Home Technology Integration: The Importance of Early Planning

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What is home technology integration?
Home technology touches every aspect of the design and build process – from lighting, shading, climate control, outdoor comfort, pool, energy management, entertainment, access control, cameras, network, and more. A technology integrator takes all of these features and blends them into one easy-to-use control system. Technology integration requires proper planning, coordination, and the guidance of an expert.

Why do you need a technology integrator?
The integrator designs, engineers, installs, programs, and maintains the system for the life of the home. But, also important, they collaborate with all of the partners on the project. There are a lot of questions that will come up about the electronic system scope of work that need to be answered, so that the architect, designer, electrician, framers, HVAC contractor, cabinet maker, etc. will be able to plan and accommodate accordingly. Questions such as, “What is the power draw of the equipment?” “Where do the outlets go for the TVs?” “How much space and what type of ventilation is needed in the cabinet?” “Is there a lighting control system?” “Does the TV get recessed into the wall?” and so many more. Typically, the general contractor will not have the detailed answers that are needed, especially if there is no plan for home technology in place. By having a technology integrator on board, not only will these questions get answered, but there will be someone to communicate with every step of the way. This will help avoid project delays, change orders, and budget creep.

When do you engage a technology integrator?
The earlier, the better – it’s never too early to start the conversation and have a plan. By not starting the discussion early on, compromises will have to be made, more headaches will occur, and everything will cost more money. If you engage a technology integrator during the very early stages of development, they will be able to advise, so you and your team can be prepared for what is involved throughout all phases of the project. Knowing things like timeline, electrical requirements, equipment room specifications, features, and aesthetics in advance will make for an overall smoother project and a happy client.

Camille St. Cyr is a Technology Specialist for New Box Solutions, a provider of luxury residential and commercial technology systems.