What is a green smart home? It’s a home that combines green features with smart home technologies to maximise energy- and water-efficiency and comfort. You may already be aware of the benefits of greener living, however, people don’t generally know that smart home technologies are used to manage and maximise the efficiency and costs of running the green features while making our lives simpler, easier and cheaper. Let’s explore how living in a green smart home makes a difference to our lives.
Green smart homes enable us to monitor and efficiently manage the green features
Smart home technology has moved with the times and most systems include an app that provides access from our smartphone or computer. This means that we easily manage all the green features of our eco-friendly home from wherever we are. That could be anything from monitoring the water level of the rainwater harvesting tank to adjusting a zone temperature of the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system.
Imagine how much simpler it is to manage our home when all we need do is log in to the program, adjust the particular settings and let the system carry out those adjustments. When it’s time to turn down the temperature of the heat pump, thats done in a matter of minutes. And while at it, changing the temperature of individual zones in the house, in fact, even setting up schedules to take care of everything.
This provides us with capabilities to monitor and manage our home, our energy, rainwater consumption, all with our comfort in mind. Thereby maximising the energy- and rainwater-efficiency of our green home with ease. And because we’re able to access the app from our smartphone, changing settings even while on the go. This is ideal where we’re short on time. It’s all at our fingertips. This is especially handy to make finer adjustments to our home.
We save money every month with our green smart home
Eco-friendly homes are designed to be energy- and water-efficient. They include features such as Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling systems, heat pump solutions that use less power. The green features save us money by reducing the amount of energy and water our homes use. By connecting these elements to the smart home technology, we’re able to use the information collected by the system to reduce your energy and water consumption.
Here’s an example of how that would work. With the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system being connected to the smart home technology, and with the arrival of summer, we’ll want to lower the temperature in our home so it’s comfortable. And we adjust the relevant settings to the required temperature, say 21°. The system goes into action to make those adjustments and its done between 24 and 72 hours for the rooms throughout the home to reach the new temperatures we’ve set. Finer adjustments to the temperature works in the same way.
As the smart home technology collects information of our energy consumption, we’re able to monitor data and see the effect of our changes. At a glance, we’ll note whether lowering the temperature on the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system made a big or small difference to the electricity used immediately after the adjustment. If the electricity used to adjust the home to the newly set temperature is too high, changing the temperature by half or a full degree, again immediately shows up in the electricity consumption. Repeating such minor adjustments enables us to determine the balance between comfort and electricity efficiency. The energy consumption data is available to see the patterns immediately and over the past month or year. Interesting to note, that cooling our home uses more energy than heating our home.
This information is empowering. Homeowners that make the move from traditional homes to eco-friendly homes know that they’ll save on their monthly running costs. They see the difference in their monthly utility bills, and they’re able to calculate how much they’ve saved by living green. And until we’re able to monitor and efficiently manage our home we’ll not be able to balance comfort with cost efficiency.
When we have a clear picture of the costs involved in running our home it’s easier to budget and plan. We’re able to budget accurately, save more money and introduce new methods to increase our savings. We might discover that with the extra money we’re saving to add further photovoltaic solar panels. Or further invest in backup batteries to run our home longer at night. Green smart homes don’t just make our life easier, they provide us with valuable information enabling us to save money while living a luxurious lifestyle.
Green smart home luxury
Imagine it’s the dead of winter and as the alarm goes off we slide our bare feet out of bed onto the tiled floor. It’s still dark out and as we turn on the shower hot water tap, hot water comes out almost immediately, well in 3 – 5 seconds. Once ready for work, taking a look out of the double-glazed windows we see there’s an icy wind whipping the trees in the garden; we make a mental note to grab our jacket before heading out the door.
If that sounds like luxury and expensive, it’s surprisingly affordable to live this way. The Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system in eco-friendly houses works so well that we would place our bare feet directly on the tiled floor in the middle of winter finding the tiles warm. Smart home technology enables the use of sensors to detect movement and turn the lights in our home on and off without us having to reach for the switch. A linked-loop system provides us with hot water on tap saving both electricity and water. The double-glazed windows prevents cold air in during winter and warm air in during summer. In fact, they’re a small part of all the insulation used in the design of green smart homes that make our living comfortable all year round.
