04/03/2012 04:25 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

WATCH: C++ Programming Pioneer Hacks Off-Grid, DIY, Smart Home

When Loren Amelang's Silicon Valley employer put in florescent lighting and wouldn't let employees bring in their own lights, Amelang moved to an off-grid property to begin to create a space where he would have total control over his environment.

In the following decades, Loren Amelang built a home that would help him generate "free hot water, free power and a decent chunk of free heat." The entire southern side of his home is covered in solar capture devices: 1,600 watts of photovoltaic power, solar hot water panels, a sunroom/greenhouse and a solar hot air collector.

Putting his technical skills to use (he's a pioneer in C++ programming), Amelang wrote more than 10,000 lines of code so that his home's water and electric systems could be operated more efficiently and automatically. An added benefit is the ability to control everything remotely, by even just a smartphone.

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