How Smart Is Smart?

Does the Smart House have an IQ? How smart does the house have to be to achieve the “smart” label? Is there a scale of intelligence in today’s homes that have remote-controlled appliances, lighting and entertainment systems?

Well, high-tech homes are among the top construction trends, according to Industry Intelligence from First Research, a division of Hoover’s. The report acknowledges that custom builders are responding to demand from younger consumers who have grown up on electronics and computers. These high-tech consumers want high-tech homes that incorporate advanced data and communications capabilities, with in-wall wiring supporting computer networks, sound systems and entertainment systems throughout the house.

Often, the electronics are controlled from a simple touch pad, which can also control lighting, open and close blinds or curtains, and program heating and cooling systems, both on-site and remotely. Or, the home simply has wireless capability throughout, and a seamless entertainment system controlled in the main room. The “smart” part depends on the lifestyles of the owners and what they will use on a day-to-day basis.

Intelligent systems not only make life easier for homeowners, they also promise increased energy savings. According to the latest issue of Construction Digital magazine at, intelligent systems are among the top areas for green building. Smart systems can coordinate power consumption patterns on city grids, and they can intelligently monitor heating and cooling systems.

Be sure your custom home design and build team or custom remodeler is working with a qualified installer for these electronics systems. An audio/video designer and installer can create a personalized system that is intuitive and reliable for all the systems in your home. They can make it as “smart” as you want it to be.