The smart home of your dreams
Wilsonville's Frog Pond development is growing with the addition of Stafford Meadows, the setting for this year's NW Natural Street of Dreams.
Visitors will have an opportunity to see how smart homes are evolving and how homes that span more than 4,000 square feet can be even more energy efficient than smaller houses.
The Meadow, built by West Hills Homes Northwest, features a home network platform that supports the latest technology integration, allowing for room-to-room communication and remote control over the thermostat, lights, music and more. The two-story, 4,147-square-foot house combines the best of both worlds with a staircase that leads to a reading nook with a library-style window seat that includes a schoolhouse pendant light and USB outlets to "remain perfectly connected while surrendering to your imagination," according to the builder's description of The Meadows.
West Hills Homes Northwest also built Bienvenue a La Maison, a 2,784-square-foot French country-style home with custom built-ins that are equipped with a high-tech home network platform to centralize devices and support the integrated whole-home automation system. The system includes interior and exterior lights that switch on and off at designated times, smart shades that open to allow natural light and close at times that improve energy efficiency, and music and other entertainment that can be controlled by a smart phone.
The focus on smart home technology has shifted toward ease of livability and creating healthy environments that are energy efficient and comfortable, said Adrian McCarthy, communications manager for the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, which has produced the Street of Dreams since 1975.
"Most homes in the last couple of years have been smart technology-enabled, but this year it's more about devices working together to create a particular environment," she said.
McCarthy noted that homes built for the NW Natural Street of Dreams are designed to be anywhere from 30 to 40% more energy efficient than code requires, and the Energy Trust of Oregon performance scores reflect their energy usage.
"They are large homes, but they are often more energy efficient than smaller homes because they are built with the best products that generate energy efficiency," she said.
Farm to Table, built by Renaissance Custom Homes, boasts a high-performing furnace with three separate heating and cooling zones, an on-demand hot water heater that uses energy only when needed, and an energy-efficient lighting system that connects with a smart device.
The 4,311-square-foot home is a contemporary farmhouse designed with light-filled spaces and a focus on health that includes a juice bar and a convection steam over that is promoted as a nutritious alternative to the microwave. Its great room links to an outdoor living area with ergonomically designed garden beds and floating "she shed" and "he shed" outbuildings.
With an emphasis on biophilic design, the main floor master suite features a private atrium to allow natural daylighting. An upstairs flex space can accommodate uses from yoga to sleepovers, and a loft/library provides a quiet space for homework, relaxing on the daybed or family game night, according to Renaissance Custom Homes' description.
Eco-friendly materials were selected to emphasize the connection between the natural environment and the occupants' health and well-being, it noted. Wide-planked European oak floors were treated with non-toxic oil finish and the countertops are certified with a Greenguard Gold rating for sustainability.
Pacific Usonia, built by Everett Custom Homes, also makes the most of natural light with high ceilings in the entry way and an open-concept floor plan. Everett Custom Homes describes the two-story, 3,934-square-foot house as Northwest Contemporary design with broad overhangs, clean lines and prairie-style architecture that reflects urban living in a rural setting to complement its surroundings in Frog Lake.
In addition to the sustainable elements within the homes, the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland and the city of Wilsonville have collaborated with the builders to include bioswales throughout the property to filter stormwater.
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