Eco-friendly homes are designed to use energy efficiently and that’s why, in the long term, investing in a green smart home is affordable. Giving us these creature comforts without the continuous rising costs of basic services. And because we’re able to monitor our energy consumption, we’re able to manage the costs efficiently. The information the system gathers on a continuous basis empowers homeowners to maximise the energy-efficiency of the home while they live in comfort and convenience.
Green smart homes grow with us
Technology improves all the time. A perfect example of this is the smartphone market, where new and improved models are released every year. With green smart home technology our home gets smarter too, we’re able to download new software and keep our system up to date.
We’ll be able to add on features as we need them, or as we budget to. For example, we could add an alarm system that works with our smart home technology. Adding sensors to detect movement and set off the alarm. What about combining the alarm with the blinds and lights so that the moment the alarm is triggered, our blinds open and our lights switch on as an immediate alert. By adding an alarm to our smart home system we’re also increasing our property value.
With more sensors we’re able to set schedules for the lights. While away on holiday we could set the curtains to open and close and lights to turn on and off as if someone was at home. There are many ways that smart home technology as the foundation has the capability to make our green home a smarter and safer place. Like, setting schedules to manage our blinds and lights according to our routine. Like, waking up with the sun, and setting the lights to come on every evening without doing it manually, by programming the system from the laptop.
The technology is in place so these are possible by adapting your home to suit your needs. Smart home technology allows you to manage many elements of your home and doing it remotely with the app on your smartphone or laptop.
Green smart homes are valuable
The truth is that eco-friendly homes are more expensive. Investing in property always pays dividends. And green smart homes will only become more desirable with time. Both the concepts of green living and smart technology taking off as more people come to realise the potential savings they offer.
In the future, new home buyers will be looking for properties that are energy- and water-efficient, comfortable and don’t require significant maintenance. Due to the nature of green smart homes, most of the features included in green smart homes are built to last. They need little maintenance and don’t require regular repairs. Photovoltaic solar panels last up to 20 years and don’t have moving parts that would easily break. And underground rainwater harvesting tanks are mostly self-cleaning; they require periodic rinsing if the finer filters.
As mentioned earlier, green smart home technology software is easy to upgrade, we’re thus able to access new features as they’re made available. We’re able too, to start with the basics and add extra functions to the system whenever needed. All of this adds value to our homes which means we’re in a position to command a higher price, when selling the green smart home on.
It’s no exaggeration to say that green smart homes are the future. The initial costs of investing in a green smart home are completely outweighed by the future savings and immediate comfort and convenience they offer their owners. As both developers and home owners come to realise this, more green smart homes will be built. With monitoring, managing, more knowledge and greater comfort, a green smart home gives us the kind of lifestyle we’ve always unknowingly dreamed of.
When our electricity bill is high, and we don’t know why, it helps to take a closer look at the way we use hot water. We might think of our morning shower as a necessity and not a luxury, though when it lasts more than say, 5 minutes, we’re literally pouring money down the drain. The good news is, we can stop the flood and adopt green living principles that will reduce our electricity bill. And we won’t have to give up our morning ablutions.
How much can we save on hot water?
It really depends on how far we’re willing to go and what our budget is. Without spending any extra money we can cut our water-heating costs by 10%. If we have a modest budget we can save 30% on hot water. And if we’re willing to invest substantially in green technology, there’s no limit to how much we can save.
Change small habits to save 10% on our electricity bill
When ready to start saving money on our electricity bill right now, all we need do is change some habits. That’s all that green living really means—being aware of the way we use limited resources and using them carefully. Here are four things we can do right now that won’t cost us a penny:
Turning the geyser down to 55°-60°
Check the thermostat on the geyser. Most geysers are set to 65° or higher. That’s hot enough to scald us. Turn it down at least 5° or 10° and we won’t even notice the difference. For every 5° we reduce the temperature, we save up to 10% on our heating costs. Proof that living green helps us save money.
Turning our geyser’s temperature down has other benefits. We’ll protect our family from burning themselves (essential with small children) and we’ll increase the lifespan of our geyser. Don’t get carried away, though. The temperature needs to be at least 55° to stop bacteria from breeding.
We might get a bit dirty climbing about in the attic, nevertheless, that is the start of savings each month.
