Seattle builder makes smart homes standard – Construction Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Bellevue, WA–based Quadrant Homes announced earlier this month that it will include a package of smart-home features as part of its standard offerings.

  • The lineup includes a smart doorbell, garage door opener, front door lock, thermostat and a lighting controls system. Additionally, the homes will be Wi-Fi-ready with two, Cat 6 Ethernet wall jacks, a 36” smart display and USB chargers. Network data and outlet combinations will also be included in the ceiling of each level.

  • Quadrant’s move comes as smart-home products and systems become more accessible to typical buyers, according to GeekWire. The prevalence of voice-activated digital assistance is also contributing to its growing use.

Dive Insight:

Quadrant joins a growing group of builders bringing the Internet of Things into their homes as smartphone usage continues to grow across the U.S. According to the Consumer Technology Association, 80% of U.S. homes have an occupant with a smartphone.

In April, Tri Pointe Group launched a smart-home package that includes a smart thermostat, lighting and security system. Like Quadrant, Tri Pointe also pre-wires its new homes with central wireless access for the unit’s smart products and for regular internet usage.

Last month, Brookfield Residential became the first national homebuilder to include Apple HomeKit as a standard addition in its new communities — the builder added Amazon Alexa to some of its offerings in 2016. Lennar, KB Home and R&F Properties offer HomeKit among their upgrade options, according to CEPro.

Use of voice control — offered by the likes of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa — in the home is expected to grow, according to a January 2017 report from Coldwell Banker. Of Americans who have smart-home products, 72% want voice control functionality and 48% already have it. More than half (58%) of millennials have smart products with voice control. When it comes to smart-home products that can be controlled by voice, roughly the same share of millennials (74%) as Gen Xers (79%) are seeking them.

Coldwell Banker found that operating entertainment systems was the primary use for voice control, followed by controlling features like smart lighting, HVAC and access.

Adding smart-home tech can be a boon for builders’ bottom lines. In an earlier report, the CTA noted that installed home technology raised builders’ revenue, with nearly one-third reporting confidence in their profit potential from pre-wiring homes for entertainment and security systems.

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