Entrepreneur Mike Wann has been one of the biggest innovators in the tech industry. He founded Super League Gaming, Tastemade, Fullscreen (now New Warner Media), Mobcrush, and the popular online video game Roblox.
He is expanding into clean tech, partnering with several rising enterprises to create a net-zero residence. On Oct. 30, Wann announced his plans for a 4,300-square-foot domicile that will have one of the first and largest digital home management platforms to keep paper documents organized and digitized as well as track a home’s carbon neutrality.
Photo Courtesy Rocket Launch Agency
The home, the Wann Family Net Zero Case Study House, will debut in Santa Monica, CA, on Earth Day 2024. Wann plans to use the house as a laboratory of sorts, built with a net-zero design in mind. The construction will be sustainable, energy efficiency will be paramount, and the digital home management software, HomeZada, will be key to the project.
HomeZada is a cloud-based home management system that allows people to keep all papers, furniture, and valuables inventory and other real estate functions in the digital sphere. Wann sees HomeZada as a valuable tool for getting homeowners to go completely paperless.
“It’s one thing to build a net-zero home but quite another to coordinate all of the everyday activities to manage it to the maximum benefit of my multigenerational family and the planet,” he said in a press release shared with The Business Download. “In addition to immediately eliminating 90% of the paper found in most homes, the HomeZada suite of apps will help us realize our net zero vision over the long run.”
According to the press release, this vision aims to use 100% less energy than the average U.S. household and “exceed net zero to be able to return power back” to the grid.
That requires alternative energy sources, particularly renewables. Appliances will have to be low-energy models. The Business Download has already stressed the importance of electric vehicles.
Aside from HomeZada, Wann has partnered with Beko Home Appliances, SmartFlower, FENIX, Lettuce Grow, and Smappee to create this net-zero household. These companies all offer low-carbon solutions like residential solar (SmartFlower), low-energy appliances (Beko), sustainable interior decor (FENIX), and at-home gardening (Lettuce Grow).
All of these firms will help eliminate waste and keep carbon emissions low. According to the press release, it will be the first deployment of “a SmartFlower solar energy system that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset.” It’s also the firm’s first residential solar deployment in North America.
Rendering Courtesy Rocket Launch Agency
“There is a lot to know and remember about how all the equipment and materials work.
HomeZada makes it really easy to inventory all the items in the home and store product
warranty information, owners’ manual[s], and operating instructions,” Wann told The Business Download via email. “HomeZada can record videos about all the maintenance procedures so everyone in the family knows where to find information.”
The home will follow all city ordinances laid by Santa Monica concerning home-to-grid energy systems and low-energy use. The city-mandated residential construction must include net-zero energy from 2017 onward. This law increased domestic renewable adoptions, particularly solar.
HomeZada will play an integral role here. As the home management system, it will be responsible for tracking all carbon neutrality goals.
The company recently added an artificial intelligence bot to help homeowners answer all questions. “Zada” can help with maintenance questions and equality growth. The artificial intelligence assistant came out this past July.
In 2022, HomeZada won the Wells Fargo Innovation Challenge at the bank’s Innovation Summit. Madhu Narasimhan, Wells Fargo executive vice president and head of innovation, said the home management platform was engaging and had valuable tools for homeowners. If it can get homeowners’ emissions to decrease, HomeZada may see a significant influx in subscribers.
Wann’s ambitious plan presents a strategic opportunity to teach homeowners how to live more sustainably. The suburbs, which experience automobile dependency and low-density sprawl with higher taxes and cost of living, are a major contributor to nonpoint source pollution associated with real estate development and runoff from chemicals in lawn care and pet waste. Reducing carbon emissions in suburban areas is crucial in the fight against climate change.
When asked if he expects more homeowners to switch to a more carbon-neutral lifestyle, Wann answered, “Absolutely — especially since more cities like Santa Monica are mandating that all new residential construction be net zero.”
“The good thing is that thanks to a growing abundance of next-generation sustainable home tech products and services on the market like HomeZada, Beko Home Appliances, and SmartFlower, homeowners won’t necessarily have to sacrifice luxury, design, or even affordability to make this shift,” he continued.
Existing homeowners will be able to take advantage of HomeZada’s data tracking and can use Wann’s residence as a template for their own. HVAC, solar panels, gas, water, and sewer use will be transparently presented to homeowners, which will help manage invoices and renovation models. This home is a glimpse into the carbon-neutral footprint.