Cutting down on shower time
A 10-minute shower can use as much as 65 litres of hot water. By reducing our shower time by two minutes we’ll need about 12 litres of hot water less. A family of four would save thousands of Rands on electricity and water every year by spending a little less time in the shower. And don’t be tempted to bath instead. A bath uses more water than a shower.
Another little trick; is taking a bucket into the shower. Use it to collect the grey water that normally disappears down the drain and use it to water the garden. It won’t help save on electricity though; it’s a way of living green and to save another precious resource.
Switch off the geyser when away for prolonged periods
Going on holiday this summer? Stop at the DB board and flip the geyser switch to the off position. If nobody is around to use hot water, why let the element heat up a few times every day? This is the easiest way to save on electricity and with a geyser timer, why not switch the geyser off during peak periods even when not on holiday. Just don’t forget to switch the geyser on again when back, then give it a few hours to heat up again. Eco-friendly homes enable everyone to enjoy the benefits of modern conveniences while reducing costs and reducing strain on the national supply.
Use cold water for the laundry
Unless our clothes are heavily soiled, we can wash them in cold water to clean them. While our washing machine doesn’t draw hot water from the geyser, this little tip helps reduce our electricity bill. Green living is all about the small habits that make a big difference.
Waiting until we have a full load of clothes or dirty dishes before switching on the washing machine or dishwasher are further savings. The more efficiently we use these appliances, the more we save.
Spend less than R1000 to save 30%
With spare cash, investing in these tips and boost our hot water savings by as much as 30%. Imagine such savings on electricity every month. Here are some ideas to get started on the road to living green:
Installing low-flow shower heads
They really aren’t that difficult to install and won’t need the services of a professional plumber. Doing the ‘Bucket Test’ to determine the efficiency of our current shower heads, is even easier. Hold a bucket under the shower spray for 12 seconds and see if we collect more than 2 litres. By installing a low-flow shower head we save a lot of money (and water and electricity). As low-flow shower heads aerates the water we still get the same blast of water so our morning ablutions are as luxurious.
Put a timer on the geyser
Though this tip costs a bit more, the savings we’ll enjoy is worth every penny. Installing a programmable timer on our geyser and setting it to switch off during peak periods, such as 6am – 8am and 5pm-9pm, creates another saving. Living green means we are conscious of our consumption, and looking at creating saving of our month costs, while incidentally conserving resources of the planet.
We’ll need to call out an electrician to install the timer, and, at the same time adding the geyser thermostat control. That save us from climbing into the roof every time we want to adjust the temperature of our geyser. And when having such handy features it’s easy to manage the geyser: Being able to monitor and adjust our hot water usage to save electricity costs. More convenience with our hot water.
Invest in insulation
A geyser blanket will cost between R200 and R400 and pipe insulation won’t cost much more than R100. Every penny is worth it because it stops the heat escaping from the tank. That means using less electricity to heat the water in the tank to the desired temperature. Eco-friendly homes make comprehensive use of available resources such as insulation. (Ceiling, exterior walls, floor, double-glazing, water pipes.)
Buy energy-efficient appliances
When in the market for a new dishwasher or washing machine, check the Energy Star ratings. Modern appliances are designed to use less water and less electricity. We’ll save on two fronts and be implementing further green living features.
Go big and save up to 50% or more on hot water costs
When taking full advantage of reducing the costs of our hot water bill, and decide to take up green living technologies we’ll have a huge impact on the monthly running costs of our homes. And reap the benefits from right away as well as adding value to our home.
Installing a heat pump – water heating and cooling
Heat pumps are remarkably efficient and use only a small amount of electricity. They’re about the size of a medium to large air-conditioning unit.
A fan draws hot air into the heat pump and passes it over a refrigerant. Because the refrigerant boils at low temperatures, it transfers this heat to a condenser coil – which in turn heats up water. The hot water continuously replaces the cooled down water in the hot water tank.
Dual function heat pumps are particularly versatile because they have three different modes. They heat water, cool water down, or they cool and heat water at the same time. This means twice as much efficiency is achieved. By installing this type of heat pump it easily produces the required water temperature, either separately or simultaneously.
