Exciting new technology allows owners to control their homes like never before.

Modern ocean homebuilding is about more than square footage and luxe interiors . The best homes now incorporate intelligent designs that minimize energy usage and smart home control systems that make life simple and efficient.

Smart home technology gives switched-on owners complete control over everything from air conditioning and security to entertainment systems and even the temperature of the pool, all from a touch panel, remote control or an app on their smart phone or tablet. Homeowners don’t even need to be in the same country – they can monitor the humidity of their wine cellar in the Bahamas from their iPad in Boston.

“When smart house design and technologies come together, anything is possible,” said Mark van den Broek, president of SmartHouse Integration of Sarasota, Fla. Van den Broek was speaking at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Mark of Excellence Awards in Las Vegas where he collected three awards for installations that include the ELAN g! home control system.

One award was for a bayfront home in Sarasota, dubbed ‘The Pearl,’ custom- designed and built by Florida-based Josh Wynne Construction. Wynne’s eco-driven design makes the home friendly to the environment, but the integration of smart home technology also makes it highly responsive to the owner.

Wynne had SmartHouse Integration install a variety of high-tech systems, without intruding on the aesthetic. Everything in the home – lights, air conditioning, heating, irrigation, TVs, multi-room audio, surveillance and pool controls – can be turned on and off, scheduled and adjusted from a single iPhone app.

“Walking into the open kitchen and living room area, there is a real sense of space,” Wynne says. “We were able to extend the awe even further – the owner can walk into that room and hit a single button to dim the lights, turn on their favorite playlist and adjust the climate to the perfect temperature. It’s a home that uses technology to simplify living.”

If the owners want to watch a movie, all they need is an iPhone to dim the lights, turn on the TV and Blu-ray player, and raise the volume. Laser triggers on the home’s three driveways alert the owner when the laser beam is broken. A video feed of the driveway comes up on the touchscreen in the kitchen and the master bedroom. If the home is set to ‘away’ mode, the system turns on the lights and sends an alert to the owner’s cell phone.

According to Van den Broek, the demand is growing dramatically as prices have tumbled. “We can now offer an affordable solution for home automation that years ago only the wealthy could afford. This technology is heading to the mainstream.” elanhomesystems.com