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Net Zero Iconic Home -- Achieving Net Zero Standards Despite The Desert Heat

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Net Zero Iconic Home -- Achieving Net Zero Standards Despite The Desert Heat
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This home brought together every aspect of the design and build community to create a stunning and sustainable home.

This astonishing 3,000-square-foot home in Phoenix sits amid the beauty of the Arizona desert. This unique, environmentally friendly project includes the best technology and design offerings while accomplishing net zero status. With many partners on this project, ICONIC LIFE took homeowner Mark LaLiberte's request in stride to create its first sustainable net zero showhouse. Along with a team of designers and architects, the integrator, Monarch AV, and the builder, AFT Construction, customized this estate to the homeowners' liking. 


Creating a luxurious showhouse that is energy-conscious without making any sacrifices to design appeal is no small task. Many homes use supplemental energy from outside sources to function, but a net zero home stores energy throughout the year and uses that supply. In addition to keeping the home sustainable, the ecologically friendly aspect of this project was evident as the building uses local and disposable products that last 100 years instead of going into a landfill. Aside from how the home was constructed, the automation technology needed to be intuitive to offer energy savings and entertainment enjoyment. 


Mark LaLiberte brought together a group of design experts that would leave no detail untouched and create the most energy-efficient, sustainable, and healthy desert home. Each of these partners offered unique perspectives that came together to create an extravagant home with the latest technology, design, and innovation.


A showhouse must have the most up-to-date technology for showing prospective homeowners what can be accomplished in their homes. LaLiberte was involved from the start, and he and his family were able to give input throughout the design and construction process. The homeowners wanted to live a life of simplicity where they could control multiple functions of the home from a single place, which is why the Crestron Home® OS platform was selected. The Crestron Home OS constantly evolves to deliver a next-level experience for homeowners. Crestron touch screens were placed throughout the home for simplified control and, together with Crestron Horizon® keypads and Crestron remotes, keep the user experience consistent and convenient while blending into the home’s modern look. The touch screens can control everything from the lighting to audio, and the homeowners can create different scenes for entertainment or relaxation.

The modern style of the home incorporates various glass walls, and with the hot Arizona sun, the homeowners needed a way to keep their home cool while keeping the net zero goal in mind. The first step to staying sustainable with glass walls was to install triple-paned windows. Then, by adding Crestron shading and lighting control, this net zero home can work on an automated schedule that maximizes natural light. The homeowners can dim the lights, lower the shades to their liking, or program them to open or close depending on the time of day. The Crestron shades reduce energy usage by blocking the heat from the sun, making it unnecessary to use energy to cool the house. For an added touch, the integrated shades have shade pockets built in to protect the home and meet net zero requirements.

The property also boasts Crestron DM NAX™ audio distribution throughout the home for multi-room audio. The homeowners are not avid TV watchers, so their main focus was audio integration, especially the ability to stream through AirPlay® software. Crestron’s residential line of speakers, made by Origin Acoustics, was integrated indoors and outdoors to create surround sound throughout the property. These speakers not only appeal to the visual design of the space with an elevated aesthetic, but they also maintain a sound standard tailored to each environment.


The partnership between Crestron and ICONIC LIFE brings excellent opportunities for homeowners and creates a phenomenal example of how technology and home building work hand-in-hand. The net zero aspect of the home challenged each partner to use the most sustainable materials while striving for an impeccable design standard that resulted in a masterpiece.

"I have been working in the high-performance construction arena for over 35 years. I built this home to demonstrate how the combination of beautiful design and high performance can coexist. Crestron’s technology ties in each element perfectly to fit my dream home," says Mark LaLiberte, Homeowner.