.

"It provides this flexible control over heat gain from sunlight," architect Todd Fix told Fast Company. "So if it's a cold day, the sensor will sense that, and it will close both to keep the heat inside. If you want more light in the space, you can open up the screen or open up the shell."

Not Cheap

Power for the house and the mechanism that unfurls the screens is provided by a set of solar panels, and a "microclimate pool" underneath cools the house with evaporation on hot days.

The floor area ranges from 5,000 to 12,000 square feet, depending on configuration, and Fix says it's best suited for beachfront locations in temperate climates.

It doesn't come cheap, however. Fix estimates that construction would cost somewhere between $3.5 and $10 million - again, depending on configuration. Still tempted? Here are a couple of videos of the Mo Ventus in action to persuade you:

Duncan Geere
Duncan Geere is TechRadar's science writer. Every day he finds the most interesting science news and explains why you should care. You can read more of his stories here, and you can find him on Twitter under the handle @duncangeere.