Brookfield Residential’s newest Smart Home powered by Amazon Alexa in Bristow, Va. demonstrates a large step forward for homebuilders embracing smart home technologies, especially where it comes to improving efficiency
By Sergio Flores
Amazon’s Alexa, whom you might be familiar with thanks to their various sentimental ads on television, sought a builder to partner with that would be able to quickly build a new home that would showcase the wide array of capabilities Amazon Smart Home technology offers. Brookfield Residential, who always strives to go beyond just meeting the needs of their buyers, loved the idea of working with a big name like Amazon and accepted the challenge. After all, smart homes will play a big part in the future of the housing, both in implication and buyers’ expectations.
“We want to ensure that a new home today is ready for the future so it still feels like a new home tomorrow,” explained Gregg Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing for Brookfield Residential’s Washington D.C. metro area. “Technology is changing rapidly, and ensuring that our homes are ready to change with the technology is imminent.”
The best-selling Alexa platform can integrate with a myriad of home systems, including home security, indoor and outdoor lighting, window shades, home entertainment, garage doors, heating and air conditioning, irrigation, Wi-Fi enabled appliances, and schedule reminders. Whether you want to set a mood at dinnertime with lowered curtains and romantic lighting, or change the scene up for homework or bedtime, your voice holds the power. It’s impossible not to see the appeal in controlling lighting, music, temperature, etc. with a simple voice command. And it’s an ability many homebuyers may come to expect sooner rather than later.
The smart home market is expected to surge over the next few years, making this just the beginning for this revolutionary tool. “The best part about The Brookfield Residential Smart Home is that it will adapt as new technology appears,” said Robert Hubbell, division president of Brookfield Residential, Washington D.C. “This was important to us to ensure that the home stays on the leading edge of technology.”
This level of smart home integration in their homes is just the beginning for the builder; Brookfield will continue to polish their smart home strategies as the technology continues to evolve and be integrated by builders. “With the initial introduction of Smart Home technology to our homes complete, we are now looking at ways to expand the program and possibilities,” said Hughes.
“Innovation is in our DNA, so future-proofing is at the forefront of our design process,” said Hughes. “We believe voice-controlled home automation is the logical next step. If other builders follow suit, it would make sense.” Various levels of the voice-enabled home automation will be available immediately in select mid-Atlantic neighborhoods by Brookfield Residential.
Another selling point for smart home technology: it pairs well with energy-efficient endeavors. Although The Smart Home’s focal point is technology and voice-controlled home automation, energy monitoring technology is available to easily track energy usage. Every Brookfield Residential home is equipped with Brookfield Blue energy saving features and environmentally friendly products, including a 3rd-Part HERS rating, WaterSense® bath faucets and showerheads by Delta®, low-E windows, Energy Star® appliances, and low-VOC paints. Brookfield offers add-ons, too, including solar hot water heaters, geo-thermal heating and air conditioning, and more for buyers looking for a touch more of green.
The Smart Home powered by Amazon Alexa is just another project to add to their innovative rolodex of smart home projects. Brookfield’s The PureBlue Home showcased the fusion between the latest technologies in energy efficiency and sustainability, a home which produced more energy than it consumed. And, the homebuilder launched their My Brookfield Home app, a first-of-its-kind app that connects the buyer with the homebuilding process at the touch of their fingertips.
Moving forward, Brookfield will continue to expand on their portfolio, staying in front of new technologies that ameliorate their customer’s lifestyle as well as the home buying and homebuilding experience. “Every time we launch a new concept home or test new products and technologies, we learn,” Hughes said. “Building upon this foundation of knowledge is what has shaped us into true innovators in our field.”
The quickly growing crowd of smart home technologies will undoubtedly change the way we live, build, and buy houses, and builders staying a front of these advancements will remain modern and, more importantly, competitive.
For more information on Brookfield Residential and The Smart Home powered by Amazon’s Alexa, visit www.brookfielddc.com/thesmarthome/
Sergio Flores is an Editor for Builder and Developer magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.