A first-of-its-kind LEED
home is nearing completion in Montauk, N.Y. The five-bedroom, four-bath, single-family vacation home is owned and built by Long Island Developer Anthony Lauto of Lauto Group Logic. The home is on the large size, at approximately 7,800 square feet, yet requires 25% of the electricity to run a comparably sized home.
Part of the home’s efficiency is attributable to systems designed by CEDIA member Joe Calise of Sights N Sounds
in Seaford, N.Y., as well as alternative energy sources and tight construction. The result of this creative combination is a cost savings of more than $7,200 per year—or more than $600 per month, according to the structure’s Energy Star
CEDIA is an association of companies that deliver technology-based solutions for builders, remodelers, interior designers, architects, and homeowners. You might be more familiar with the organization in its role delivering whole-house entertainment systems. But as homeowners have become more interested energy-efficient technology,
CEDIA members have stepped up their efforts to include more energy-saving technologies in the mix.
“Perceived value is one of the biggest barriers to sustainable or green building. Some efficient materials have higher upfront costs and, while we know they can lead to lower monthly bills and reduced environmental impact, demonstrating that value in terms of dollars saved or return on investment has been a challenge,” says Utz Baldwin, chief executive officer of CEDIA. “For instance, it’s a popular misconception that adding electronics will increase energy consumption. There are new technologies that have the potential to change that value conversation; they can show in real time the efficiencies and savings achieved through integrating electronics and creating automated systems.”
Perhaps the most innovative element of the home is its cutting-edge energy monitoring system that tracks not only how much energy the home is using and saving, but has also been programmed to determine when the investment in the system has paid for itself in savings.
“It’s one thing to say, ‘This one light bulb will save you $30 over the course of its life,’” adds Baldwin. “It’s an entirely different thing to say, ‘Together, these systems will save you more than $20,000 in just three years.’”
Calise relied on the training he received through his CEDIA membership and new products he saw at the Association’s annual trade show, CEDIA EXPO, to design a simple, yet sophisticated solution. By integrating a series of home electronics, he enables precise control of all the home’s systems—lighting, air conditioning, humidity, heating, audio/visual, and security—with intuitive control panels or remote, Internet access.
“What makes this home different from other LEED homes is the focus on electronics. I specified systems that I knew would work well together. From whole-house lighting to an intelligent security system and digital media, the point was to make each individual function blend together,” says Calise. “The home has more electronic systems than your average home and the assumption might be that it would require more energy. The reality is that with thoughtful planning, it uses only about a quarter of the energy a comparable house would.”
“My father taught me many things, but what stood out in my mind as I planned to build this home was a lesson about the difference between buying and owning a home. He said the easy part is figuring out how to buy a home,” says Lauto. “Being able to afford the home and all that goes into it—maintenance, furnishings and utilities—is the tricky part. The utility costs for this house are equal to what I might pay for a home one third of the size.”
Need an Electronics System Integrator?
members are required to fulfill rigorous continuing education programs providing the best technical information in the industry. Through CEDIA University and CEDIA’s Sustainable Lifestyles Action Team, members have access to educational content and research about the newest green design and operation procedures. CEDIA members design and install electronic systems for the home to complement customers’ lifestyles.