Reprinted with permission from the Control4 blog:
It takes a community to raise a house that’s so efficient it produces excess power to sell back to the local utility. It requires environmentally conscious design and construction, plus a bevy of green, eco-friendly products and systems to put a residence on a path toward achieving the coveted Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environment Design) rating. And, it paints a realistic picture of how technology can play a role in promoting a cleaner, healthier and greener way of living.
By collaborating with the Florida Green Home Design Group and its partners SKLARchitecture, Hollywood, Florida, and Arkin Group, Miami Beach, Florida, the custom electronics professionals at MultiMedia Innovations (MMI), designed the Control4 system to help the self-sustainable, $2.2 million, 3,200-square-foot Alton residence achieve the highest-scoring LEED rating in the nation. The Control4 system controls all of the home’s LED light fixtures, which earned a few LEED points, according to MMI’s Edwin Melendez. Also tied to the Control4 processor are motorized window treatments, the swimming pool controls, Control4 distributed audio and video switchers and an energy management system which enables the Control4 system to continually monitor the current energy production of the home’s photovoltaic solar panels, as well as the home’s overall energy usage. This information can be viewed on both Control4 wireless touch screens and an iPad. “Based on the data, which breaks down the energy consumption circuit by circuit, a user can decide where and when to cut back,” Melendez explains.
However, because the home is so inherently efficient, rarely does the current owner need to alter his energy use or daily routine. He just lets the photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling system do their jobs and the Control4 system manages the operation. It’s a plan that in addition to the Platinum LEED rating enabled the house to achieve a Net-Zero rating, which signifies that its systems alone produce enough power to run the house without taking energy from the grid. In fact, the homeowner is able to supply the local utility with the surplus power, resulting in credits on each monthly bill.
Thanks to the Control4 system, the energy savings don’t require the sacrifice of any of the homeowner’s comfort, convenience or valuable free time. For example, certain lights turn on and off automatically based on the Control4 system’s built-in astronomical time clock; even when the lights are on, they are never at a full brightness level. This alone is a big energy-saver. The window shades move automatically, too, as part of the homeowner’s morning routine, which helps block out the intense Florida sunlight so that the geothermal cooling system is not overtaxed. As part of his Good Night routine, the owner taps an icon on the screen of his iPad to initiate a command that turns off every light.
The house is so efficient in its use of electrical power, there’s plenty left over to share with the home’s several substantial entertainment systems, including the Control4 equipment that feeds audio and video to speakers and TVs throughout the property, and a home theater system featuring an Epson video projector, 5.1 surround-sound system and a double-sided, motorized 106-inch VuTec projection screen that, when lowered from the ceiling, can be viewed from both the living room and the outdoor area. Naturally, viewers outside would see the backside of the image. However, when the owner taps a specially programmed icon on the screen on his iPad, the image flips so that it’s perfect for movies alfresco.
All the while, the Control4 system and the rest of the green technologies are working in the background, conserving energy, maximizing efficiency, and making this award-winning home one for the record books.