Efficient Lighting Control Helps Home Win Honor
Filled with lighting and shade controls, the New American Home is a showcase for green building.
January 17, 2013 by Jason Knott

This is right up there with some of the greenest high-tech home’s we’ve seen.

Dubbed the New American Home, it was constructed as the showcase home at the International Builders Show (IBS) last year in Orlando and achieved an astounding number of green designations and certifications, It even achieved a shade of green we haven’t heard about all that much: the “Emerald” designation from the National Association of Home Builders’(NAHB) ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard.

The home, which is packed with lighting control, also earned the “Essence of Pleasance” first place award from Lutron as part of its 2012 Excellence Awards, along with a LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

ZIO, a custom electronics integration company based in Orlando that is headed by CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) board member Peter Shipp, filled the home with technology that “not only melds seamlessly with the home’s modern décor, but thanks to the integrated Lutron systems, becomes a significant enhancement feature to the home’s value,” according to Marisa Munro, client relationship manager at ZIO.

The home is outfitted exclusively with advanced LED and compact fluorescent fixtures. Control of every one of these fixtures is handled with the HomeWorks QS system, featuring 96 loads of lighting control including 0-10V precision dimming of all LED lighting, 14 architectural seeTouch custom engraved keypads, two dynamic keypads, six occupancy sensors and one daylight sensor.

The home also features 13 Sivoia QS motorized shades in almost every room of the home, installed in custom recessed pockets so the shades does not alter the floor to ceiling views when open. All shades are integrated into the QS system allowing full control from all seeTouch keypads.

The home also features a completely integrated control and automation system from Clare Controls, which ties together lighting, shades, security and entertainment.

“Controlling the Lutron system from Clare and the Clare system from Lutron was as simple as importing a single Lutron XML file into the Clare system,” says Munro. “The unique design aspect of this system is how information from one system is used to influence another.”

For example:

  • When the alarm system is armed in “away” mode, interior shades close, all entertainment systems, water features and interior lights are turned off.
  • Vacancy sensors are installed in key rooms to automatically turn off lights.
  • Light sensors automatically shut off lights when adequate daylight is available.
  • All exterior lighting is automatically dimmed to 30 percent after midnight and automatically turned off at dawn.
  • All lighting is LED or CFL and most fixtures are dimmable including over 36 loads of recessed 0-10v LED fixtures.
  • A motion activated and timed garage exhaust fan evacuates vehicle exhaust from the garage after a car enters.

The home is a re-interpretation of the Classic White Box of the 1960s and ’70s made popular by architects such as Le Corbusier and Richard Meier. Phil Kean of Winter Park, Fla., was the architect and builder.
Kean designed the home to achieve “emerald” status under the green building certification process administered by the NAHB Research Center and based on principles set forth in the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard certified by ANSI. “Emerald” is the highest of the four levels of achievement a home can attain.

Among the certifications the home received:

  • USGBC LEED-H “Platinum” certification
  • National Green Building Standard “Emerald” certification
  • Florida Green Building Coalition “Platinum” certification
  • U.S. EPA Energy Star Qualified Home

Check out construction of the home, documented in a series of online videos.

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