America's greenest home

Fully Automated: America’s Greenest Home

by www.cepro.com

Just because this house is super-green doesn’t mean it isn’t also super high-tech and luxurious. In fact, it’s chock-full of cool home technologies.

There are 24 zones of audio and a Control4 home control system that governs the audio/video, ventilation, security and energy-saving LED lighting. There are TVs that rise out of the floor on motorized lifts, occupancy sensors that turn off lighting automatically, and apps galore for iPad-based operation of anything that’s tied to the control system.

The electronic systems in this house don’t detract from its green creed, though. In fact, it’s just the opposite:

Technologies actually enable it to be even more eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

Technology also helped it to achieve a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating, the highest possible for a home, and set a record score for California’s Build It Green program.

Automation Enhances Efficiency

A home such as this with so many different systems could not run efficiently without a control system tying them together and providing a common user interface for monitoring and managing them.

“What we’ve been striving toward is the Control4 system doing as much as possible when it comes to the control of audio/video, pool and water,” says Gordon van Zuiden, founder of cyberManor. And it had to be nearly invisible. There are no wall controls in any room except for the Control4 six-button keypads, each center-mounted on a cedar plank. Thermostats are located in a closet, further eliminating wall clutter. And everything is controlled from six iPads used throughout the house.

“The system is so intuitive that our young children and guests can pick up an iPad and use all the features of the system without a list of lengthy instructions or training,” says Yates. The wall-mounted keypads let the homeowners set scenes for the energy-saving Xicato LED lighting used throughout the house, in addition to calling up music and recirculating hot water where needed.

“We have a button that allows us to turn off the whole front of the house as people are moving to the back to get ready for bed. It seems like a small thing, but it means we actually turn lights off more than we might if we had to go around to each room.”

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