Modular Builder Breaks Ground on Concept Smart Home

The River Vine concept home is under construction.

One modular builder is taking green building to the next level by breaking ground on a new concept home that aims to be as smart as it is healthy.

American Modular Systems (AMS) has started production on a luxury smart home designed to achieve LEED platinum certification. The final home will sit on a 50-acre working vineyard known as River Vine. To achieve LEED platinum in a net-zero home, geothermal and solar systems will be used as well as environmentally friendly building materials.

“By thoroughly researching and evaluating all building materials, products and practices for optimal sustainability, we anticipate that River Vine will qualify for more than 100 LEED points,” says Maggie Howland of AMS. That exceeds the number required for LEED platinum certification.

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River Vine is not just a study on improving the home’s efficiency but also the convenience and appeal of home automation and connected devices.

“Designed to achieve total interconnectivity, River Vine uses wired or wireless protocols to route all of the home’s subsystems—climate, lighting, electrical, security, audio/visual and pool—through a central hub,” says Howland. 

Energy Efficient, Healthy Home Tech

AMS aims to make River Vine a study on automation and efficient living.
AMS aims to make River Vine a study on automation and efficient living.

According to AMS, River Vine is the result of a broad vision to study how green building and other tech concepts can improve the lives of the homeowner.

“River Vine will be a fully automated smart home, with a customized, world-class home automation system that seamlessly connects hardware and software for optimized comfort, energy efficiency, management and control,” says Howland.

The home’s tight building envelope and efficient appliances work together to optimize performance, and a dual-filtration ventilator system improves its indoor air quality (IAQ).

Automated humidity and carbon-monoxide sensors as well as a radon barrier provide constant moisture and containment control in the home, something other builders can include as an inexpensive but appealing standard.

River Vine’s energy plan will rely on six complex energy technologies—solar photovoltaic array, solar hot water, geothermal, hydronic radiant heating and cooling, natural and mechanical ventilation and home battery energy storage. This will all be run through an automated energy management system (EMS) that continuously tracks, monitors and controls energy production, consumption and distribution in five separate zones.

A Concept to Improve Future Projects

River Vine will sit on a 50-acre working vineyard.
River Vine will sit on a 50-acre working vineyard.

According to AMS, River Vine combines market-ready products with unique building practices that can be tested daily. The ideas that come out of the concept home can then be replicated by builders in future projects.

“Our intent is that River Vine’s innovative design and integrated technology become a valuable resource for consumers, architects, builders and everyone in the construction industry,” says Howland.

AMS will be partnering with 12 manufacturers that have released LEED-compliant systems and products that fit into the tech needs and design of River Vine.

The River Vine concept home is currently underway and is expected to be ready for occupancy by the fall of 2016.

About The Author

Michael Black is a staff writer and content coordinator at TecHome Builder. He has a particular interest in new solar developments and smart energy systems and is always looking for the next smart home trend to cover. As the youngest member of the TecHome team, Michael brings a passion that keeps the team energized. He also is instrumental in leading our social media efforts.

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