Smart Design Details at HGTV Smart Home 2015

Discover which home control design features and responsible building practices went into the construction of HGTV Smart Home 2015.
HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

From: Behind the Build: HGTV Smart Home

Photo by: Rachel Kay

Rachel Kay

By: Peter Walsh

A high-tech home is a combination of many features including green building practices and high tech innovations. The HGTV Smart Home 2015, located within the city limits of Austin, Texas, in the Zilker neighborhood, uses the latest green building materials and up to the minute home technology.

The approximately 2,300 square foot home was built with a focus on energy efficiency that will potentially save the homeowner on their utility bills. Many of the green systems in the house link to technology that will enable the homeowner to run the systems remotely, or will adjust on their own via a mainframe computer in the house.

Construction Diary

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HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Behind the Build

The HGTV Smart Home 2015 comes alive during daily construction work.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Starting with the location of the house, the HGTV Smart Home 2015 can be found in an urban infill community, which means it is within walking distance to stores for local shopping, restaurants and bus routes for trips further away. “So you don’t have to drive,” says Don Harris, AIA, Don Harris Architect, who designed the house.

The front door lock to get into the home is a smart lock that can be operated from a smart phone or tablet device instead of a key. This type of lock is helpful when repairmen come to service appliances for example, because the door can be opened remotely when they arrive or the homeowner can provide a one-time use passcode that will allow them to enter the home.

Home Control Planning Guide

Discover innovative ways to control your home with these tips for planning a whole house AV systems, customizing climate control and shopping the latest in modern technology.

For security, high definition cameras with night vision capabilities provide visual security to the home and tie in to any television in the house so the homeowner can see what’s going on without opening the door.

Each room has built-in audio/visual equipment for listening to music or watching television. A full hard drive server housed in a closet stores movies, music and videos that can be viewed in any room that has a TV.

The windows feature motorized shades that can be operated by the touch of a button. Some even interface with the server to go up and down depending on the amount of sun coming in, the time of day and even the season of the year. “The astronomic time clock can even turn on the landscape lights at 6 p.m. every night, any time of the year so you don’t even have to touch any buttons,” says Brian Schaffer, director of sales, Audio Visual Consultations, who wired the house for the smart technology.

Floor Plan Pictures

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HGTV Smart Home 2015 Under Construction

HGTV Smart Home 2015 is a two-level, high-tech home, built with an open floor plan and modern farmhouse design in mind.  

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Front Yard

With a contemporary Austin farmhouse style, this simple home is as stylish as it is efficient. “It’s intended to be a very contemporary landscape,” explains the house planner Jack Thomasson. “It feels very contemporary, clean and simple.”

Kitchen

Upon entering, visitors are led directly into the open living room and kitchen area.

Kitchen Under Construction

To make this charming kitchen completely functional, the design and build team opted for a triangle-style workspace.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Kitchen

While the kitchen island’s counter matches the white kitchen cabinets, the base of the island is painted in a soft gray that complements the room’s neutral color palette. 

Dining Room

The dining room is positioned between the kitchen and living area for easy entertaining and traffic flow.  

Dining Room Under Construction

Open to the kitchen, entryway and living room, the dining room sets the scene with streaming natural light and an open floor plan.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Dining Room

“We have really great designer lighting around the house. All of the decorative fixtures throughout the house use LED bulbs, including the candelabra bulbs above the dining table and all the lamps so we have a complete LED story here,” says Jack.

Living Room

The living room is positioned on the side of the house and feature three walls of windows. Wide, sliding low E-glass doors on the far wall lead to a floating deck on the side yard, thus flooding the room with natural light.

Living Room Under Construction

In the living area, there's the perfect spot for hanging a large, wall-mounted flat screen television.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Living Room

As beautiful as it is practical, this stylish living room can also double as a guest room in a house that is sure to have plenty of visitors.

Finished Living Room

A great mix of patterns and textures comes together to create one cohesive, stylish space. “The living room is very subtle,” explains interior designer Linda Woodrum. “It’s more about the textures and the subtle variations that wrap all around the room.”

