Our journey toward a more sustainable future is no longer a secret. We are actively learning and striving to make the right steps forward. Mindful of our footprint and aiming for full team engagement, we blend awareness of sustainability and positive impact with a touch of playfulness. As part of our company event series in the last quarter of this year, we recently organized a Hackathon.
During our Hackathon, we used Home Assistant which is an open source home automation tool designed for customization. With over 2500 integrations available, the possibilities are endless. This tool enables home automation and visualization, allowing you to track energy usage for heating and assess your home’s sustainability. By doing this both automation and visualization can contribute to a more sustainable home (or office). We managed to get our hands on a few things: motion sensors, led strips, door sensors, wireless switches, air quality meter, temperature & humidity sensors, and wireless thermostat knobs. In addition, we setup a Zigbee network to make it possible to connect all sensors where necessary.
The goal of this Hackathon was not an immediate transformation of our office space into a sustainable hub. Instead, it aimed to explore the potential of open source technology, raise awareness about sustainability, spark innovative ideas within the team and motivate the team to start using this at home. The outcomes exceeded expectations, highlighting an array of remarkable solutions.
We began the day with an introduction to Home Assistant and concluded with presentations showcasing the teams’ ideas. Our jury assessed the innovations based on three criteria: functionality, sustainability, and creativity.
One team integrated our Outlook agenda with the conference room, automating room heating before scheduled appointments. Using motion detection, the system intelligently regulated heating, turning it off when unoccupied or after the day’s meetings. Another team devised a clever solution—small LED strips placed outside each door, displaying various colors to signify room status, occupancy, or CO2 levels. At same time, at the end of the day, these lights would serve as reminders, indicating open windows or active heating systems, encouraging energy conservation.
Since everyone enjoyed working with Home Assistant, we decided to continue working on sustainable solutions to integrate at the office. While we are uncertain about the sustainability of our integrations, exploring these possibilities is vital. Nevertheless, without trying to integrate it is impossible to figure out the sustainability aspects of Home Assistant.