Using automation to make daily living easier or more enjoyable is one of the main reasons most people would probably install high tech control systems in their home. But of course, let’s not forget about efficiency. The trend towards going “green” and saving energy and resources continues, and I’m a huge fan of applying home automation to that goal. But I’m also a fan of sleek and ultra-cool spaces that streamline their gadgets and technology, and especially hidden compartments and tricked-out secret panels. So I was happy to find these homes that prove you don’t have to sacrifice style and elegance for efficiency.
This impressive 5,000 square foot home in McLean, VA designed and constructed by Greenspur, is not only incredibly environmentally-friendly, but impressively automated as well. The automation is the key to a great deal of the efficiency, since lighting, heating and cooling are monitored and controlled electronically, not only can energy usage be readily observed, it can be significantly reduced by changing how and when these systems are running. If you don’t believe me,get this – “For one month, our electricity bill was $73, and this was in the summer when we had our AC running,” said homeowner David Smith. Compare this to their neighbor’s $700 bill for a 6,000 square foot home nearby. Wow!
Elements like solar panels; solar hot water, geothermal heating and cooling, structural insulated panels (SIPs), LED lights, recycled building materials, low-flow water fixtures, a rainwater harvesting system, and Energy Star-rated appliances and windows all contribute to the savings. But according to GreenSpur president Mark Turner, it’s the home’s automation system that may have the biggest impact. “The most important thing when it comes to saving energy is having people change their behavior,” he says. “It’s more critical, even, than having solar panels.”
The automation designed by Hill Residential Systems incorporated AMX NetLinx and Lutron HomeWorks systems to create a fantastic place that definitely did not lose anything at all in the translation to being “green”. It’s great to see that people are becoming more environmentally responsible, but at the same time not losing the comforts that create a really great place to live! Check out the rest of the article to see more homes that have used automation – makes me wonder if these folks are the “new” tree-huggers?? These technologies definitely make a positive impact on the environment.
What sort of energy-saving appliances or gadgets do you have in your home? Have you implemented home automation technology in your pad to reduce your energy bills? I’d love to hear about it, and especially how much you’ve saved!
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