High End Green, For Your High End Malibu Home

by ritasimpson on September 17, 2012

in Architecture

If money is no object, there are elegant solutions for most of our green concerns, from geothermal pumps to heat and cool a home, to E-Windows that actually darken or lighten automatically to adjust the temperature and glare into the home. The technology is sophisticated and plentiful.

Take a look at some of what’s out there in this article by

—Mara Lemos Stein



The Wall Street Journal

Ground source heat pump, also known as a geothermal pump, uses the insulating properties of the earth to provide heating, cooling and hot water for the home. During the winter, water or antifreeze circulates in underground pipes and carries heat throughout the home. In the summer, it draws heat from the home and transfers it to the earth. Excess heat delivers free hot water in the summer and significant hot water savings in the winter. Installing the system can run $20,000 for a 3,500-square-foot home, with a payback time of about seven years.



ELAN Home Systems

home automation
can control
anything in a home
with a switch—lighting,
heating and air conditioning, appliances, blinds—using wall-mounted panels or smartphones and tablets. Architects say full home automation can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.



Dan Rockhill/SAGE

E-windows allow homeowners to control how much light, heat and glare come into a home. Window glass is coated with layers of “electrochromic” materials, which darken when a low-voltage charge is applied and become transparent when the charge is turned off. The windows enable homes to take advantage of the sun’s warming rays in the winter and block them in the summer. Considered by some architects as the Rolls Royce of windows, they can cost around $50 a square foot, depending on the project.



Dow Solar

Solar shinglesproduce electricity just like solar panels but are fully integrated into a home’s roof, so they blend in better with a home’s design.



Mike Strizki, The Hydrogen House

Hydrogen fuel-cell storagegives the ultimate luxury of energy efficiency: the ability to store power that you generate with a solar array. As seen in the Hydrogen House, in Hopewell, N.J., solar power is used to run an electrolyzer that splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen; the hydrogen is stored in tanks and then converted back into electricity using fuel cells. The systems are customized and costly, running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.



Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating.

A variable refrigerant flow heating and cooling system offers energy efficiency and the luxury of controlling the temperature in separate areas of the home. The systems, popular in Japan and Europe for a few decades, are designed in a way that constantly modulates the flow of refrigerant. So they run smoothly and continuously, without the energy-sucking job of turning on and off as in conventional systems.

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