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Inside a Green Housing Community

LEED-certified homes in ParkGate Reserve in The Woodlands come standard with Crestron control system that includes thermostats, three zones of lighting control and integration with a security system.

By Steven Castle, July 20, 2011

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Homebuilder Scott Frankel of Frankel Building Group in Houston understands the value of home automation, building energy-efficient homes that will last, and how the two work together.

“The key goal is to be sustainable and last a long time,” says Frankel. “Home automation is one real facet [of that sustainability]. Its fun. It’s neat. It’s cool.”

Frankel built 58 LEED-certified homes, priced at $800,000 and up, in a development called ParkGate Reserve in The Woodlands. Crestron home control systems, installed by Premier Technology Group, help the homeowners achieve efficiencies in lighting, heating and cooling systems and more.

Standard in every home in ParkGate Reserve is a basic Crestron home control system that includes thermostats, three zones of lighting control and integration with a security system. Crestron’s DIN-AP2 processor, designed for light to medium-sized applications, is used.

“People love this stuff,” says Frankel, who also includes an in-wall Crestron iPad dock in each home. “Everyone wants a cool remote but don’t want to pay a thousand bucks for it. Homeowners are able to tweak their house to their lifestyle without calling us out there. And they can get a system and they can learn to use in a day.”

Homeowners can also set back thermostats and control lights from a smartphone app. “A programmable thermostat works fine, but at same time you can grab your iPhone and control your settings when you’re not home,” says Frankel.

Expansion of the control system is not limited by wires. Crestron Extended Range RF wireless technology affords robust wireless communications over an impressive distance of approximately 100 to 200 feet indoors and up to 1,000 feet outdoors.

Homeowners can opt to upgrade to include audio/video distribution and other features. Electronics installation firm Premier Technology Group wires each home for a minimum of one surround-sound system and eight audio zones, including control wiring to eight audio keypads. Premier uses Crestron’s Prodigy system if a homeowner decides on an A/V upgrade.

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Posted by chantal Wed, 17 Aug 2011 16:16:00 GMT