The New American Home

Sponsored by the National Council of the Housing Industry, the 2009 New American Home demonstrates cutting-edge technology, energy efficiency, and jaw-dropping contemporary design. This annual event chooses a premier show home and uses it as a technology laboratory, providing real-world demonstrations of the latest concepts in architecture, construction techniques, new products, and lifestyle trends.

This year's home was built by Las Vegas contractor Blue Heron, and designed by architect Danielian Associates in collaboration with interior designer Robb & Stucky Interiors. All integration, installation and programming of the technology in the New American Home was completed by Salt Lake City, Utah-based company Imperium Smart Systems and its team of professional installers who specialize in Windows Media Center installations.

The uniqueness of this New American Home is the incorporation of extraordinary design that seamlessly integrates the outdoors into the home. Having had a tour of the house during CES this past January, I can attest to the awe-inspiring effect of this home. Perhaps, more than half the home is either outdoors or partially outdoors. There is nowhere you can go without access to the whole-home music system or a TV. The technology is completely state-of-the-art and equipment was provided by some of the leading manufacturers in the consumer electronics industry.

There is a 16-zone multi-room audio system with in-wall touch pads from NuVo Technologies, in addition to four Lifepoint touch panels and one Lifepoint automation controller. All have access to the two Lifemedia 450 media servers that run Windows Media Center on the Windows Vista platform. Paradigm AMS and SA series in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are carefully installed so they are heard and not seen.

Throughout the home, there are ten LCD 1080p TVs from Toshiba, including three that are side by side in the downstairs patio/lounge, providing the homeowner the ultimate solution for Sunday afternoon football. The Windows Media Center interface is accessible from any TV.

The main home theater room features a JVC reference level 1080p HD projector and a StudioTek 130 G3 projection screen from Stewart Filmscreen. The screen is retractable, revealing a wall-mounted LCD TV for more informal viewing. The electronics include the Anthem AVM 50 preamplifier/processor and MCA and PVA Series multichannel amplifiers.

For additional control beyond the whole-house music system, several controllers from Universal Remote Control are used, including the attractive MX-3000 color touch screen that uses RF bases stations that allow the homeowner to control devices without direct line of sight.

Green technology has always been an aspect of the American Home, though this year it is the most energy-efficient home in the history of this series. Natural gas is used for the home's heating and cooling system, while solar panels are used to heat the water. While the splendid landscape design highlights a myriad of water features, it also is designed to limit water and energy demand. To minimize the quantity of materials used and reduce waste, the builder employed advanced framing techniques plus manufacturers and suppliers were chosen who could provide recycled building materials, or new materials manufactured from renewable resources. During construction, a recycling and waste management program included on-site bins for collecting and sorting materials to be recycled off-site.

This year's home is only few minutes from the Las Vegas strip, whose colorful and powerful lights can be seen from many outdoor areas. If you want to get more information on the 2009 New American Home, click here.