Hottest Technologies Among Builders

Percentage of homes and MDUs installed with energy management, lighting control, home automation and multiroom audio all more than doubled in past two years.

Jason Knott · May 30, 2012

Digging deeper into the recently released State of the Builder Technology Market Study, finally we see certain energy-related technologies are very, very hot among home builders, but others are cold as ice.

It took the worst housing recession ever to enlighten them, but the highest percentage of projects ever are now installing home automation, lighting control, multiroom audio and energy management systems.

According to the joint Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, the percentage of builders installing energy management systems in new homes has risen 133 percent in two years (from 6 percent to 14 percent of new homes). Moreover, the percentage of builders actually offering energy management grew from just 40 percent in 2009 to 59 percent in 2011.

The percentage of new homes with multiroom audio has also more than doubled, while home automation and lighting control have also doubled. Here are the specific trends. Of course, the data is tempered with the knowledge that all of those percentages are based on an extremely low number of new homes built compared to five years ago. The number of new housing starts in 2011 was approximately 550,000, the lowest since World War II.

Energy Management
2009: 6%
2010: 10%
2011: 14%

Home Automation
2009: 5%
2010: 5%
2011: 10%

Lighting Control
2009: 6%
2010: 7%
2011: 12%

Multiroom Audio
2009: 11%
2010: 12%
2011: 23%

“The long-term trend is that technology is here to stay,” says Chris Ely, manager of industry analysis for CEA. “The category of audio has seen a resurgence across the board.” It should be noted that the data from the study is not strictly related to new home construction. Ely notes that the average respondent to the study did 46 new residential “projects” in 2011 of either new or remodel single-family homes or MDUs. Meanwhile, that same builder did an average of 34 light commercial or remodeling projects.

Other positive signs revealed by Ely are:

Fewer builders are saying demand is dropping for home technologies.

The percentage of builders proactively marketing home tech is rising.

There was a slight bump of $100 in the overall amount builders spend to install home technology (from $2300 in 2010 to $2400 in 2011). Of course, that is compared to $5,000 that builders said they spent on home technology back in 2006.

Structured wiring is the only category that showed a price increase in 2011.

The percentage of builders installing home theater is stagnant with no growth in the category.

The study is always a glimpse into the minds of builders. And for this year, it looks like builders are finally getting it.

  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jknott@ehpub.com

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  Article Topics

Speakers · News · Builders · All Topics
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