Ten80 Uplands sits prominently on a gentle slope, in front of a mountain, nestled on a rock bluff. At first I mistake the fingerprint identification system for the doorbell: my first clue that this striking house contains a few surprises.
It turns out the Schüco door system can store up to 99 unique profiles, or sets of fingerprints at once. That could be called safety and convenience, with a James Bond flair. As the solid six-inch front door swings open, the builders, who have spent years perfecting the concept of combining green living with luxury, await.
Today, they offer a tour of the 8,200-square-foot home, designed by Bradbury Architecture, and almost reminiscent of a Whistler chateau. The home’s floor plan is open and grand, and the design is impeccable, but it is the home’s underlying technology that gives it its true edge.
They explain that Ten80 Uplands’ claim to fame is that it is the first home in B.C. to be outfitted with Tesla’s innovative Powerwall 2. The home has not just one, but two of the next generation of Powerwalls, a significant technological advancement on the Powerwall 1.
What makes this an industry innovation is that the solar panels on the roof feed the Powerwalls – making this a home that, on a sunny day, will produce more energy than it uses. That solar energy gets sent to the hydro grid – essentially giving back power to the collective.
This home can power itself through a power outage, making it impervious to the outages most homes reliant on hydro experience. TEN80 Uplands is pioneering the future of energy consumption in B.C., possessing the technology to power entire communities in the future.
Technology aside, the design aesthetic is amazing. I take in the 22-foot vaulted ceiling, over-sized windows showcasing mountain vistas and not one, but two captivating, ornate chandeliers.
For the last three years, Wally Zacharias and Steele Malott of Zimal Homes have worked closely with Marcraft Homes’ Mark Jauck to make this ambitious project a reality. “We all saw something in each other,” explains Zacharias. They worked carefully to ensure everything that went into the house had a purpose.
“You go into some homes and they have too much going on, too many textures, too many products. You lose that warmth; you feel like you’re in a commercial building, which is what we were trying to avoid,” says Malott.
With a combined 90 years in building and design, the men have created a home that offers a fresh take on sustainability.
“We as a group decided to take a Tesla model approach to building this home…we’re trying to bring green components into a luxury home,” explains Malott. Like Tesla, they believe if more high-end builders buy into green products and technology, they will become affordable, making them more accessible for everyone else.
In the past, luxury and sustainability have not always been a popular pairing. “It wasn’t marketable for a long time,” explains Jauck. “Energy efficient homes with solar panels used to be too much money for what you got. But research and technology have changed that, and there are real benefits.
“Just because you are buying a luxury home doesn’t mean you don’t want to save money.” With this technology, homeowners get all the high-end appliances, innovative architecture and imported woods, granite and lighting they expect. But they’re also signing up for leading-edge construction practices that maximize energy efficiency and reduce the impact on the environment.
“It’s green technology powering your home and it’s a seamless transition to clean power,” says Malott. The home has all the luxury features you would expect from a $9.8 million residence. There are two lavish, master bedroom suites with rich textures and cool, inviting colours on opposite wings of the house. The gourmet kitchen has Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.
But the real showstopper for anyone looking to slow down and relax is the lower level. It boasts a full theatre room with leather recliners and a temperature-controlled custom-designed wine room. The yoga room has a mirrored wall with a ballet bar, and quick access to the steam room and sauna.
The inviting outdoor infinity pool looks straight into a lush, green forest. Thanks to rainwater harvesting, water consumption in the house is low. The system collects rainwater from the roof and moves it into storage tanks underground to reduce fresh water consumption and provide irrigation during a water shortage.
The house, currently on the market, has been created to stand out, and all of the artwork has been carefully crafted and curated. The Kostuik Gallery selected pieces that complement the home. Jennifer Kostuik herself made several trips to the house.
“It was an exciting project to do an entire house. Each room has a different mood. I didn’t want anything too abstract or super contemporary in that house…it’s tranquil, it’s elegant, it’s an escape,” says Kostuik.
One of the focal points of TEN80 is The Push, a bold outdoor sculpture by Matt Devine. “No matter what you get, get an outdoor sculpture,” Kostuik says. “I placed that piece so that you could drive up and see this red stand out… everyone is going to remember that piece,” explains Kostuik.
Back at the dining room table, I ask Zacharias, Malott and Jauck if they achieved what they set out to do. Jauck nods, but admits there are always struggles when you are at the front of the pack.
“We’re about 15 years ahead,” adds Mallot. “You can see where things are headed, and they are headed in a good direction.
“We would ultimately like to build a sustainable community, and this is a step in the right direction.”