After two years of bouncing around a bottom, remodeling activity is expected to pick up later this year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Cambridge, Ma.. Why?
The housing downturn has affected not only the number of new homes that are built each year, but also the characteristics, features and size of the ones that do get built. This includes technologies in and outside the home as well as overarching concepts such as green homes.
Green homes comprised 17 percent of the overall residential construction market in 2011 and are expected to grow to between 29 and 38 percent of the market by 2016. By value, this equates to a five-fold increase, growing from $17 billion in 2011 to $87-$114 billion in 2016, based on the five-year forecast for overall residential construction.
For consumers, the market for home energy management technology and products has, all at once, become highly frenzied yet tremendously exciting. From sleek, standalone ‘smart thermostats’ to solutions tightly integrated with the security system to new broadband-based home energy offerings from large cable and telco providers, consumers must not only decide which tool fits with their particular lifestyle, but which underlying platform offers the most stability and value.
Many electronic system contractors (ESC) often know green as motorized shades, LED lighting and home energy management and monitoring. Courtney Baker sees a bigger green. “These are major areas that the dealer/installer community can affect; but being green is a lot more than just saving energy. It is also about indoor air quality, water efficiency indoor and outdoor, material selection and generally being aware of how [a client’s] home ‘should’ work.”
Lenbrook America, the U.S. distributor for specialty audio/video (A/V) brands NAD and PSB, announced that the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) invited the company to join as a vendor member.
With new technologies making security cameras more affordable and flexible, home surveillance systems are changing. Installations and placement don’t look the same as they did years ago, though some of the dealer concerns such as privacy, wiring and lighting optimization remain. Security dealers talked to SDM eNews about how an evolving technology landscape is changing the way cameras are installed in a home and opening up new markets.