'Home of the future' is here
Catering to consumer demand for constant connectivity, one of the nation’s largest residential builders now plans to outfit all of its new homes for smart technology.
PulteGroup, the Atlanta-based developer of energy efficient communities in roughly 50 markets, will design and construct its communities with technological skeletons, regardless of whether future owners choose to tap into them immediately, down the road or never, the company has announced. Either way, residents won’t have to worry about – or endure the financial burden – of retrofitting their home after it’s been built.
Pulte’s decision comes as homeowners and prospective buyers increasingly use technology – Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home and Apple’s HomePod, for example – in most facets of their lives and as the global smart home market is forecast to reach a value of more than $40 billion by 2020.
Also, studies have shown that smart home technology can reduce heating and cooling costs, improve home security and increase resale appeal. A recent survey commissioned by PulteGroup shows that seven in 10 consumers believe having smart home technologies available in their home is important.
PulteGroup wants to afford its buyers the opportunity to seamlessly control their lights, thermostats, security systems and appliances with the touch of their cell phone or the sound of their voice to drive convenience and efficiencies. Its homes will be ready to connect with seamless Wi-Fi reliability and increased bandwidth, thanks to built-in access points and direct wiring throughout the structure.
The transition in how Pulte approaches home building was inevitable, the company said.
“The home of the future is here,” said Ryan Marshall, president and CEO of PulteGroup. “Hotels, cars, restaurants, offices, subways, airplanes and other places we visit on a regular basis are fully wired for our convenience. Yet, until now, most homes were not.”
So-called smart technology has been incorporated in recent years into everything from light bulbs to refrigerators to HVAC units. Inside homes, manufacturers have worked to tie those solutions into a single hub where occupants can easily monitor and control the performance of their residences.
The problem, in many cases, is that those structures lack a unified setup, forcing residents to rely on a patchwork of tools and designs to integrate equipment.
PulteGroup hopes to solve those issues by installing a technological infrastructure that simplifies the process of bringing online customizable products from various manufacturers into a unified platform.
“Now homeowners will have the flexibility and efficiency of a home that is wired and ready when they are,” Marshall said.