SOMETIMES, YOU JUST HAVE TO DECIDE THAT your company is different.
“Everybody does granite countertops, and we do, too,” says Dilan de Silva, IT director at Grasso Holdings, which put a home-technology package as standard into all 60 units at The Packard Grande condo project in Philadelphia.
“We decided to give [buyers] the smart-home option and do it in such a way that the average person could afford it,” de Silva explains. With a single remote, homeowners can manage their audio and video, their digital photos and home movies, and the lights and the thermostat.
The condominiums, which sell for $330,000 to $700,000, are geared to busy young professionals who want the latest in home technology.
Each unit comes with a 42-inch Samsung plasma television, Insteon lighting, a thermostat from Proliphix based on Internet protocol (which allows homeowners to check the HVAC remotely over the Web), a Sonos wireless audio system, and a wall-mounted iPort.
The technology is supported by a Denali Edition Windows Media Center PC from Niveus that can handle 1 terabyte of storage for audio, digital photos, and home movies. The PC is optimized for high-definition television—plus it's fanless, which means that it runs quieter, more like a consumer electronics device. Videos are stored on a 200-disc Niveus Ice Vault DVD changer. All of the condo units have structured wiring and a Linksys wireless router in the structured wiring panel.
“What's great about our system is that the technology doesn't overpower the homeowner,” says de Silva. “The Insteon lighting works like regular dimmer switches,” he says, adding that people love the Sonos system because the interface is like an iPod's.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Philadelphia, PA.