Approximately 22 percent of U.S. residents have a home theater system in their homes, according to Parks Associates, a leading market research and consulting firm that provides information and analysis on emerging technologies.

Home technology installations, according to the Home Technology Alliance, are expected to expand to a $9.6 billion business in 2007.

These represent a growing sample of statistics of a home building market that is exploding as more and more houses are built with technology needs in mind. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, 34 percent of homebuilders now offer structured wiring packages as standard or optional amenities. If you are a builder in the 66 percent who does not offer these services, the time to move is now. The good news is that there is a newly-created organization whose sole purpose is to assist builders interested in entering this burgeoning field.

The Home Technology Alliance, a partnership between the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA), is offering new home-technology related tools as a way to keep builders current on home automation practices and trends. Its mission is to offer education and information to home builders on options for integrating home automation in both new home planning and construction, and in remodeling of existing structures. As part of the effort, new resources will include:

  • A special section on nahb.org dedicated to home technology, featuring a link to CEDIA's Electronic Systems Contractor Directory.
  • Monthly e-newsletter (click here) with articles, news, tips and links to resources.
  • Education offerings to help builders learn about home technology and electronic systems integration.

"Builders need to keep up to date and continually be educated about this ever-evolving technology," said Alex Hannigan, a builder from Orlando, Fla., and chairman of NAHB's Custom Home Builders Committee, which oversees this new joint effort. "We are delighted to have CEDIA as the founding sponsor of this forward looking initiative."

The NAHB-CEDIA partnership was announced at the Electronic Lifestyles® Conference in Las Vegas in recognition of growing consumer interest in home technology applications.

"The Home Technology Alliance is the next logical step in bridging the gap between increasing consumer demand for technology-driven amenities and the residential building industry," said Utz Baldwin, vice president of CEDIA. "This new alliance is designed to engage NAHB and CEDIA members, and deliver programs to demystify the fastest changing segment of the home building industry."

"Electronic Systems Contractors are emerging as not only a primary trade, but also a core component of the building design team," added Baldwin. "NAHB and CEDIA are logically positioned to capture their expertise and offer builders, architects, and designers a new resource to learn about the features, benefits, best practices, and design considerations associated with emerging home technologies."

The most popular emerging home technologies include:

  • Home Theater: A room dedicated solely to the viewing of movies and programs, designed with aspects such as sound quality in mind.
  • Media Room: Designed as a multipurpose room for all types of media: print, video and audio. Plus, media servers that can store limitless amounts of music and movie files, and iPod docking stations are built directly into the home.
  • Security, Lighting and Automation: Safety with environmental considerations with online systems that can be managed anywhere, anytime.
  • Games & Toys: With video game consoles and extended hand-held and other accessories, game rooms warrant space; homes are being built with large spaces dedicated to entertainment.

Builders should take note of CEDIA's "10 Smart Consumer Electronic Tips for the Home Environment," which begins with the tip, "wire for everything now." If you are a builder or remodeler, make it your business to stay current and to offer the home technologies consumers are demanding.

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