Today’s buzzword is “Smart.” As technology has progressed, so has an explosion of innovation in intelligent home automation, and at Whiteoak construction, we are increasingly incorporating some aspect of smart home technology in all our residential construction and renovation projects.
So what's a smart home?
A smart home is a home where important features like locks, lights, thermostats, security systems and more, get connected into one digital network, with centralized control, mobile access, and with built-in artificial intelligence that tracks user preferences and learns to self adjust to the user's routine. Some of the more popular home tech trends are the following:
Wireless Home security
Smart security systems are highly customizable and available as do-it-yourself kits or professionally monitored systems with 24/7 surveillance. They let you monitor your home from anywhere via your phone or tablet, including indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors, and smart locks. Homes without a dedicated security system are 3 times as likely to be burglarized. According to the Electronic Security Association, if a home with a security system still falls victim to a crime, the average loss is about $2000 less than in a home with no protection.
Smart Home Technology can also lower home insurance premiums.
Discounts for traditional break-in or "burglar" alarms can range between 2 and 5 percent, according to Consumer Reports. A sophisticated monitored home security system could reduce home insurance quotes by 20 percent.
Heating and cooling customization and control Smart thermostats have been one of the most widely adopted smart home tech devices. They are generally easy to install and can be customized to your preferred temperatures, when you are in or out of the home. Today with smart home technology you can even customize each room individually. We all go about our day living in multiple zones, but most people treat their home as one big thermostat zone, regardless of their heating or cooling setup. Dividing your home into multiple zones comes with many benefits. You can optimize a comfortable temperature when and where you need it, eliminate wasteful heating and AC use, save energy, and lower your monthly electric bill. Thoughtful programming can save the average consumer 10% to 12% on their heating bills and up to 15% on their cooling bills annually.
A Cinematic experience, the smart home theatre system
You can now design a sophisticated smart home theatre system that can compete with any cineplex experience by incorporating immersive high-resolution audio, high-definition video, best-in-class surround sound, an enormous smart TV, and customized smart home lighting all in the comfort of your own home.
Any room, Every room
With smart home technology, entertainment systems can be integrated throughout your entire house. You can stream your favorite playlist on full blast so you can hear it in every room, enjoy soft soothing music in the bedroom or listen to your favorite cooking podcast in the kitchen. With one touch or a simple voice command you can access all the music streaming services and enjoy and customize one or multiple rooms simultaneously with high resolution multi room audio technology.
If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade
Homes have been traditionally decorated from the inside out with blinds to block the sun. Today you can install windows that can offer you a floor to ceiling vast panorama allowing you to fully and unobstructed allow the outside in. No shades or window treatments necessary, and windows can change from clear to opaque with the touch of a button. Innovations have made it possible to make windows change even according to seasonal needs, they absorb near infrared light from the sun in the winter effectively harvesting the sun's energy to warm the house and in the summer months, the sun can be reflected instead of absorbed keeping the home cool. Imagine a living space with abundant natural light, where windows are free of glare and the temperature is ideal, where complete transparency or total privacy can alternate instantly. An environment for people, designed to promote wellness. With positive results like that, the benefits of this smart glass are crystal clear.
FULLY INTEGRATED “HEALTHY HOME” TECH
The COVID-19 pandemic opened the eyes of homeowners around the country -- and across the world -- to the importance of healthy homes. Over the last several years, startling surveys and studies have emerged detailing the number of dangerously off-gassing materials within our homes. From flooring and insulation to paint and furniture, many older homes are burdened by chemical instability and unexpected toxicity. As such, emerging construction technology has a growing list of VOC-free (volatile organic compounds) paints and building materials.
Low-VOC paint emits fewer volatile compounds, the air in your home may be safer to breathe. VOC fumes can potentially contribute to long-term health issues, such as cancer, central nervous system issues, and irritation to the nose, eyes, mouth, and lungs. Also, If you’re sensitive to smells, you might be able to save yourself a headache from a fresh coat of paint by choosing low-VOC paint.
Many companies have developed low-emissions building materials and finishings over the last several years . Other examples include American RockWool, which produces natural wool insulation free from toxic flame retardants. As well, flooring manufacturers boasting high-quality natural hardwood flooring have reentered the public consciousness, turning consumers away from linoleum, Pergo and vinyl tile..
Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination
At Whiteoak Construction, we feel that smart home design is not just what it looks like and feels like, but an intelligent interaction between them. It's never too late to build a more enjoyable, smarter, safer, energy efficient home.
Written by : Albert Zakay