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High up in the mountains of Colorado, nestled among the classic western
frontier-era Victorian homes in the heart of the Breckenridge historic
district, a new property development has just wrapped-up construction – two new
“Epic Homes” have recently been brought to market by The Mountain
Life Companies that could forever change the landscape of new home buyers’
evolving preferences and expectations when choosing to invest in real estate –
and they are truly Epic.
Through careful study of our proprietary market analysis of today’s new home
buyers we have learned that consumers’ “evolving preferences” are now
inclined toward deeper and more long-term design and performance expectations
than homeowners have ever had before.
Consumers’ evolving design and performance preferences have emerged at the
same time that sustainability and technology have grown more intertwined with
new home construction. Buyers now expect new construction homes to meet
rigorous energy-efficiency standards, to be constructed with healthy indoor
environments in mind and to offer 21st century amenities that make their lives
These contemporary preferences are also based on prudent investment
principles. A recent study by Earth Advantage found that new homes with a green
certification sold for 9% more than traditional (lower performance) new homes.
Consumers now understand the value in what is often their largest asset performing
more efficiently, thereby saving significant operating costs which can be spent
in much more meaningful ways.
This prevailing dynamic has relegated older, more traditional homes to the
‘fixer-upper’ category as home buyers seek out options for their next property
investment, which emphasizes the divide among homes that are available in the
marketplace and those that are currently outfitted with today’s consumers’
desired accoutrements. Just as we may eagerly anticipate the newest iPhone
release or another exciting new technological advance, we are now seeking
continuous incremental improvement by the companies from which we prefer to
purchase our products, however the home building industry has seemingly failed
to keep pace with the wishes of today’s home buyers and investors.
Equally in flux today are the choices that property developers must
reconcile when determining how best to design and build homes that satisfy new
home buyers’ inclinations and evolving preferences in their search for the perfect
dwelling. Now, it is more important than ever that developers carefully
delineate the significant differences between today’s “trends” in new
home construction and the far more meaningful “evolving preferences”
of modern consumers in the new home market. Developers who have sought out deep
information on consumer preferences and have implemented the appropriate
features and amenities are at a significant advantage in today’s marketplace.
Enter The Epic Home. An ‘Epic Home’ is
not just a high-performance, resource-efficient and certifiably healthy home
for its occupants, it is a home which actually communicates with its
inhabitants on a deeper level, intuitively learning their preferences, sharing
information, and connecting home processes in order to ensure not only the
safety and comfort of its people while delivering significant operating cost
savings, but also bestowing it’s homeowners with what they seek the most out of
a real estate investment – peace of mind.
In Breckenridge, the Epic Home has recently come to life, forever changing
the landscape of new home offerings. This groundbreaking new residential
development in the heart of the downtown historic district, aptly entitled Epic On French is the
focus of many green building and smart home experts’ attention, as well as home
buyers and investors, as it is truly unlike any other new construction
residential project in today’s marketplace.
The Epic Home was conceived in 2013 with the developer’s goal to build new
homes that challenge today’s status-quo by providing home buyers with options
that reflect their modern notions of what the perfect home may be. These
two new Epic Homes found their place with the acquisition of a locally famous piece
of land at a historically significant location where the “Little Red
School House” used to exist, originally dating back to the late 1800s, setting into motion the developer’s forward-thinking property development approach which brought forth the design and
construction of two new Epic Homes that now stand as beacons for what smart,
high-performance development can achieve when seeing clearly into the
hearts and minds of consumers and their evolving preferences.
The last decade has brought about truly transformative change in the home
building industry, specifically in the realm of high-performance design and
construction, however just as some of our greatest expectations eventually
become taken-for-granted realities, new things comes along and changes
everything again, as if for the first time. This is where Epic Homes stand as
exemplars of change to guide this industry toward a new, higher consciousness
of development, the new American home: intuitive, high-performance living
In articulating “intuitive” more clearly, we refer to an
‘integrated smart home ecosystem’. Of course, anyone can add smart home
features to any home – the difference here is that it’s really all about
analyzing potential homeowners’ habits and preferences and implementing an
intuitive ecosystem around the occupants which accomplishes their goals while
creating more time for the more important matters in life.
Further clarifying, an intuitive home is a home that has an interconnected
system of smart home features that communicate with each other. This whole-home
smart ecosystem learns and acts upon the data it collects and information it
has been provided and ensures that its occupants’ preferences are being tended
to around the clock and that their safety, security and comfort are always
managed to their precise predilections. For example, let’s look specifically at
how the Epic Homes in Breckenridge change the dynamics of occupant living and
set an innovative new standard for the home building industry.
come with an interconnected smart home ecosystem of technologies that
communicate with each other. To start, the system of multi-zoned Nest
Learning Thermostats throughout the homes ascertain information about the
homeowners’ daily habits and preferences thereby controlling the environment of
each distinct space in the home, for example increasing the heat in the living
room and kitchen before your arrive home from a chilly day on the slopes.
the same time, these Nests are also communicating with their Nest Protect
partners throughout the residence that are keeping close watch over potential
indoor environmental problems such as smoke and carbon monoxide. Now that
the interior comfort and safety are being managed, Nest is also interconnected
with Wemo smart-lighting throughout the homes, recognizing when its people
arrive home and turning on appropriate lights at the right time for their
safety and preferred ambiance.
