Luxury home design is trending “smart.”
Big-screen televisions roll up vertically and hide in a piece of furniture. Intelligent toilets greet visitors with classical music, while automatically opening the lid. Smart ovens can be controlled from anywhere in the world.
All these examples illustrate some of the latest smart home automation innovations available for ultra-efficient, comfortable luxury living environments while reducing energy costs.
“Technology is proliferating into every aspect of our lives and all products,” Sun West Custom Homes owner Dan Coletti said. “It’s starting to go into the simplest things.”
A luxury builder in Vegas for more than 30 years, Coletti has seen technology evolve and change significantly as it advances into every room of the home.
The pandemic further advanced the need, and desire, for technology to augment remote learning, working and healthier living environments. Circadian lighting systems and powerful air purification units circulating and scrubbing the air are among the advancements.
As technology advances, the interfaces become more user-friendly. Homeowners, who once had to spend hours learning automation systems, can control the home’s functions from the palm of their hand anywhere in the world.
“In the past clients, especially older clients, used to get frustrated with any type of home automation because it was tough to use,” said Darin Marques, founder of the Darin Marques Group at Huntington and Ellis. “Now, with smartphones, everyone is used to it.”
Smart home automation is becoming a desired feature along with other luxury comforts, such as swimming pools, spas and theaters.
This in turn, according to Marques, enhances the perceived value of a property.
“It would be really hard to associate a dollar amount to it,” Marques said. “The biggest factor it adds is the ‘wow’ factor. If you can walk somebody into a home and with a flick of a switch turn on the lights, music, open the sliding doors and turn on the fireplaces, it creates excitement.”
Real Estate Millions found several smart homes featuring the newest innovations in building technology and home automation. These include the New American Home, the Henderson LIVV Homes development and Blue Heron homes.
New American Home
One leading example showcasing the technological trends in the housing industry is The New American Home, which will be featured at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders Show when it returns to Vegas in 2023 after a two-year run in Orlando, Florida.
Las Vegas contractor and architect Michael Gardner, principal of Henderson-based studio g Architecture and Luxus Design Build, is building the 7,575-square-foot, two-story NAH in Ascaya, a Henderson luxury community. He said the purpose of the home is to integrate the latest technology and showcase new advancements.
The four-bedroom, three-bath property showcases a fully integrated Crestron system. Controlling all the home’s features through a Crestron Home App, the system provides control through multiple inputs, including a smart device, mounted panels and a designated remote.
Gardner is in discussions with South Korea-based LG, a global manufacturer that produces a wide range of home appliances and electronics, to install a significant television innovation.
“LG came out with a roll-up television,” Gardner said. “It rolls up vertically and you can tuck in underneath a bed or in a piece of furniture. It is a cool innovation, especially for Vegas. You can make a television come and go to maximize the Strip view.”
The LG television is planned to release this year with a $100,000 price tag.
Technological advances in construction methods are leading to higher levels of energy efficiency. The standard Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index for residential construction is 100. Integrating technology in tandem with enhanced construction methods, Sun West exceeded the HERS Index for both the 2019 and 2020 NAHs.
“We achieved 45 on a house with tons of glass,” said Coletti, whose firm designed and built the homes. “We still wound up twice as efficient as code requires.”
The 2020 NAH introduced smart appliances to the kitchen using a variable gas cooktop that monitors the flame automatically and a smart Wi-Fi enabled oven.
“It was the first oven to have Wi-Fi connect ability,” Coletti said. “You can operate it using a phone from anywhere in the world.”
Marketed as “Personalized Living Powered by Artificial Intelligence,” LIVV Homes plans to break ground in March on NEO, a hillside community in Henderson with 84 semicustom homesites. Later this year, Magnus with 93 homesites is planned to break ground in southwest Las Vegas.
“There is no home on the market that incorporates AI deep learning and these types of algorithms,” said Steve Escalante, LIVV Homes executive vice president of business development. “These are going to be the first homes truly powered by AI.”
Escalante describes its cutting-edge luxury design as “A home with brains.”
