According to Mordor Intelligence, the smart home market will grow to an estimated $313.95 billion by 2026. It also includes a projected 1.134 million single-family housing starts by the end of 2021, 1.165 million starts for 2022, and 1.210 million starts in 2023.
With 81% of all home buyers saying they are more likely to purchase a new home with smart products installed — and 60% willing to pay more for smart features — here’s an overview of the top three technologies in demand and applicable building code updates for smart home construction.
HVAC and Climate Control Systems
In recent years, HVAC has become the most-requested technology in the smart home market, surpassing even home security. Buyers want smart climate control systems that maintain comfortable humidity levels, mitigate the spread of viruses, and improve energy efficiency.
To meet this demand, contractors will need to brush up on the requirements spelled out in the 2019 California Title 24, the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IEEC), and the federal government’s ENERGY STAR® program.
Title 24, the law of the land in California, is a de facto standard for many contractors in all 50 states. Its most recent update pertinent to smart home climate control involves duct testing, HVAC sizing, and thermostats. In addition, the 2021 IEEC provides the latest compliance approaches to achieving residential energy efficiency, especially with mechanical and water heating systems. Lastly, contractors must ensure new single-family homes are up to date meeting energy-efficiency requirements so those dwellings can earn ENERGY STAR certification.
Security and Surveillance
Previously, this was the leading category on smart home wish lists, with more than 60% of home buyers wanting smart locks and alarms, video doorbells, surveillance cameras, and the ability to monitor their house via their smart phone.
Although there are no pertinent building codes for this category, there may be codes developed in the near feature that consider egress options — like smart locks, garage door openers, and video doorbells — from a cybersecurity perspective.
Security applications most often use 22 AWG, 4-conductor cable. In addition, shielded RG59 coaxial cable commonly connects surveillance cameras to a digital video recorder.
Lighting and Window Coverings
Almost always near the top of every home buyer’s list is smart lighting technology. It enables homeowners to program lights and window shades to automatically adjust at scheduled times, either by phone app or proprietary keypads.
Driving this part of the industry is the 2019 California Title 24. This update made major changes to light source markings and JA8 performance requirements, new exterior and interior light source categories and compliances, and language clarification for interior switching devices
In part two, we’ll cover additional smart technology categories, including one that all new and existing homes should have!