Smart Apartments: How Iceland Is Leading the Way for Smart Home Acceptance

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

"Austurhöfn" is a pretty hard word to pronounce for those of us without much Icelandic vocabulary. Its literal translation means East Harbor - referring to the location (and North Atlantic view) of 71 new apartment units in Reykjavik. Its real significance, however, has nothing to do with its name or location: it's the first residential complex in Reykjavik being built with every unit, from the smallest to the largest, as "smart home ready." TSP, with its sister company, Nordic Smart Spaces, has been instrumental in making Austurhöfn a template for the future of multi dwelling homes.

Smart apartments have been available for years, but always with home automation as part of a custom (read: luxury) upgrade package. Historically, developers haven’t offered a home automation equivalent to the basic mix-and-match options that homeowners and builders usually have for included features like countertops and cabinet finishes because most buyers weren’t reliably willing to pay a premium for technology.

Austurhöfn is changing that — smart home technology is built into every unit, not as an add on, but in the fundamental design of the building. TSP has worked with the complex’s developers and engineering team to make sure that all the details have been considered, from wiring to lighting control. The commitment to delivering an elevated experience for all residents is what drives TSP’s success in home automation.

“At TSP, we’ve always had the vision that yesterday’s smart homes–accessible only to those with the most disposable income–can be made much more affordable by combining the best of today’s smart home technology with a close collaboration with property developers. Austurhöfn will lower the cost of implementing smart home technology and give buyers a menu of options to add whatever smart home features that they want.” - Michael Oh - Founder, TSP LLC

Using technology from Savant and Lutron, owners of these units will be able to control their lighting and heating using Savant’s one-app home automation platform. In addition, owners will have options to integrate their own devices, such as Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Sonos, giving residents the ultimate flexibility in smart home options.

By incorporating smart home technology from the outset, developers and builders are signalling a move encouraging automation’s transition from  yesterday’s luxury-only benefit to today’s standard, and expected, feature. The early success of Austurhöfn is a sign that buyers are ready for it.


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