Screened Porch

Behind the house is a private porch, perfect for outdoor entertaining and afternoon lounging.  

Screened Porch Under Construction

Large insulated low E-glass casement style windows look directly into the screened porch off the back of the house.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Screened Porch

“We like the sense that we’ve kept it quiet. The chairs are all very sculptural and beautiful and because all of the wood tones are the same it keeps it interesting but it isn’t too much. It’s very much about being tied in to what’s outside,” says Linda. 

Upstairs Loft

Upstairs a carpeted media loft with a large, 84-inch television lend a movie theatre experience. The room is spacious enough to accommodate a billiard table as well.

Upstairs Loft Under Construction

For a theatre experience, a 7.1 system is installed with speakers mounted in the center of the wall, to the left and to the right, an in-wall subwoofer, and ceiling-mounted side and rear speakers, which are controlled by a tablet.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Upstairs Loft

With plenty of seating and a vibrant color palette, the loft is the perfect place for a slumber party or family movie night. “This is kind of the great big blue room,” says Linda. “I think 20 people could be up here watching TV.”

Master Suite

The master bedroom is accessed via a transition area a few more steps up. “It has a cottage scale,” says lead architect Don Harris.

Master Suite Under Construction

The master bedroom features sloping ceilings that measure 5 feet on the sides and just over 10 feet at the peak.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Master Suite

The open entrance to the master bedroom from the hall keeps the room from feeling closed off, while providing easy access to the master closet. 

Photo By: Eric Perry

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom has a water closet for the toilet, double sink vanity, fully tiled shower with multiple shower sprays and a separate tub with a window overlooking the backyard.

Master Bathroom Under Construction

“There are digital controls in the master shower, as well as a remote and a television that is visible from the shower,” says Jack.

Photo By: Rachel Kay

Finished Master Bathroom

With smart technology, a relaxing color scheme and exceptional storage options, this master bathroom is quite possibly the best room in the house.

The skylights in the home have integral blinds built in that are linked to the clock to follow the sun's path over the course of the year so they open and close again, depending on the how much light is coming through. The lighting control system features dimmer switches in every room and can be controlled via an app on a smart phone or tablet, or by keypads on the walls. Even the lights in the closets turn on automatically upon entering and turn off upon leaving.

In the kitchen the under cabinet lights are LED to create a smooth, clean look on the backsplash.  Plug strips are mounted under the upper cabinets so countertop appliances, like a coffee maker, mixer or blender, can be conveniently plugged in. A built-in charging station complete with wall mounted USB ports, are for recharging smart phones and tablets so there’s no need to clutter the countertop with cords.

Over the stove, a range hood controls the air quality in the room by drawing air from the outside and returning it back into the inside of the home through a vent under the stove. “It keeps the cool air in and controls the air quality,” says home builder Scott Turner of Riverside Homes.  

In turn, several features help control the air quality in the house. For example, the air conditioning system has a 4 inch thick pleated allergy filter that filters four times the amount of air as standard units and runs in tandem with a humidity control system linked to the smart thermostat. “It helps keep the humidity out,” says Turner. This is a real problem in the high summer of central Texas.

Time-Lapse Photos

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HGTV Smart Home 2015, Austin, TX, July 25th, 11:15 a.m.

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Also helping to control humidity are the timer-equipped vent fans in the bathrooms. “You push a button and the fans run for only 20 or 30 minutes after you shower,” he says, "an innovation that was a long time coming."

In the master bathroom, the window over the tub has a built-in privacy feature. “Push a button and the E-glass polarizes turning the glass opaque,” says Turner. “We had to design around the fact that there are neighbors." In the shower, a programmable faucet with a touch pad can be set up to start the shower before getting in and controlling the multiple body sprays to the individual user.

Finally, to provide hot water for the bathrooms and kitchen and to save space, a gas fired, tankless water heater was installed. “You’re not paying to keep a 50 gallon hot water tank hot,” explains Turner.

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Architectural Style of HGTV Smart Home 2015

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