Architects and builders have many ways to stay up-to-date on developments in sustainable building. They may attend industry conferences on energy efficiency, take continuing education courses in green architecture, and read industry publications that highlight the latest in environmentally friendly design. But perhaps the quickest and most exciting way to explore these trends is by visiting demonstration houses.
In an industry that is as visual as architecture and building, these shows allow visitors to participate in real-life demonstration of the latest gadgets. More importantly, they also offer them a chance to get an immediate sense of how these solutions work within the context of a finished building. This is important because an increasing number of customers are interested in adding green features to their homes or offices, yet they also like them to blend harmoniously with the building.
Among the recent demonstration events is VISION House® Los Angeles 2012, which opened to the public on June 10, 2012, featuring an array of sustainable solutions for a smart home. It is geared toward both industry professionals and homeowners who are interested in building new houses, or remodeling or retrofitting existing ones.
Some of the many sustainable design elements on display in L.A. include:
• Occupancy sensors that use passive infrared, ultrasonic or a combined multi-sensing technology. They automatically switch off the lights in empty rooms or areas, allowing for energy and cost savings.
• “Smart” lighting control, which uses radio frequency technology to enable wireless control and monitoring of all lighting, household appliances and electronics.
• Dimmers for incandescent, dimmable LED or dimmable CFL bulbs.
• Charger for an electric car located in the garage. The particular model on display at VISION House is Evr-Green™ – compliant with industry standards and compatible with all major automakers’ electric vehicles.
• Customized solar energy solutions. They demonstrate that photovoltaic technology has evolved so much in recent years that it is possible to design and implement a power system that fits each building’s unique needs.
VISION House® Los Angeles 2012 is a great way to showcase the industry’s interest in, and commitment to, offering reliable energy management products for “greener, smarter living,” said Daryoush Larizadeh, COO of Leviton, the company whose solutions are featured in the house.
According to some estimates, up to a quarter of a building’s electricity can be generated by using solar panels, a process that leaves behind none of the air pollution associated with coal or oil burning. Other options for boosting a home’s energy efficiency include the installation of geothermal pumps, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates can save users between 30 and 40 percent on energy bills.