• Sustainability
  • Smart Homes
  • Intelligent Building Technologies
  • Construction Industry

Demand for Smart Home Tech Only to Increase for New Builds

Neil Strother
Feb 20, 2020

Smart Home 3

US home buyers want smart technologies. One of the nation’s largest home builders, KB Home, reported a 44% increase in 2019 in smart appliance selection by its customers. KB Home has also seen a 25% uptick among customers choosing connected, or smart, security devices such as Kwikset smart locks and Google Nest Hello.

KB Home officials expect consumers to continue choosing smart products for their homes over the long haul. “I believe we will continue to see an increase in consumers seeking the convenience of controlling their appliances right in the palm of their hands,” says Gena Kirk, vice president of KB Home’s Design Studio.

A survey of Coldwell Banker brokers and agents finds 91% saying they would benefit from smart home technology in the homes they sell, and 82% saying the technology has helped streamline a sale. Survey respondents named the following smart products as key: smart lighting, climate control, automated blinds, smart locks, built-in speakers with app control, smart garage door opener, smart appliances, and smart home security systems.

At the same time, US home builders continue to promote energy efficiency in the homes they build, whether they are considered green or not. A recent survey conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders revealed some intriguing findings:

  • Energy efficiency approaches are used by 91% of home builders, with more than 69% doing so on most of their projects. Practices include installing LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, and right-sized, highly efficient HVAC systems.
  • Energy efficiency and durability are the top influential green attributes in product or system selections.
  • Practices designed to improve indoor environmental quality are used by 68% of home builders.
  • Practices designed to improve water efficiency are used by 67% of home builders.
  • Of green builders (defined as doing more than half their projects as green), 97% report using energy efficiency practices on more than 75% of their projects, 88% promoting a tight building envelope, and 61% using high performance ventilation.
Customers Care About Efficient, Green Homes

Nonetheless, home builders and remodelers note the need for growing market demand from customers for green homes. They cite a lack of market demand as the leading reason companies are not doing more green building. This could be the case, however, there are other indications customers do care about an efficient or green home. A survey from Schneider Electric of US homeowners shows a strong majority of respondents (74%) consider efficiency the primary benefit of smart home technology, followed by energy conservation (59%). Those sound like green goals to this writer.

The latest data shows that homeowners, and the vendors that supply them, see value in smart home technologies. The benefits are many, energy savings, convenience, comfort, security. The market has moved from humble beginnings to mainstream, as noted in reports from Navigant Research, a Guidehouse company, such as Smart Appliances Expand Smart Home IoT Opportunity for Energy Customers and The Smart Home Overview. While setting up and maintaining smart home devices is still not as easy as it could be, the market is poised for a steady run over the next decade.