Intelligent, comfortable and secure living: these are the objectives that have been chosen by the initiators of SmarterWohnen®NRW. This project, to encourage improvements in the home, is being presented for the first time at e/home – International Trade Fair and Congress for the Networked Home – in Berlin.

Added value services for improving home comfort: this is the objective of HWG (Hattingen) and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Software and Systems Technology ISST (Dortmund) and for Micro-Electronic Circuitry and Systems IMS (Duisburg). Together they are seeking to develop a pilot market for intelligent, integral forms of living and to demonstrate that these can also appeal to a mass market. Their project “SmarterWohnen®NRW” (Smarter Living in NRW) was the winner in the competition held in the Ruhr area to encourage future developments and the presentation was made on 18 April 2005 by the Minister of Science of the state of Northrhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft.

The background:

The background to this project, and the initial motivation, were provided by the current demands of the housing market. There is plenty of residential accommodation and in fact there is an over-supply in the main conurbations. The boundaries between work and leisure are becoming less distinct and there is therefore a need for new technologies for people working from home. We also live in an ageing society, creating a demand for more housing that meets the needs of senior citizens and that enables them to continue to live an independent life within their own four walls for as long as possible.

Consequently standard housing is becoming a less attractive option for many tenants, and housing companies are expected to augment the homes that they offer by including an extensive range of services. Only in this way can they ensure that the accommodation that they offer differs noticeably from what is generally available. Homes with improved quality and attractive supplementary features are the standards which will attract new tenants, and this is the approach that has been adopted for SmarterWohnen®NRW.


By the end of 2005 the first homes from HWG had already been successfully equipped with an innovative mix of technical systems and services. In addition to typical “smart home” functions such as lighting concepts, devices for automatically turning off ovens and independent heating controls for individual rooms, the homes are additionally connected to the outside world via a service gateway. This enables tenants to be provided with such important services as fire alarms and systems for monitoring unauthorised entry. For older people, for example, special services can be provided to enable them to remain living independently in their own homes for longer. The system is internet-based and consequently can be adapted at any time to the tenants’ individual wishes and requirements.

By the end of 2007 some 200 of HWG‘s apartments will have been transformed into “smart” homes. This demonstrates one thing in particular: a start has already been made on the housing of the future.

The Hattinger project can be seen in Berlin at e/home 2006, from 19 to 21 October. The networked solutions used and the housing associations exhibiting here, together with the construction industry, will be available to inform interested visitors about ways in which their property can be upgraded.

e/home 2006, the International Trade Fair and Convention for the networked home (19 to 21 October) presents the latest in solutions and applications for the networked home in Halls 7.2 a to c on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. Internet information: During the same period belektro, the Trade Fair for Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Lighting, takes place in Halls 1.2, 2.2, 3.2 and 4.2. Admission tickets are valid for both events