TECHNOLOGY PROFILE – DESIGN CENTER
This experience center brings to life the amazing world of residential
technology in a real-world setting so clients can make informed decisions.
BY DOUGLAS WEINSTEIN
AS PERFORMANCE HOME STRATEGIES AND METHODOLOGIES CONTINUE TO EVOLVE, and as the supporting technologies keep pace with advances in structural design, cladding materials, resiliency, interior design goals, and wellness initiatives, the smart home technologies that enhance these incredible homes continue to expand as well. Lighting and shading and whole house control are top of mind, but with security, energy management and entertainment options proliferating, it’s no wonder the entire subject matter can present a formidable education hurdle for design-build professionals and consumers who are trying to put all of the parts together to understand what they need, what they might want, and what parts need professional design/integration and what can be done DIY.
And yes, it can be rather confusing because the pace of technological innovation continues to spiral with recent advances that include smart paints which absorbs air pollution, wireless power nodes that charge mobile devices, and personalized air reformers (think purification) units. So in this amazing world of residential technology, how do we bring this to life in a real-world setting that is part education and part entertainment so everyone can get their arms around the possibilities in order to make informed decisions? Experience centers.
seeing is believing
For homeowners engaging in major remodel or new build, they are able to sit down with an architect and kick around ideas. Walls can be moved, windows enlarged, and ceilings heightened before shovel hits dirt. Similarly, builders can explain and, in many cases, show clients the latest in building materials, such as CLT (cross laminated timber), gypsum-cement fire-retardant cladding, and other resilient/sustainable build materials. Similarly, interior designers can order samples so the homeowner has a decent idea of what materials will fit with their vision. But technology is nebulous in most cases and while you can explain dim-to-warm intelligent lighting, there really is nothing like experiencing it firsthand.
The residential technology industry has many manufacturers, distributors and design firms who have experience centers and show rooms for you and your clients to explore and we highly recommend you visiting to see the latest products. Seeing is believing!
One manufacturer with a wide footprint in the residential space is Savant, who has appeared in these pages often over the past five years. Let’s take a look at their latest experience center in New York City.
Savant SoHo smart home gallery
Located at 120 Wooster Street in NYC’s trendy Soho neighborhood, the bi-level 3,700 sq. ft. smart home space will be open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m to 6 p.m.
The company aims to grow awareness about the benefits of embracing smart home technology by offering knowledge sharing and educational experiences in a fun, hands-on and pressure-free environment. Visitors can also buy GE-branded DIY smart home technology and meet with an expert to receive a custom quote and purchase a professionally installed Savant smart home solution.
As the only company that offers best-in-class DIY smart solutions, available at leading retailers, plus professionally installed smart solutions available through a network of authorized integrators and contractors, Savant is in a unique position to introduce smart home technology to a wide audience.
“Until now, there hasn’t been a dedicated, interactive experience that educates consumers at every level and budget on the benefits of smart home and smart power solutions,” said Bob Madonna, CEO. “Savant strives to be innovative at every level, including leading consumer education initiatives that highlight the value of energy management, smart lighting, smart entertainment and more.”
“Savant Soho is a great step forward for us as integrators to be able to get all categories of the Savant smart home in front of key specifiers we work with here at Electronic Concepts. Now we can send architects, designers and builders, without an appointment, to see and experience these technologies in an educational setting that, in the end, benefits anyone involved in bringing our projects to successful completion.”PAUL BOCHNER – ELECTRONIC CONCEPTS
On the first floor, the company will feature an opportunity to see and learn how DIY smart home products can enhance a living space. Savant’s GE-branded Cync™ products will be incorporated into several residential vignettes and visitors can use the intuitive Cync app, powered by Savant to see how products can be easily controlled while at home and away. Hands-on and fun activities, such as creating wall designs using Cync Full Color Light Strips and a color-changing selfie station, are co-located near the vignettes. Future plans include smart workshops, as well as informational and décor focused classes.
Consumers will also benefit from seeing how easy it can be to add smart energy solutions to any home. The Savant Power System can deliver the benefits of smart power to every home and can be designed to control and monitor a few main-use circuits or to manage all loads/circuits across the entire home. A Savant Power System also helps to manage a variety of power resources, including solar, battery and backup generator power, reducing dependency on an aging grid infrastructure.
Smart power solutions are becoming increasingly popular for consumers, forming the foundation of a smart home. Savant technology experts will be available to discuss new federal incentives, designed to increase adoption of residential renewable energy and power management, that make smart power systems more affordable, while helping to enhance energy efficiency and sustainability.
On the lower lever, homeowners looking for professionally installed smart home solutions can go even deeper. Savant experts will be on-hand to discuss and demonstrate how advanced smart entertainment, networking, security, energy, and lighting solutions can elevate even the grandest of homes. For those interested in adding Savant solutions to their living space, a staff member will work side-by-side with consumers to develop a custom plan that delivers premier whole home automation and the ultimate smart home experience.
“Savant SoHo is a totally unique space within the custom integration channel and represents a new approach to presenting smart home to end users. Savant SoHo places an emphasis on lighting control and energy management where traditional smart home showrooms lead with entertainment. We anticipate valuable lead generation from this exciting space.”NICK DECLEMENTE – ELEVATED INTEGRATION