Designing a “Green” and “Smart” Home
When Boston couple Cynthia Loesch and Ivan Liriano built their dream house on Brent Street they envisioned a “smart” home complete with today’s latest home automation technology. The socially conscious couple also envisioned a “green” home, which would reduce the household’s energy consumption. Both these dreams converged when the couple built the home they now call 81 Brent.
Cynthia and Ivan’s “Green, Smart” home was constructed with the following six core principles:
1. Energy Efficiency
2. Intelligent Design
3. Material Efficiency
4. Water Efficiency
5. Healthy Housing
6. Green Landscape
Energy Efficiency & Management
Vivint’s Energy Management system allows Cynthia and Ivan to control their home’s energy use through the company’s central Go!Control panel and its mobile app. Whether in-home or on the go, the couple can control their smart thermostat, digital door locks and plug-in modules for their appliances. Vivint’s Energy Management system also includes energy-efficient light bulbs, window, door and motion sensors, and cameras with a live feed that can also be monitored on the Go!Control panel or via a mobile phone.
Cynthia and Ivan can also access weather information and control their unit’s 13 lights via the central control panel and mobile app. The couple set up profiles to have all lights go off when they’re away and then have their lights come on and their coffee maker activated when they get home.
In addition, the Boston couple can optimize their Vivint Smart Thermostat settings based on home data reported over time. The home’s daily activity patterns are provided to the couple who can then use the information to adjust their thermostat schedule to maximize energy efficiency.
Cynthia and Ivan’s home received the coveted Platinum LEED Certification for their conservation efforts and is 45 percent more efficient than the average home, according to ENGERY STAR standards. With a HERS Index of 29, R-21 wall insulation, R-30 basement ceiling insulation and R-60+ attic insulation, all windows, systems, ventilation fans, fixtures and appliances have earned the ENGERY STAR rating. The home’s boilers are 96 percent efficient and the 1000-watt solar thermal system (8 solar panels) and 5,000-watt solar electric system (22 solar PV panels) allow for the production of energy.
Ivan and Cynthia wanted the design of their home — from the materials used, to the home’s technology — to be designed intelligently. The home was laid out to optimize site potential, minimize non-renewable energy consumption and maximize water conservation. Home automation allows for controlling, managing and enhancing the unit’s services, including lighting, heating, security and more.
The building materials Cynthia and Ivan selected were obtained and manufactured locally in Massachusetts to minimize the energy in their transportation. The frame of the house was manufactured off-site and delivered to home site to minimize waste and maximize recycling. Environmentally preferable products were used throughout the home in addition to ENERGY STAR and Forest Stewardship Council-certified products to ensure responsible production and manufacturing.
The Boston couple installed high-efficiency fixtures and fittings for all toilets, showers and faucets:
· Flow rate for all toilets is 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf).
· Flow rate for all bathroom faucets is 1.50 gallons per minute (gpm).
· Flow rate for all shower heads are 1.50 gallons per minute (gpm).
· Energy efficient and ENERGY STAR appliances were installed. For example all of the dishwashers clean a full load of dishes using 1/3 less water and energy.
Ivan and Cynthia believed that a healthy home contributes to good health. The couple made sure the home had good air exchange, circulation, and ventilation, low VOC paints, contaminant and pest controls, easy-to-clean surfaces and a green and smoke-free environment.
In addition to the energy-saving technology and materials, Cynthia and Ivan’s dream green home includes a sustainable landscape. By using native, drought-tolerant and non-invasive plants, the couple saves time, money and the environment. Time is saved by landscaping with plants that require less care; money is saved by eliminating unnecessary water and chemical use; and the environment is protected by conserving water and maintaining a variety of plants optimal for the survival of key soil organisms, insects and animals that help keep pests and diseases in check.
A Unique Marriage
81 Brent is the unique marriage of the “Green” and “Smart” Home. By utilizing the right partners and investing their own passion and labor, the Boston couple has made their dream home a reality.