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2009 Livable Communities Awards

Eskaton National Demonstration Home

Category: Builder, less than 2,500 square feet: A home for all ages—with social graces and an environmental conscience

  • Universal design in action
  • Affordable homes and apartments
  • The latest technology

This demonstration home offers state-of-the-art technology, livable design elements, and environmentally friendly features. With the building currently used as a learning center for consumers, caregivers, and building professionals, various telemonitoring and surveillance systems are on display. The home's surveillance system boasts vacancy sensors, which automatically turn off lights to help lower utility bills. This surveillance technology is also nice at night: Motion-sensors trigger pathway lighting for the bathroom, allowing for easier and safer navigation. For fun, a social-monitoring system can help family members check on each other and stay in touch by sending e-mail and pictures.

The home's health-monitoring systems allow residents to upload medical readings, such as weight and blood pressure, and family members can receive alerts if numbers are high or if sensors in the home detect abnormal movements. Health care professionals also can access the data and send helpful tips and information to residents. An electronic brain-fitness system can help residents stay sharp by playing games on touch screens.

The modern kitchen also offers safety and design features. Amenities include a table-height breakfast bar, a pantry with pullout drawers, and a drawer-style dishwasher. The cooktop also boasts sensor technology that only heats pans—making burners cool to the touch. This technology also automatically turns burners off if they’re left on too long.

Other features include solid, reinforced walls around the tub, toilet, and shower areas to allow for custom placement of support bars. Hallway walls are also reinforced and ready for handrail installation. In addition, the builder included extra electrical wiring in exterior walls for future needs, so that residents can easily add additional technological features and systems. All bedrooms and offices are also wired for cable and Internet, so residents don’t have to go far to access news and information.

The home's green design elements include a solar power system and a tankless water heater.

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