Because heat pumps use electricity, they work just as well on cloudy and rainy days. Installing a heat pump is viable indoors and outdoors, as long as the unit has space around it for the air to circulate. Heat pumps don’t require much maintenance. A heat pump that is properly maintained will last more than 15 years. This makes them an ideal choice for those who want to strike a balance between greener living and convenience.
Go with a solar water heater
Though solar water heaters are expensive, consider their savings in monthly electricity costs. With a solar water heater we aren’t subjected to increasing electricity costs. A family of four would recoup their investment in a solar water heater in 4-6 years. When looking at it like that, the idea of a solar water heater is a sound investment. And they form part of green living.
Enough roof space is needed to accommodate the solar collector. The tank is either fitted on the roof alongside the collector or, inside the roof. A pump circulates water between the collector and the tank.
A solar water heater provides free hot water all year round. We’re not affected by power cuts or load shedding. This system doesn’t produce any kind of pollution. In fact, we’ll be reducing our carbon footprint and embracing greener living. To top it, solar water heaters require little maintenance and last as long as 15-20 years before they need repairs or components.
When a roof gets sufficient sunlight during the year, is big enough to house the collector and the tank there’s every reason to go ahead with installing a solar water heater. As an alternative to the favoured heat pump system, solar water heaters provide and alternative water heating system to eco-friendly houses.
Whether opting for a heat pump or a solar water heater, with a substantial investment we’ll have access to hot water while saving electricity costs each month.
How many of these ideas should we use? One option is to start small, no-cost changes to see an immediate difference to our monthly electricity bill. Putting the saved money aside or invest in some insulation for the conventional geyser. That way we save until able to afford a solar water heater. The other option, though pricey is, a purpose built green smart home.
When owning an eco-friendly home we’ll command a premium when the time comes to sell. Investing in a green home will not only save money while living in it, it will increase in value with each years. Future buyers will be better educated about the benefits of greener living and actively seek out homes that already have green features. Even seek out purpose built eco-friendly homes. And with the added benefits of smart home technology, the value increases even further. Buyers will come to expect eco-friendly homes combined with smart home technology.
What is smart home technology?
Smart home technology refers to the use of computers to manage functions and features of a green home such as the electricity consumption, heating, cooling and the water usage. Such homes are referred to green smart homes. The smart technology infrastructure includes that the home’s data is easily accessed from a smartphone app or computer. The smart technology enables the monitoring and managing of a smart home from our smartphone or computer.
This enables that we efficiently manage our green smart home from within the home or from remotely. It makes running our home convenient and adds an extra layer of security to our property. With some systems, it is even possible to set schedules for lighting and the home’s temperature. Or, we’re able to rely on sensors to automate certain features. For example, before leaving the office, we’re able to turn on the lights so we arrive home to a bright house. Or, a sensor could detect the morning sun and automatically open the blinds and curtains, and the converse in the evening.
What is a green smart home?
Smart technology infrastructure is the foundation of a green smart home. Because, along with making it convenient to manage the green features, the smart system enables us to monitor various main features, like the energy and water consumption. Smart home technology continuously collects data of the home. This data is used to maximise the efficiency of all the features of the home. The efficiency translates to increased savings of the monthly running costs. And as the cost of basic services continues to rise, we enjoy greater savings without having to change our lifestyle. In addition, with a green smart home, luxury features are implemented in the most cost effective way. For instance, such a home is constructed taking many things into account. The green smart home being fully temperature controlled throughout the year with the electrical costs even multiple times lower than the traditional home equivalent, while sporting the luxury of being fully temperature controlled.
How do green smart homes increase our return on investment?
Eco-friendly homes are more expensive than traditional ones. That’s because they include features that cost more to implement during the building phase. And, the value of a green home lies in the fact that our monthly utility costs are significantly reduced. The money that we save every month on electricity and water is available to, for instance, put towards paying off our home.
And this is how green smart homes increase our monthly savings:
- Tracking our power consumption
The smart home system can be connected to a Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system and heat pump. Both of these features use electricity efficiently. And because we can track our energy consumption over days, weeks, months and years, we have a clearer picture of exactly how much energy our home uses.
If we raise the temperature of our home in winter, within minutes, we are able to see the impact this has on our costs. We then have the option to make an informed decisions about our comfort level versus the costs involved. With a smartphone app, we are able to log in to the system at any time and make adjustments to the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system. Though reducing the temperature by half a degree or by one degree would not make much difference to our comfort levels, it would in fact make a significant difference to the cost of running the system.
