Video: Home Automation on an iPad

Video: Home Automation on an iPad

TecHome Builder recently visited KB Home’s ZeroHouse model home in San Marcos, Calif., where the home can produce all of its own energy—and has some pretty slick technologies to boot.

The ZeroHouse features plenty of insulation and ventilation, has 5.52 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic panels on the roof, uses energy-efficient appliances from Whirlpool, Velux solar thermal panels for hot water with a tankless water heater as backup, WaterSense fixtures like a touchless faucet from Moen, a Hunter automated irrigation system with weather data from HydroPoint to help determine when to water, whole-house surge protection, and electric vehicle (EV) charger, and Boral Roofing's Smog-Eating Tile, which breaks down nitrogen oxide particles in smog. The ZeroHouse even won a Department of Energy Challenge Home Housing Innovation Award. You can see details about the home here.

KB calls its ZeroHouse initiatve an “innovation collaboration” of many companies and positions it as an ongoing research and development tool to lead to building affordable net zero homes.

Home control and automation are important for getting an energy-efficient green home down to Net Zero.”

All that cool green tech won’t help save energy if you leave lights, thermostats and other systems blazing, however. So KB Homes is also installing Schneider Electric’s Wiser Home Management systems, including energy monitoring, in all of its homes. The Wiser system is powered by to provide some addition home control and automation, which are important for getting an energy-efficient green home down to Net Zero and keeping it there. 

Watch on the video as home tech pro Kirk Page of electronics installer KPS in Ontario, Calif., shows off iPad control of the ZeroHouse’s nifty home automation features, including:

  • The ability to arm a security system and shut down lights and thermostats.
  • Remotely lock or unlock the front door via an electronic door lock.
  • “Geo-fencing” so that once the user (and his or her mobile device) is a certain distance from the home, the security system arms, lights turns down and thermostats are set back.
  • Adjusting thermostats independently and remotely.
  • Remotely opening the garage door.
  • Setting lights to turn on and off at different times for security.
  • Video from cameras when alarms go off so you can remotely see who’s in the home.
  • Viewing home’s energy consumption and production. Note in the video how in the middle of the day, with a bunch of stuff running in the house, the home’s solar array is producing more energy than the house is using. Now that’s cool!

Not only can your homeowners use this technology, you can use it to sell home technology features as upgrade options—just by exposing them to today’s home tech features.


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