Austin Smart Home

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Architect/Designer: Don Harris
Builder/Developer: Riverside Homes
Interior Designer: Vitali Design
Land Planner: Axiom Engineering
Interior Merchandiser: Linda Woodrum & Kelly Grokulsky

Built by Riverside Homes for HGTV, the HGTV Smart Home 2015 was designed to showcase the latest in home technology and green building techniques. The home’s modern farmhouse design fits into the eclectic mix of home styles found in urban Austin while complimenting the site’s tight parameters. An open plan, large windows for abundant natural light, and special attention to the flow of the house, both inside and out, were utilized to maximize the use of space in the 2,300 sq. ft. home.

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This high performance, green built home was also designed for ease of use, and many of its systems can be controlled by a smart phone from anywhere in the country. Located in the heart of Austin, it’s a short walk to some of the city’s best restaurants, shops and attractions, one block from a top elementary school and about a mile to Austin’s renowned Zilker Park. The home’s flexible, functional design give it broad appeal for those seeking the quality of life Austin is famous for, from young families to empty nesters.

Four Star Austin Energy Green Building Rating Kitchen:

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• Viking appliances, including refrigerator
• Premium custom cabinets by Austin Wood Works feature a furniture-grade painted finish, solid plywood construction & dovetail drawers to last a lifetime. Self-closing drawers make operation a breeze. There is a recycling and trash center next to the sink, and large drawers in the island for efficient storage
• White Silestone quartz countertops are high performance, durable and handsome
• Concealed plug strips under the upper cabinets provide inconspicuous, readily available power
• The charging station provides a convenient place to recharge the owner’s phones & smart devices, featuring outlets, built in USB ports, and a magnetic iPad charger for the house iPads that control the features of the Smart Home.

First Floor Bathroom:

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• Wide door for wheelchair/walker access.
• Narrow sink with no cabinet underneath.
• Custom built, hand forged suspended shelving above the toilet for ease of use.
• Toto Drake II low flow, ADA height toilet for both accessibility and comfort.
• “No lip” shower means there’s no lip to step over or trip on when getting into the shower.
• The oversized shower includes a rain shower, body sprays and spray wand, all controlled by the Moen ioDigital system with preferred settings and remote activation.
• Teak bench seat inside the shower.

Master Suite includes:

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• Solar powered, remotely operable Velux skylights flood the room with natural light without sacrificing privacy and feature an automated blackout shade for sleeping in.
• Coffee bar with hidden lift system provides fresh coffee in the morning or a nightcap with the press of a button.
• The window shades in the master bedroom are operated by remote control.
• Speakers in master suite are connected to home’s audio system.
• Extra sound insulation between master suite and adjacent loft for privacy.
• Large master bath with dual vanities & freestanding Victoria & Albert lava stone soaking tub.
• Oversized, walk-in double shower features Moen ioDigital control system, two shower heads with body sprays for each & a spray wand. The system allows you to set your shower preferences and turn them on at the touch of a button via the remote control.
• Separate water closet with Toto Drake II low flow toilet.
• E-glass polarized window above master tub turns opaque for privacy.
• Home automation at its finest – open the shades, open the skylights and start the shower before you get out of bed.

Loft includes:

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• Nuvo whole house audio system with music server allows you to play music throughout the house, inside and out.
• 5.1 Surround sound system rocks the house (literally the house shakes at high volume) with music and movies.
• Two “house” iPads control the various audio and automation systems in the home, but any iPad or smartphone can be similarly configured.
• Apple wifi router & Apple TV.
• Remote operated skylights with automated blackout shades.

Screened Porch includes:

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• Listen to the sound of the fountain or music from the built in speakers that are connected to the homes music system.
• Porch is made from cedar, a durable wood common in central Texas.
• Ceiling fan with remote control to keep things cool(er).
• A galvanized trough was used for the lily pond, and the fountain in it is an old brass hose spigot reclaimed from a home slated for demolition.
• Back yard and screened porch can be monitored with the home’s infrared camera system from your smart phone.

Deck & Pergola includes:

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• Composite deck boards are the ultimate in low maintenance – they won’t rot and don’t need to be painted or stained.
• Elegant pergola design uses steel beams with 2×6 cedar slats overhead to provide shade year round.
• Built in Weber grill fueled by natural gas – no more running out of propane while grilling.
• Speakers outside are linked to the home’s music system.
• View the deck area remotely from the home’s camera system.
• Extra landscape lighting circuit was installed to allow for future lighting needs.

Electrical Features:

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• Lutron dimmers can be controlled remotely, set to come on in various “scenes” or combinations, or at specific times. One button turns off almost all the lights in the house. • Lutron automated blinds can be controlled remotely and programmed to open or close at specific times of the day.
• All of the recessed lights in the home have LED bulbs, as do almost all of the light fixtures.
• LED undercabinet lights offer task lighting in the kitchen without heating up like incandescent bulbs.
• Neon street numbers: The neon street numbers on the smart home light up the night with style; the fixture was custom made for this home to meet the residential building code.
• The black anodized aluminum doorbell button has an LED light inside.

Washer/Dryer:
• The Whirlpool washer & dryer are Energy Star rated for efficiency.
• The washer can be managed remotely via a smart phone app.
• The internet of things is here! The washer uses wi-fi to communicate with the Nest thermostat, which learns your usage patterns, adjusting the temperature inside when you aren’t home. Using the Nest data, the washer runs itself when it knows the owner isn’t around.

Garage:
• The Liftmaster Elite 8550 garage door opener turns on the hall lights as well as the garage lights when the garage door is opened.
• If you forget to close the garage door, the opener will send you a text to close it remotely.

 

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