Imagine a house in which walls disappear with the touch of a button. The barriers between inside and outside are flexible, not rigid, and sunlight enters not through windows, but through totally open walls.
This house exists – a 9,000 square foot, multi-million dollar house – the first of 14 completed in Marquis, the only totally green custom home community in Las Vegas.
“It’s really about the indoor/outdoor relationship and using the yard as another room of the house,” says Tyler Jones, the owner of Blue Heron, the eco-conscious development company behind Marquis.
The accessibility of nature goes beyond the backyard; the community borders the 325-acre Sunset Park.
On a Thursday evening, well-dressed couples at an open house hold glasses of champagne as they explore the property located in the mansion-dotted neighborhood on Tomiyasu Lane near the park and Wayne Newton’s 38-acre ranch.
The house boasts “net zero electricity,” meaning that it creates more energy than it uses and is completely solar-powered via multiple solar panels. It is built out of concrete, and the heating and cooling system utilizes natural gas.
Some other custom home communities have been unable to install solar panels due to Homeowners’ Associations rules and regulations.
Marquis’ groundbreaking house will be showcased at the Consumer Electronic Show and International Builders Show conventions in January.
Not only green, the home is also modernly stunning.
One room is made entirely from reclaimed lumber from old buildings in China. Several fireplaces rest throughout the house and backyard, which stretches a half-acre and contains a hot tub, full story waterfall, outdoor pool and free standing rooms filled with candles and couches. There’s even an open-air canopy bed and Zen pond.
The house is also “wired.” Blue Heron partnered with Microsoft to make the home a “smart house,” outfitted with the latest in interactive technology. In fact, Microsoft is using the Marquis community to launch its eHome division.
Various features in the house can be controlled through a laptop, touchstone pad, PDA or TV remote control.
“You can close the garage door from your jet or San Diego with your Blackberry,” explains Jones.
On your PDA you can also view in real time how much electricity the building’s solar panels are generating and how much you are offsetting your carbon footprint at any given moment.
After three weeks on the market at $3.7 million, the house – along with three other similar homes – has already sold.
“It’s the right thing to do, and this is the future of new home construction,” Jones says.
Or, as Ferris Bueller might put it, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”