This family home by TACT Architecture in Toronto is as provocative as one of Richard Serra’s massive steel sculptures. Behind its weathering steel is a home brimming with sunlight, wooded landscape views, and the latest technology. The architects outfitted the residence with Control4, an automation system that one of the architects uses in his own home. With wi-fi, it manages the lighting, audio, security, televisions, fireplace and heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.
Charles Willson travels from his home in Napa, California, to San Francisco and New York City every week for work, but in a way he never really leaves. Willson, who consults for pharmaceutical companies on marketing digital innovation, is what you might call a tech junkie. His one-acre property is outfitted with systems that allow him to control security, climate, lighting, and irrigation remotely. He even uses cameras, along with a Netatmo weather station, to keep an eye on the beer and wine making he’s picked up as a hobby.
The architecture firm superkül and home builder Great Gulf created this prefab with a self-regulating indoor climate. Strategic site planning and smart technology help the 3,200-square-foot Great Gulf Active House achieve hyper-efficiency. The Toronto-based architecture firm used triple-glazed windows; a solar hot water system; zoned heating; a fully automated HVAC system, skylights, and roller shades; LED lights; and spray foam insulation, among other green strategies. An underground cistern collects rainwater to irrigate the yard and rooftop solar collectors heat water for domestic use.
When building their dream retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Steve and Alexi Conine worked with architect Brad Hoyt to create a smart house that fused technology and design. Steve Conine, resident and software engineer, installed and programmed many of the details himself, like the Dell UltraSharp flat-screen panels inlaid into the entryway of the home. A computer system in the basement controls the screens in the house as well as the security and heating systems. Rooftop Sunpower X-Series solar panels generate about a third of the energy for the house over the course of the year. On clear, sunny summer days, they can provide energy for the entire house.