Nest is also consistently in communication with its friend, the Rachio
smart-irrigation system outside so if smoke is detected, Nest Protect tells
Rachio to wet down the outdoors to help mitigate fire spread to your community
– a feature I’m sure we all wish our neighbors had as well! At the same
time, Nest is communicating with the MyQ smart-garage door system and with the
IFTTT protocol (If This Then That) which enables pairing of other smart home
devices that aren’t specifically designed to work together so one can fortify
their “home intelligence quotient” (HIQ) as one grows more savvy with their
Finally, Nest is also in communication with
Amazon’s Alexa, the personal virtual-assistant enabling voice command of your
entire smart home system without having to ever touch a device. Even the Epic
Homes’ door locks and doorbells are connected to the Weave technology that
Google and Nest developed and have integrated into their smart home products.
The Epic Homes’ smart ecosystem are completely interconnected and always in
communication, both with each other and with the homeowner.
An intuitive Epic Home is a much safer, much more comfortable and more
easily managed home that is always tending to its occupants’ preferences not
unlike the concierge of a 5-star hotel, anticipating their arrival, setting
their comfort and preferences based on their history and saving them the time
and stress of having to manage mundane tasks.
Epic Homes are not just intuitive homes though – they are among the
greenest, most healthy and environmentally sustainable homes in the
marketplace. These homes stand far above standard new construction homes as
they are slated to earn the prestigious LEED Platinum Certification, the green
building industry’s highest award issued by the US Green Building Council, as
well as the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for Homes
Certification, WaterSense Certification and Advanced Lighting Certification –
all of which are today’s gold standards of high-performance design and
construction in their own realms of sustainability and conservation.
LEED for Homes Platinum Certification accounts for every detail of a home’s
planning, design and construction, from appropriate site development and
material resource conservation, to energy conservation and indoor occupant
health, all the way through the critical-path of development to completion and
third-party verification of all features and documentation in order to assure
the homeowners that indeed this home meets or exceeds the incredibly high
standards of LEED
Responsible for assuring that the Epic Homes are built to meet these high standards is Verdigris Group, one
of The Mountain Life Companies’ recently acquired subsidiary businesses that
has been a leader in the high-performance construction consulting industry for
over a decade and is recognized globally for their work in sustainability in
the built environment. These Epic Homes’ have been carefully designed and
constructed under the sustainability expertise and green building guidance of
the professionals at Verdigris Group in order to earn the conservation and
efficiency results that come with such industry accolades.
In order to confirm that these Epic Homes in fact do perform as designed,
Colorado’s top independent, home-performance consulting firm, Deeper Green
Consulting based in Dillon, Colorado has been engaged with the
responsibility of 3rd-party verification of all of the green attributes of
these Epic Homes thereby ensuring their ultra-high level of performance for the
certifying bodies’ verification and documentation, as well as for the home
buyers’ peace of mind.
As mentioned, in addition to this gold standard of green home certification,
the Epic Homes of Breckenridge are slated to achieve WaterSense certification
in order to address one of today’s most concerning global issues – water
efficiency and conservation. The smart use of our water resources through water-saving
technologies around the house are both a green feature and a smart feature.
Using water efficiently helps ensure reliable water supplies today and for
future generations. The Epic homes are equipped with only WaterSense certified
fixtures, including the exterior irrigation system, ensuring that these homes
are achieving the highest marks when it comes to the efficiency of one of our
most critical resources.
To home buyers these designations and certifications simply represent peace
of mind. Homeowners can rest easy knowing that extra care has been taken to
ensure that their family and friends enjoy a seriously healthy living
environment that is also easy on Mother Earth.
By looking through the lenses of Green (High Performance) and Smart (Intuitive)
one can see that they work together naturally since both lenses serve as design
perspectives and scientific construction practices that are now more entangled
with each other than ever before.
For example, in order to develop a truly green home the developer would
design and build with conservation as a focus – since we’re just discussing the
topic of water, let’s look at conserving water through both lenses. Not only is
installing WaterSense fixtures a good idea inside the home (saving homeowners an
average of 500 gallons annually), but it is also an excellent plan for any
exterior irrigation needs. By adding intuitive technology to your water
conservation system, as is implemented in Epic Homes, the smart technology
enables greater conservation and cost savings through its ability to constantly
check weather forecasts and monitor on-site conditions in order to prevent
watering lawns or gardens when rain is impending for example, or to prevent
fires from spreading in the case of a catastrophe.
While presenting The Epic Home to a group at the US Green Building Council’s
annual Greenbuild Expo and Trade Conference in Los Angeles Mr. Hasenstab stated,
“We’ve set extraordinarily high goals with this new development, and not
only are we exceeding our sustainability and efficiency goals through our
implementation expertise in ultra-green design and construction, we also set
out to achieve the goal of seamlessly incorporating state-of-the-art smart home
ecosystems that dramatically and positively impact owners’ lives through higher
levels of safety, comfort, resource conservation and cost savings than have
ever previously been achieved in our industry.”
He continued, “The intended result of these concerted efforts has always
been to provide people with peace of mind. Peace of mind knowing that
their home is the smartest, greenest and most socially conscious home in the
marketplace today. The peace of mind knowing that they are saving money for
their family and resources for their community – both of which create the foundation
for a more sustainable future. Peace of mind knowing that their home is
looking after them and they can communicate with their home on a deeper level,
which as we have learned, can be very comforting indeed.”
Epic Homes are like another loyal and caring family member in and of
themselves. From the beginning of the relationship these homes are
intrinsically designed and built to protect and conserve. As they learn all
about their inhabitants and grow more knowledgeable, they are always keeping a watchful
eye on domestic safety and security, energy efficiency and resource
conservation, comfort and health so their people can get on with the serious
business of living their lives to the fullest. Epic Homes are the future
of the home building industry and are now available for tours and for purchase
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