Build Smart

For close to a decade now we've been using Smartphones; dozens of electronic devices all bundled into one convenient pocket sized gadget. Every year your mobile phone evolves to offer better graphics, increased camera resolution, faster processor speeds and greater storage. Apps connect us with all our favourite social, on demand and messaging platforms. Do you remember your first experiences with a smartphone? You very quickly forgot your old device that offered only a fraction of the conveniences your new phone brought.

Do you remember using a choke or manually winding your windows up or down in a car? These are now things of the past. Car technology evolved, nowadays they're stacked with features for improving efficiency, comfort, safety and entertainment. Played a cassette in your car recently? Manufacturers of cars bring out new features at the same rate smartphone companies bring out software updates. We're well used to the speed of tech evolution.

Let's turn our attention to UK homes. New homes built in the UK have experienced major changes over the past decade. Better insulation, improved air-tightness, zonal heating and, love it or hate it, a massive increase in value.

One part of the home that has not evolved to meet new, modern living standards is your household wiring. It's no exaggeration to say that the majority of new homes are wired no differently than they were back in 1997. Twenty years of unused telephone sockets, two decades of television points being stuck in the corner of the room, twenty years of aerial splitters lurking up in the loft and two decades of service providers like BT or Sky installing ugly cabling on the outside of your house. All because no one had the foresight to consider where set top boxes or routers will go.

Over the next five years you are going to spend a lot of your household income on technology products and services. Most of this technology will be used in your home. So how ready is your home for UltraHD media streaming, internet connected kitchen appliances, virtual reality entertainment and voice controlled home assistants? If you think you won't have these things in your home you're sadly mistaken. Apple, Google, BT and Netflix, to name a few, will push a connected lifestyle upon you. Some of you may have thought you'd have no use for a smartphone ten years ago. How’d that turn out?

The changes house builders need to make to stop producing dumb homes are not as drastic as you may think. Our four tips for designers and builders of new homes are easy to implement.

1. Start considering the amount of technology your buyers will bring with them when they move into a new house. We regularly analyse household Wi-fi networks and often count over twenty- five internet connected devices.

2. Seek out training courses or CPD presentations that provide easy to access content on smarter, connected living. RIBA and NHBC have both recently published articles and accredited courses related to Smart Homes.

3. Speak to the existing tradespeople involved on your projects and listen to their views on how to make your homes smarter. They may already be involved in creating Smart Homes in the luxury or custom build market.

4. Make the change to build Smart today. Stop the construction of dumb homes for your customers. You've introduced renewables, energy efficiency and innovative heating methods to your schemes over the years, it’s now time to introduce Smart Home.

Customised are Norfolk based, CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) certified home technology professionals. We offer CPD presentations to architects, construction professionals and interior designers throughout the region. Get in touch to make the switch over to building Smart.