One touch triggers this home automation system to jump into action, which is kind of like how one woman’s story inspired an entire group of leaders in the smart home industry to build a cutting edge home with connected green tech.
“It was a way to make lemonade out of lemons, because we had just experienced this disaster, and we really wanted to do something that was special when we started to rebuild,” says homeowner Kim Erle.
Erle and her family lost their 1940s-style cottage on the Hamptons during Hurricane Sandy. “We’re coming up on the third anniversary of the storm, so it’s been a very long time,” she says.
It’s been a long time and a lot of effort, but the family’s house has been rebuilt and sort of reborn as the Sunset Green Home.
Integrator Jeff Sakkal along with several manufacturer sponsors, the builder, architect and more used the Elan g! platform to create the ultimate connected, green home.
“When we were approached with the project, it’s something we jumped on immediately. It’s what we’ve been waiting to get for a very long time, to kind of merge the green concept with automation,” says Sakkal, president of Sakab Design Inc.
What’s so great about this automation system is that it can tell when the Erle family is coming home and pulling into the driveway, and it triggers all of the driveway lights to turn on. What’s even better is the LED lights throughout the home are only triggered when needed, which is only one small part of the Sunset Green Home’s energy-conscious technology.
There’s also an efficient HVAC system that uses an air source heat pump and there are connected shades to shield the sun. “I can press a button and the shades will automatically come down,” says Erle.
RELATED: Smart HVAC: A Breath of Fresh Air
Energy Star appliances and induction cooking technology conserve in the kitchen and a solar array produces almost all of the home’s energy. “We can monitor it remotely,” says Erle. “We can understand what each of the 16 panels is doing at any given time.”
And not to mention, Erle says the home’s envelope far surpasses code. “Our blower door test showed that we have two air changes per hour in this house because our building envelope is very tight. By way of comparison, a code compliant house has to be as tight as seven natural air changes per hour, and an Energy Star house has to have five.”
And because the envelope is so tight, you want to make sure you have fresh air in the house.
For a homeowner, I’m sure you’re thinking Erle sure knows a lot about sustainability. “It’s a little bit of chicken and egg,” she says. “I’m LEED accredited because of the home, but the home is green because we are sustainability-minded.”
Her goal for the home is LEED platinum. Erle’s other goal is to assure her family’s new, green dream home isn’t going anywhere. “Hurricane Sandy made us move out of our home. We don’t ever really want that to happen again.”
The Sunset Green Home was built two more feet above sea level than the current code requires, sits on 130 pilings and has impact resistant glass.