ATX Comforts of Home 2012
A Healthier Home

Step inside Disney's house of the future: New Vision shows green living can be luxury living

Step inside Disney's house of the future: New Vision shows green living can be luxury living

Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, child's room, wash room
The child's room and adjacent wash room at Vision House Photo courtesy of Green Builder
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, sign
Vision House is part of the Innoventions exhibit at Epcot. Photo by Ralph Bivins
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, Kohler toilet, bathroom
Bath with Numi toilet (in foreground) Photo courtesy of Green Builder
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, thermostat
Climate control center Photo courtesy of Green Builder
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, room
Living room and dining room Photo courtesy of Green Builder
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, Ron Jones
Ron Jones, president of Green Builder, explains the housing exhibit at Epcot. Photo by Ralph Bivins
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, Ralph and Mickey Mouse
Ralph Bivins and Mickey at Disney's Epcot park in Orlando Photo by Ralph Bivins
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, child's room, wash room
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, sign
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, Kohler toilet, bathroom
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, thermostat
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, room
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, Ron Jones
Ralph, Vision House, Epcot, November 2012, Ralph and Mickey Mouse

ORLANDO — Living in a sustainable house doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable, too.

Consider the Vision House. It’s a housing exhibition in Disney’s Innoventions center in the Epcot theme park.

The Vision House is loaded with solar and energy efficiency elements, of course. But it also offers solutions for healthier lifestyles and homeowner comforts.

  "People don’t have to give up comforts, they don’t have to give up luxuries, to have a more sustainable life."

 “The Vision House demonstrates that sustainability doesn't mean sacrifice,” said Ron Jones, president of Green Builder Media, which worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the home exhibit. "People don’t have to give up comforts, they don’t have to give up luxuries, to have a more sustainable life."

Green Builder hosted a tour of the Vision House at Epcot for journalists from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in early November. Some tour highlights include:

• Trane “CleanEffects” air conditioning and air filtration system. Trane says the system filters out 99.9 percent of allergens, include particles as small as 1/1000 the diameter of a human hair. The filter does not need to be replaced, just vacuumed every few months.

• Panasonic ventilation systems, judged by Green Builder, to be more effective at sucking out moisture which leads to mold and mildew. Panasonic exhaust fan has a quiet self-adjusting motor that speeds up when there’s a lot of work to do.

• Numi toilet by Kohler has heated seat and warming element to keep tushies comfy in the winter, a built-in speaker system where you can plug in an iPod and a night light. By the way, it offers one of the most conservative flushes in the business, using as little as .6 of a gallon.

• Armstrong cabinetry. Carefully constructed without nasty glues or varnishes, Armstrong goes for indoor air quality with materials that won’t emit out-gassing. No formaldehyde will be found here.

The Vision House has a lot of green elements that you would expect to find in a green demonstration home today, including a charging station for plugging in an electric car, systems for capturing rainwater for outdoor irrigation, solar panels and world class insulation in the walls. 

The next time you go to Disney in Orlando, the Vision House may be something you want to check out. You won’t embrace every idea.

But there are some ideas that can help you make your home safer, more sustainable and comfortable.