“It’s very unique and never been done before,” Escalante said. “We’re very fortunate that we are a technology company and we’re also in real estate. We found a way to bridge that gap.”
Sensors built into the home monitor primary functions feeding information into a central “brain” that creates algorithms based on lifestyle. These algorithms grow in knowledge the longer the owner lives in the home.
“What that means is how the home is going to behave when you’re there, how it’s going to behave when you’re not there,” Escalante added. “The more you’re living in your home, the home is going to know how you live and it’s going to respond. It’s something you would see on ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek.’ ”
The integrated system is controlled by the user-friendly LIVV App via a smart device or voice activation.
The LIVV homes are upgradeable. Therefore, as technology continues to evolve the home remains relevant. Even now, according to Escalante, LIVV teams are developing the next software releases.
Partnering with the Department of Energy Net Zero program, LIVV homes are designed to achieve maximum performance and energy efficiency. Enhancing the energy-sensitive, tech-driven lifestyle of its target owners, LIVV collaborated with Tesla to give each of its homeowners a new Tesla Model 3 four-door sedan.
“We are creating that whole lifestyle,” Escalante said. “You purchase in a LIVV community, you don’t have a car bill or power bill. It’s better for the environment.”
Blue Heron showcase home
Blue Heron applies technology into its custom luxury homes as an integral part of the overall design.
“We don’t look at technology as an add-on gadget,” said John Tuvell, sales counselor in the elite division for Blue Heron. “It becomes an integral part of the experience of our architecture.”
Tuvell noted that 90 percent of Blue Heron’s clients want home automation systems, controlling all the home’s functions. In addition, they want built-in infrastructure to easily upgrade technology as it evolves.
“Home automation is becoming a necessary component for modern living,” Tuvell said. “Where it was once seen as “fun to have,” it’s now the key to more efficient and healthful living.”
Blue Heron’s Obsidian model showcases an excellent example of technology integrated into the overall design.
“All Zenith living spaces take advantage of home automation features,” Tuvell said. “The system uses sensors placed throughout the home to precisely measure temperature in each major living space.
“In addition to the ability to change system settings from anywhere via a personal device, or throughout the home via touchscreen panels,” Tuvell continued. “The system adapts to your lifestyle and automatically adjusts settings for comfort and maximum efficiency.”
The firm’s show home Vegas Modern 001, in the exclusive double-gated Dragon Reserve of MacDonald Highlands, showcases innovated custom home design using the latest in technology. The 15,000-square-foot estate, sold for a record $25 million last year. Highlights include built-in touch screens in the kitchen, digital den, retractable vanity mirrors and groundbreaking energy management system.
“The technology in our show home is state of the art,” Tuvell said. “But it’s quite understated. You’re not seeing a bunch of panels, switches, sliders and knobs.”
Lighting systems, according to Tuvell, have made significant advancements. The VM001 system demonstrates an advanced circadian lighting system. It can reproduce full-spectrum sunlight that adjusts throughout the day.
“We are talking about changing the hue of the light to match what’s happening in Mother Nature,” Tuvell said about the dynamic tunable smart lighting system. “We’re tying into human circadian rhythms. It is subtle, but it does make a difference.”
Security is another area evolving using artificial intelligence. Demonstrations at the VM001 site showcase the sensitive system that tracks objects across the screen using a green box.
“It can tell the difference if a pet or an unwanted visitor is walking through the property,” Tuvell said. “It can also analyze things like a swaying tree limb and not set an alarm off.”
The Ridges mansion
Technology plays a significant role in Alice Chen and Graeme Laronge’s 10,000-square-foot home in The Ridges.
“We are living in a world of technology that rules the future,” Alice Chen said. “Therefore, creating a space for working from home was essential.”
A unique high-tech feature of the home resides in the primary suite and basement powder rooms. There, three intelligent Japanese singing toilets automatically lift the lid for guests upon entering the room and play calm music. The toilets feature heated seats, night light displays, an automatic flush system and self-cleaning features.