The same applies to the heat pump. Hot water accounts for a significant portion of our monthly electricity bill. A heat pump uses electricity efficiently, so it already saves us money. When adding a linked-loop system, we have hot water on tap, which saves on water. Instead of running the tap for what feels like minutes while waiting for the hot water to reach the required temperature, the water is instead at the temperature you need within seconds.
With traditional geysers, adjusting the thermostat is cumbersome, which is why most people set it and forget it. We’re able to reduce our electricity usage by adjusting the temperature every season. We don’t need the water to be as hot in summer as in winter. And with a green smart home, it’s easy to adjust the temperature from our smartphone. Plus, we’ll be able to see immediately how dialing the temperature down a few degrees impacts our electricity consumption.
Once again, we’re able to monitor and manage our power consumption while maintaining our comfort. People generally don’t realise that greener living is luxury living. Imagine, living luxuriously, while saving money. Having full access to monitor every element and every feature of our home empowers to make choices and to manage our home efficiently, and to maximise the savings of our monthly running costs.
As we use the smart home technology to track our power consumption, we increase our understanding of how our lifestyle impacts our home’s running costs. Over time, we’re able to identify patterns and budget accordingly. Or, find new ways to reduce our consumption and be able to track the results. Simply being aware of our energy consumption makes a big difference to the way we live. It encourages us to use energy wisely, save money, while incidentally easing the strain on the municipal supply and the planet. It’s all about balance.
Smart home technology adds value
The features discussed above have already been implemented in some green homes. The aforementioned are some of the benefits of smart home technology. Expanding the system is possible and includes other features and benefits of the green smart homes such as:
- Security: Add an alarm to the system which works with motion sensors. When the alarm is set off, it triggers the blinds to open, switches on lights and play loud music. This takes the intruder by surprise. Having an alarm system will also lower our insurance premiums and again we save money.
- Setting schedules: By developing the smart home technology system further, to set schedules for the lighting and blinds. For example, turning the lights on shortly before arriving home at night. Although a new technology, we’re able to add many features to the smart home system.
- Remote control: By adding additional sensors to appliances, we’re able to set the washing machine or dishwasher to run while out of peak period. Smart home technology offers us the ability to interact with our home, even when we aren’t there.
When selling our green smart home, we’ll have more to offer potential buyers than what a traditional home offers. The green features alone already add tremendous value to our home. Future buyers will be more aware of how much they’ll save while living in a green home. From a cost-effective Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system, to underground rainwater harvesting tanks, buyers will appreciate that a green smart home saves them money from the moment they move in.
Combined with the smart home technology, we’re offering buyers a modern, luxurious lifestyle that contributes to their saving from when they move in. We have already become dependent on our smartphones for access to information, and smart home technology does the same for our green homes. Tech savvy buyers will appreciate this added levels of information that the system offers. And once we’ve experienced it for ourselves, we’ll be able to show them why it’s valuable.
Save now and increase our return on investment
By combining green living and smart home technology, we push the energy-efficiency of our homes. We’ll gain a deeper understanding of our power consumption, and have at our finger tips features that make our lives comfortable. With the knowledge, it’s easy to implement other features to further increase our comfort and savings. That’s money to put towards paying off our home faster, thereby investing for our children’s future and for our retirement.
After experiencing all the benefits of living in a green smart home, we’ll get a good return on our investment when selling our green smart home on. Green homes are not common in South Africa. Studies in the USA have already shown that green home owners command a higher price for their property. And by adding smart home technology to the mix, we increase the value of our homes even more.
With that in mind, it certainly makes sense to consider investing in a green smart home. Property has always been considered a sound investment. We’re able to maximise the value of that investment by looking at green smart homes.
South Africans are already aware of the benefits of greener living. Some new residential developments have added green features. That’s because they know they’ll save on monthly running costs and are less dependent on the utility service providers. The rising costs of electricity and water have contributed to this and it’s likely that costs of these basic services will continue to increase.
Buying any property will be the biggest financial decision we ever make. By choosing wisely, and investing in a green smart home, we’ll save money now and reap the rewards of a good return on our investment in time to come. Green smart homes offer us more financial benefits than traditional properties ever will.
