To Phoenix developer Ben Dusan, his latest project in one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods represents a paragon of energy-efficient construction and smart-home technology as well as boasting an impressive live-work space.
Indeed, the 6,550-square-foot six-bedroom, seven-bathroom house in Arcadia is a sight to behold, with its huge open floor plan and impressive indoor-outdoor living features. Chief among them, a 12-foot-tall pocketing multi-slide door leading from the great room to a covered outdoor living space (which, incidentally, also is accessible from the master bedroom’s huge stacking multi-slide door). This moving wall of glass is so big – it measures 20 feet wide – that it’s best to let a motor open and close it for you
“I knew Western Window Systems could deliver on thermal and energy efficiency, even with such huge glass.” Ben Dusan, Blue Logic Construction
“I thought it would be cool to create something that feels like a repurposed commercial building that’s also a super-luxurious house — and with all the bells and whistles and tech than just about any other smart home.” says Dusan, of Blue Logic Construction.
And the bells and whistles in this impressive residence are plenty: a high-fidelity home theater complete with a projection screen; a master bathroom featuring a steam room and a Kohler Numi smart bidet/toilet; a master bedroom with two immense walk-in closets; motorized window shades; a five-car garage featuring full HVAC capabilities; lighting, thermostats, alarms, surveillance that can be controlled and monitored from virtually anywhere; a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen, and last but not least, a spacious guest home.
“Going back to the commercial aspect of the design, you need to make commercial structures as big and open and functional as possible,” Dusan says. “This gave me an opportunity to use 12-foot-tall glass in the great room and make the already large room feel endless because of the big disappearing glass pocket wall and huge patio. And I knew Western Window Systems could deliver on thermal and energy efficiency, even with such huge glass.”
“Such a massive house, with such high ceilings, and it’s less for the electrical bill than for a house half its size.” Ben Dusan, Blue Logic Construction
Speaking of energy efficiency, Dusan is a self-described fanatic on the issue, and he went to great lengths to make the home perform to the absolute highest U.S. standards, even putting the structure through a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) energy audit by an independent third party.
“Most homes this size and scale are not given a HERS rating,” he says, “but my home was rated at 36 percent more efficient than a standard new home.”
The reason? The home, which was built from the ground up after the restaurant next door tried and failed to turn the lot into a space for parking, features 14-inch-thick walls and six inches of spray-foam insulation on every exterior wall, every knee wall, and the underside of the roof deck.
“It’s as tight as any building can be,” he says. “To illustrate further, I have 23 tons of HVAC, including four 5-ton units on the house and one 3-ton unit on the guest house, and my summer bill, from May through September for nearly 8,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, is only $479 a month.
“That’s where people usually freak out,” he says. “Such a massive house, with such high ceilings, and it’s less for the electrical bill than for a house half its size.”
“There are many factors at work to make the house energy efficient, but the glass is one of the most critical.” Ben Dusan, Blue Logic Construction
Dealer: Architectural Window Products