October 13, 2008
by Lisa Montgomery
Fun & Frugal
The energy-saving attributes of some of the other installed products are less obvious, but they prove that even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to living green. For example, a GE Concord security system provides all the fire and burglary protection of a standard security system, but it also controls some of the energy-hungry devices in the house. When armed, the system sweeps through the house turning off any TV, amplifier, A/V component and light as it activates the window sensors, and motion detectors automated turn-off routines keep the entertainment systems in check as well, and this home is loaded with A/V. A Control4 audio switch spreads music from an iPod docking station to 10 independent listening zones. Listeners can choose what they’d like to hear by pressing a few buttons on a wireless Control4 touchscreen.
This green home didn’t skimp on movies, either. The Hunter Group outfitted the family room with a complete home theater system, featuring a 60-inch Pioneer Elite Kuro flat-panel TV, a Pioneer Blu-ray disc player, a Denon surround-sound receiver, a Sony 400-disc DVD changer and a Control4 media center stuffed with digital music. All of the equipment was tucked away inside a special control room to help maintain clean, modern lines in the living spaces.
Buy Into Better Living
If the automated off command and green wiring weren’t enough, a web-based display technology from Lucid Design Group will give these entertainment enthusiasts a real-time view of just how much energy their A/V components are consuming. The Building Dashboard, which can be viewed on a computer screen, compares how much energy the home is producing through its SunPower solar panel system to how much energy is being used.
Combined with green materials, building techniques, furnishings and host of other innovative gadgets, the electronic systems integrated into this stylish, upscale green home helped it garner a Gold rating from the USGBC LEED for Homes Program. The home is currently on the market for $3.25 million. That may be a huge pill for most people to swallow, but LivingHomes anticipates that the home will use 36 percent less energy than a conventional residence of a similar size. That may be all the incentive one needs to buy into a greener, healthier, sustainable living environment.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.