Eco-friendly houses are designed to be energy-efficient. Every element of their construction exists to make the most of resources such as power and water. And when combined with elements of smart technology, eco-friendly homes maximise energy-efficiency and save homeowners even more on their monthly running costs.
Here’s how smart home technology turns a green home into a green smart home:
Monitoring and managing energy usage
When not living in a green smart home, the only way to keep track of energy usage is looking at our monthly electricity bill. And seeing it increase at certain times of the year would indicate more power was used to run the home during that time. For example, in winter the higher electricity bill is attributed to using heaters to keep warm.
When adopting some energy saving habits, such as turning off the lights in rooms that aren’t occupied, we then wait to see what effect it has on the electricity bill. Or perform an energy audit on all the appliances in the home to work out how much is spent on heating, lighting, cooking and cleaning.
All these methods are helpful, though they cannot give the detailed information really needed to get a handle on our power usage. And if we want to achieve maximum energy-efficiency, it would take months of trial and error to find the most effective techniques for reducing our energy consumption.
By contrast, smart home technology constantly monitors the energy used to light, heat and run a home. We have instant access to information on how much power our home is using at that instant. And, we’re able to look back over days, weeks and months of data to identify patterns. Without smart home technology, it would be impossible to gather this information and have it readily available at our fingertips.
This information gathering, by the way, also applies to the usage of harvested rainwater.
The real benefit of monitoring our power consumption is what we can do with it. Information is empowering, and with large amounts of data it’s easier to manage and make decisions about our energy usage – accurately budgeting our expenses well into the future and calculating precisely how much energy we’ll save by implementing new features, such as a photovoltaic solar power system.
We’ll immediately see the effect our new green living habits have on our power consumption. Smart technology allows setting the temperature for individual zones within the home. During the summer, the temperature is turned lower so the home is cool and comfortable. Within 24-72 hours, it will have reached the desired temperature. The adjustment in the required temperature is immediately visible via the home’s energy consumption system. Adjusting the temperature up or down by a degree or so will immediately reflect on the electricity usage; and the same will occur in the winter. The efficiency is immediately evident.
Green living is luxurious and with the addition of a smart home technology system, it is possible for homeowners to enjoy luxury using energy and money efficiently. Not only is the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system remarkably efficient at maintaining a comfortable home environment throughout the year, the smart home technology makes it easy to monitor power consumption and manage efficiency and costs.
Manage everything from the computer or smartphone
No matter where we are, we can access the smart home technology system from our smartphone app, computer or laptop. And that means we are able to adjust the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system, or monitor our electricity usage even when not at home.
Smart home technology isn’t complex. The system is simple to navigate and allows checking on our home no matter where in the world we are. We don’t have to be home to change settings, we easily do it from our smartphone while on the go.
And there’s another example of how smart home technology contributes to the energy-efficiency of a green home. Because we have access to the system whenever needed, we stay informed of our energy consumption and are able to take the necessary steps.
With a few taps of our smartphone, we log in, check our power consumption and make the necessary changes. This technology not only helps us run an energy-efficient home, it saves us time and effort too.
Living green is a way of life. It’s about more than doing the right thing for the environment; it’s about taking control of the resources we use every day, and finding ways to use them efficiently. We’re thus not taking our electricity usage and its associated costs for granted.
After all, reducing our power consumption is a good way to cut down on our monthly expenses. We don’t have to sacrifice our comfort and convenience to keep our electricity bill low. The addition of smart home technology to eco-friendly homes means that energy-efficiency can be maximised. Greater savings make sense for homeowners and the environment. The idea of constructing homes with a combination of green features and smart technology is the future of housing developments all over the world. And that’s because they both offer homeowners the ability to manage the resources they use, without giving up modern conveniences. The smart home technology simply offers us the ability to manage power consumption in our home efficiently, conveniently and from wherever we are.
Eco-friendly homes have become more than simply ‘green’ homes, thanks to the addition of smart home technology. As people have become aware of how easy it is to monitor and manage their power consumption, they rely on smart home technology to run their homes efficiently. Monitoring and managing the power consumption from our smartphone has become a natural phenomenon. We’re always connected to our green smart home, making our lives comfortable and cost efficient.