With smart phones constantly at hand and WiFi in nearly every public space, it’s clear that “being connected” is almost as essential as air and water. As a society, we take great advantage of this connectivity to do more and to be smarter, faster, and spend less money. In fact, it’s a must-have feature for new phones and cars, and people will pay good money to get it. But what about connectivity at home?  

Some exciting things have been happening in the connected home space, but we’ve only just begun to tap the potential of the smart home. Most builders know they need to offer it, but can’t figure out how to package, market, deliver, and monetize the value of connectivity in the same way they offer high-end appliances, energy-efficient windows, and other upgrades. They also have concerns about the reliability of high-tech systems, how to ensure security and privacy, who’s responsible to fix things if something goes awry, and if they’ll stay “new” long enough during the life of the home (or at least their 10-year warranty). 

Members of the Best Practice Research Alliance, our collaborative builder community, have asked us to help tackle these issues. (Click here for more about our recent Tech Summit.) Together, IBACOS and the Alliance focus on both the mechanics and the business of delivering home quality and performance. We take a whole house approach to looking at design and construction – how all of the systems work together to deliver greater safety, health, comfort, durability, energy and water efficiency, responsibility and affordability.