Home of the Year!!! Silver

Seeking inspiration from standard vehicle features such as automated dome light, motorized windows, keyless entry, & more this project began to have a special feel to it.

Electronic House Magazine agreed giving this project the Silver Award for best automated/integrated "Home of the Year"!

We started with our unique and 2012 HOTY award winning hands free programming techniques where based on time of day the home uses occupancy sensors in EVERY area to anticipate the owners needs with no button presses. Turning on at varying levels at the different time of day & shutting back off again when the area is vacant makes it possible to literally never press a button for weeks at a time & trust the system to keep the lights off to save power.

We expanded this concept into the thermostat & motorized shades to eliminate trying to program & constantly manipulate these environments. The thermostats have occupied & unoccupied set points at all times of day. Instead of trying to anticipate & program when you will be home whether you are or not the home is constantly sensing occupancy. If you are home it adjusts to your set comfort levels & if the home is vacant it opens up to its energy saving mode automatically with no input needed. This saves tons of energy during evenings when you stay out, long weekends & even full vacations, you do not have to adjust anything to trust the system to proactively save energy. The battery powered motorized shades track your occupancy & lifestyle opening up when you want the daytime views & closing for privacy after the sun goes down. Equally important is tracking the suns cycle year round so in the summer they close at key times of day to block the significant heat created by the solar gain & in the winter make sure the shades are open to harvest the sun’s energy!

To compound the energy savings of the hands free programming we specified warm colored LED lighting that is fully dimmable in EVERY fixture. One of the highlights was the high density LED dimmable strip lights placed under the kitchen cabinets.

Security was a fun endeavor using 2 way motorized door locks. We could communicate with the security system & even the lighting system enabling obvious functionality such as a “Lock Doors” button in the master bedroom. This button gave you feedback by being lit green when all the doors were closed then by pressing it would lock all the doors, arm the security system & turn red to confirm everything had locked. In the morning if you went out to get the paper by unlocking the deadbolt from the inside the security system would disarm so you do not accidentally set it off. When the kids get home or a maintenance person uses the exterior keypad to enter the house you can get a text or email telling you who was home at what time of day. Additionally the app gives you live 2 way feedback from anywhere what doors are open or locked including the garage doors. If the garage doors are left open they will close at certain times of day & of course you can open them from the app from anywhere if you need to let someone in without giving out your code. IP enabled surveillance cameras with built in SD card & web server allowed access for live or recorded events via the app without the complexity or expense of a central DVR.

We looked into solar but decided that with all the other energy saving techniques all that was needed further was an energy meter to keep an eye on things. This house literally sips energy & the worry of ever having a large energy bill was simply not a concern.

The audio video system is very sleek & a 70” TV built flush into a short wall facing the living room & kitchen. This 45 degree corner is a pathway area that would normally be impeded upon by anything there but by placing a wall mounted rack in the mechanical area out of the way only taking up .5” of trim depth this placement made the living room feel refreshingly large. Combined with a clean surround sound system it fills the area nicely. Distributed audio placed in the master bed, bath & on the patio are controlled from programmed hybrid light switches so there is not more clutter on the wall. Everything to control the area is built into the light switches.

The final product is amazing. It does not feel excessive to use or live in. The features feel less luxury & more obvious like “why doesn’t every home have this?”.