At the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, two companies came together for the future of homes. With the help of high school students from the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Newport Beach-based Green Home Builder magazine (GHB) built a 1,695-square-foot ready to live in model for green homes that can be replicated across the country. The home, designed by Manny Gonzales of architectural firm KTGY, was put on display for a tour for local builders and the press to see the new Net-Zero home of the future.
In attempt to meet California requirements that homes be Net-Zero energy consumption and emissions free by 2020, GHB magazine and SCE wanted to design a home for the future that meets those needs. This model home was equipped with solar panels, to gather energy to offset power from the main grid. The home’s complete electrical systems are managed by the AMX, Home Monitor System, created by Edison and Fuzion 3. A universal integrated systems touch pad powered by an in-home control tower controls everything in the house. Any homeowner can control the lights in every room or ceiling fans. All TVs and security cameras are linked, so a person can control everything from watching Blue-Rays to watching security footage of cameras placed around the house inside and out. You can also turn a TV on or off anywhere in the house with the touch pad.
However, the most interesting aspect of the AMX system is the ability to control the power supply of the entire home. One can view how much power is being used by the grid and by the solar panels at anytime of day from the home devise or a smart phone and tablet. Therefore, a person can be away from the house and control the power of the house or devices connected to the system by simply putting the house in Save Mode or a customized setup to better energy efficiency.
“The state energy codes get revised every three years and with the new code that just got approved this year that will go into affect January 2014, this house is designed to be 44 percent better than the current state energy code. This is helping educate homebuilders, as well the general public, on what they can do [effectively] to move forward in a comfortable [energy] efficient home of the future,” said John Morton, Program Manger for California Advance Homes for SCE.
To add to the green of the house, the roof reflects sunlight and has an Aqus System built by Sloan that recycles the water supply within the house, saving millions of gallons of water a year. The house was also built with less wood and more insulation to allow it to regulate and maintain a comfortable ambient temperature.
This 3-bedroom, 3-bath house, complete with energy saving appliances, integrated technology systems, is also built to fulfill the needs of people with handicaps with lower counter tops and wider hallways. The home will be on display and featured as a part of the U.S. Department of Energy 2013 Solar Decathlon at the Orange County Great Park. Following the event, the house will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to be given to a disabled veteran
The model will open to the public this Friday, Oct. 12th and will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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