“The idea behind the SmartGreen Home is to showcase innovative technology and materials and allow people to touch it, feel it, and see it in action,” said Heather Presley, deputy director of Housing and Neighborhood Services for the City of Fort Wayne. “We hope people visit the SmartGreen Home feeling inspired to try to incorporate some of these features in their own homes and maybe even build a new home in Renaissance Pointe with those components.”
The goal of the SmartGreen Home in Renaissance Pointe is to create a single-family home that meets contemporary lifestyle needs while serving as a showcase for environmental responsibility and connectivity to the neighborhood and the world. At the heart of the home's “smart” features is high-speed broadband connectivity that makes communicating, shopping, learning and home security easy and accessible. This “connected home” is plugged into a community of neighborhood services including healthcare, education and more.
From building materials to appliances, the components that make up the SmartGreen Home were selected for their high-efficiency, durability and environmentally friendly features. Recycled materials and natural products were used throughout the home restoration. However, one of the more important features of the home is perhaps the most subtle: the home itself. The 90-year-old home was scheduled for demolition. Instead of meeting the wrecking ball, the home received a high-tech, high-concept makeover.
Smart features of the SmartGreen Home in Renaissance Pointe include:
- IP (Internet Protocol) cameras viewable over the Internet
- Camera motion sensors can trigger e-mail alerts
- High-definition monitor for TV viewing and Internet browsing
- One-button push to light all pathways in the home
- HVAC, lighting and IP cameras are all controllable and programmable via wireless touch panel or over the Internet
Green features of the SmartGreen Home in Renaissance Pointe include:
- High-efficiency, programmable HVAC system
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Energy-efficient light fixtures using compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Wall coverings made from natural materials
- Recycled materials used for front and back porch flooring
Many of the green principles used in the SmartGreen Home are being incorporated into the overall design of all of the 350 planned new homes in Renaissance Pointe, a 36-block neighborhood bounded by Hanna Street, Creighton Avenue, Anthony Boulevard and Pontiac Street. Some of the standard features of the new homes in Renaissance Pointe use green design principles that reduce energy consumption, lower environmental impact, and provide money saving benefits to homeowners. Special features inside the homes include recycled-content insulation, drywall and carpeting. The appliances being used are Energy Star appliances, which use 10 percent to 15 percent less energy and water than standard models.
The most significant “green” feature of Renaissance Pointe is in fact the development itself. Rather than building another residential development on the outskirts of the city, Renaissance Pointe builds upon the infrastructure of an existing neighborhood ' essentially "recycling" an entire neighborhood. Green building increases the efficiency of land use. Additionally, amenities like a new greenway trail and the neighborhood's proximity to downtown will encourage residents to walk or ride bikes rather than use their cars ' encouraging better health and less fuel consumption.
The SmartGreen Home is serving currently as the Renaissance Pointe Welcome Center. It is located at 2429 Smith Street and is open from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays. For group tours, call Cathy Moll at 427-2129. For more information about Renaissance Pointe, or to learn more about smart and green design, visit www.rpointe.org.