There are no shortage of gorgeous homes around the world that speak to our senses, epitomize exquisite design, and captivate our souls; but rare is the smart home design that delivers all of this plus advanced technology and sustainability elements at its core.
In what is being called the “ultimate expression of modern living,” Savant Systems has brought to life a new experience center, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, called Vegas Modern 001. And while there are numerous smart home stories to tell, this one was designed to illustrate the highest level of sophisticated technology, most of which is hidden in plain sight. Visitors will experience advanced tunable lighting, luxury entertainment, energy management, including a fully automated microgrid, and sustainable design, to name just a few highlights.
Vegas Modern 001 is the perfect West Coast complement to the company’s original Experience Center located in SoHo, New York City.
“Unlike New York City, where we were limited by a smaller, stacked living space, the expansive Vegas location features abundant sunlight radiating throughout the home, making it a natural fit for our Daylight Mode technology and lighting solutions from our partner USAI Lighting,” noted Savant’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Adrian Eiben.
It was clear from the start that the home’s design would be a dominant factor. While tech was requested to be hidden you, will be hard-pressed to find a space in the home that is not touched by the Savant ecosystem. Savant and Vegas-based, design-led, development firm Blue Heron began the project with the intentions of creating a smart home. The project exploded from there. According to Aaron Gutin, specification development director at Savant, the goal was to provide a premium experience; do what was best to ensure that the texture, finish, color and view were the stars of the space.
“Blue Heron was eager to build statement piece and incorporate technology,” Gutin explained. “Once we introduced the architectural approach of biophilic design and revealed the energy-efficiency focus, [we took it to the next level].”
Biophilic design is an architectural approach that involves closely linking building occupants with the outside world—with nature and natural light. A few of the ways Savant and Blue Heron worked together to bring this concept to life in this massive 15,000-square-foot home include the open-air breezeways and reflection pool that act as the “connective tissue” between the public and private spaces. Walking through, one is surrounded with water, pristine landscapes, and natural light, which is amplified throughout the home, thanks to Savant’s Daylight Mode, which was integrated with the help of USAI Lighting.
Savant Daylight Mode brings personalized and natural lighting throughout the entire home. This technology from Savant features a circadian lighting schedule that brings the natural outdoor lighting curve indoors. Circadian lighting can help with increased alertness in the morning along with improved mood, productivity, concentration, and sleep for everyone in the home.
With more than 22 bi-folding doors, which open the entire rear of the house to the outdoors, it often difficult to know when you are inside of outside the home. Ample natural light billows though, yet without Savant Daylight Mode amplifying this available light, it would fail to reach every nook and cranny. At night, the light temperature automatically shifts from cool midday white light to a warm yellow light.
“Design and tech have never been so elegantly blended,” Gutin proclaimed. “Everything to the eye seems to emanate from the natural world.”
From the guest room and dining room to the sky suite and home office or cassita, technology, design and lighting are beautifully interwoven. The dining room features two arrays of troughs close together, which house lights running Daylight Mode and Savant architectural speakers. The sky suite is nestled above the pools and provides a flow to ceiling view of the strip, which can be gone from sight when shades drop from the ceiling. The home office includes Savant’s Zoom Room integration, which prepares the room instantly for a meeting, shifting light temperature automatically.
“A lovely amount of thought when into making the best of everything,” Gutin noted.
Pillars of Excellence
There are certain core elements of the home that differentiate it from other smart homes. The seamless and elegant integration of design and technology; a health and wellness perspective, emphasized with lighting features such as circadian rhythm and intersection of outdoors meeting indoors; and the crucial element of sustainable energy.
Lighting; shading (designed with J Geiger); entertainment; climate control; pool and spa integration; and doorways are all powered by Savant and managed by its app.
Local technology integration company Eagle Sentry took on the installation. While it was not the company’s first go-round with Savant Systems, the project brought to life new opportunities on a grand scale.
“We believe emphatically in the benefits of an end-to-end Savant solution,” noted Cory Reif, president, Eagle Sentry. “Vegas Modern 001 represents our largest Savant end-to-end solution to date. From AV distribution, panelized lighting control, motorized shades, environmental controls, lighting that includes RGB/tunable white fixtures and energy management, all working seamlessly in the Savant smart home ecosystem.
“This Savant solution truly showcased the power of their scalable smart home infrastructure, which excels in everything from a simple smart home implementation to something as complex and demanding as this project.”
Smart Home Design Hidden Tech
Throughout the home, you will find troughs in the ceilings, which encapsulate all of the technology—everything from speakers, lights, cameras to air returns, sprinkler system and smoke detectors. Shades are also hidden in pockets in the ceiling, ready to drop on command.
The Great Room epitomizes hidden tech with four subwoofers and four integrated speakers, tucked away; these include Savant’s Artison Surface 80 invisible speakers elegantly integrated in the ceiling to complement the 98-inch Planar display.
“What is dominant to eye is the beauty of the space—the use of light texture and color,” explained Gutin. “But with every step, Savant is there to provide a premium listening and viewing experience.”
This concept extends throughout the home and to outdoor spaces with 43 zones of distributed audio and 19,000 watts of amplification. In fact, the only area of the home that features visible technology and exposed speakers is the Digital Den. This is the prime media space, which includes a 175-inch (13.5 ft.) LED display wall, featuring Savant’s passive soundbar and custom grille. It also includes mezzanine architectural speakers, designed by Cary Christie; 8-inch diameter dedicated surround speakers in the ceiling with two super tweeters; two 3.5-inch carbon fiber woofers with lobing patterns to envelop the listener; and two 14-inch woofers housed behind acoustical panels in the bar.
Energy for a Smart Home Design
What truly differentiates the home is the focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. The epitome of smart, energy-saving solutions, the residence features the largest residential solar array in the region (with 327 panels on the roof producing roughly 148MWh annually), a fully automated power panel, as well as Savant Power’s automated energy management and microgrid technology.
Savant manages the energy consumption of the home and understands loads from room to room. If and when needed—for a power shortage or outage—there is a fully powered Savant backup system for half of the house, with the option to add a second battery pack.
Another unique aspect of the home is Savant’s ability to create the concept of “modes.” The home can be placed in “Island Mode,” for example, which removes the connection from grid to battery, running all prioritized rooms and appliances as selected by the homeowner.
Savant’s solution also introduces virtual subpanels to eliminate the need for a second subpanel. “A Savant integrator sets threshold for dynamic load management,” Gutin explained. “We start shaving off nonessential loads to maximize the use of stored energy. That can cascade down to many levels or subpanels until you are down to essential loads.”
Eagle Sentry’s Reif noted: “It was also our first time working with Savant Power’s energy management and microgrid systems. It is just amazing how intuitive Savant can make a complicated process seem. It wasn’t plug and play, but it was pretty close. Viewing real-time energy consumption data within the Savant user experience is super cool. We are even more excited for the final implementation of the full microgrid system, which would allow for off-grid living powered by the region’s largest solar panel array.
Similarly, the synergy between Savant and design-led development firm Blue Heron truly defined partnership.
“The more Blue Heron learned about what we offer, the more [the project elevated]—from the shading solutions to the ability to have technology integrated in a cove so it is ready on command but not on display all the time,” Gutin said. “This, combined with ease of use, our industry-leading personalization suite, and the wellness and energy components, it became clear that we could deliver something for all parties that we couldn’t deliver on our own.”
Blue Heron CEO and Founder Tyler Jones added: “Vegas Modern 001 is a culmination of the 17 years of our design-led development firm and is redefining the definition of Home. Our partnership with Savant allowed us to integrate smart home technology at the highest level throughout VM001.”
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