Monthly Archives: April 2011


What is a “Smart Home”

By definition, a “smart home” is a house that uses technology to integrate the various systems within the home, allowing them to function as a whole. By bringing together the systems so they function as “one”, you can dramatically increasing the operating efficiency and reduce the environmental impact and energy usage of the home.

Our home automation systems go one step further by not only adjusting to your schedule changes automatically, but controlling both your heating, air conditioning, and lighting simultaneously, from a single interface.

Lighting
A study for the American Lighting Association determined that household lighting accounts for 12-15% of the average household’s utility bill. An even more frightening statistic suggests that of the electricity annually used for lighting in North America, up to 50% is wasted due to inefficient lighting sources and lighting unoccupied spaces.
A smart home combines preprogrammed dimmers, timers and occupancy sensors to manage the lighting systems, maximizing efficient usage while you are at home, and saving energy while you are away. With these controls managing a typical 3-bedroom home, over 850 pounds of CO2 emissions could be eliminated each year, from your lighting systems alone! That savings in emissions roughly equates to not driving a car for over a month!

You can get even more savings on your electrical bill by controlling the wattage used by the light bulbs you currently have. These dimming devices use less electricity, extend bulb life, and add extra flexibility to create a wonderful aesthetic in your home. Dimming your bulbs by 25% can reduce consumption by 20% and quadruples the lifespan of your bulbs.

Heating & Cooling
A smart home system allows you to  maximum energy efficiency based on the seasons, by programming your shades (blinds) and thermostat to automatically adjust for time of day or outside temperature. In a home that is optimized for passive solar heating, a smart system is an integral part of keeping the home both efficient, and comfortable, without the need for energy-hungry artificial heating and cooling systems. The smart home system also allows easy access to your home’s controls, even from your smartphone.

Audio Video
The features and convenience of a smart home system not only end up saving the owners money and energy, they also can integrate a seamless audio & video experience into their day to day life. Built in speakers, centralized media storage, and themed presets that work in conjunction with your lighting controls and other systems bring a whole new level of comfort to the home. At the touch of a button, your home can dim the lights, close the blinds, start the fire, and begin playing the perfect movie on a Saturday night. Perhaps you are entertaining? Switch over to the entertaining mode, and soft, quality music fills the home, while the lights dim in all of the important spots. Let your guests in as they arrive via the remote controlled door locking system, and welcome them up to the perfect gathering. A smart home is so much more than efficiency and energy savings, it is about improving the lives of the homes’ owners as they live in their space.

We are pleased to be integrating smart home technology into the White Rock BeachHaus project. To ensure that we have the best system on the market, we have partnered with Harry Sani at Digital Smart Homes Inc. to help plan, install and program the ultimate system. Our motto is “Live Smart, Not Large” and the homes at the BeachHaus project will be by far the smartest homes in the White Rock area.

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Floorplan Preview – BeachHaus II

Over the past few weeks we have been hard at work with the Pb Elemental design team finalizing & refining the floorplans for the upcoming build in White Rock, BC. Although there are a few changes still to be made, we had to share a sneak peek of what is coming.

This plan is for House II, and is approximately 1900sqft featuring 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms and a private office/flex space with separate entry. This home has an oversize single car garage, and additional off-street parking sheltered by the cantilevered second floor.

The home also features a green-roof system, private rooftop patio, and can be entirely operated by the “Smart Home” system being installed by Vancouver’s home automation specialists at Digital Smart Homes [complete with in-wall ipad, and full smartphone control]. We will be seeking LEED certification on this home, and are confident that we will be able to achieve Gold status.