John Anderson is executive director of Kier Living. In this blog John discusses why technology should be embraced by housing developers and how it could help to improve energy efficiency. 

“Companies across the world are embracing new technology every day in an effort to make their product or service, better, faster, smarter, more reliable or customer friendly and housing developers are no different. 

A YouGov report published last year found that 23 per cent of UK homes now has at least one smart home device – a number which is sure to continue to grow. As a developer of new homes, we would be foolish to ignore the clear growth in the number of people that want some form of smart tech in their home.  It’s clear that these innovations are being valued more and more by potential buyers and we need to recognise that, or risk falling behind the competition.

There is no reason for us not to embrace new technology as we are always looking at ways to improve the lives of our customers and smart homes can certainly do that. Whether it is working to improve access to high speed internet or enabling a buyer to move in to a new home with a full suite of smart technology, we can and should be at the forefront of innovation in this area.

Our recent collaboration with Google to roll out Google Nest products in our show homes across the country is testament to this. Under this scheme, buyers wanting to purchase a smart home can do so by ordering one of our Google Nest packages and benefit from the hardware being installed before they move in.

We do understand however that a home full of smart technology isn’t for everyone. It’s interesting to note another statistic in the report – which says that 76 per cent of people who don’t own a smart device wouldn’t go out and buy one. So, if we are going to incorporate smart home technology into our designs, we therefore need to strike a balance between attracting those who value these devices and not putting off those who are wary of them.

This is where we need to find a balance. For me, the logical first step in a homeowner’s smart technology journey is energy efficiency.

The Google Nest products available to our customers include their smart thermostat. This device can save people money on their energy bills and cut the amount of energy used and can be used alone or as part of the full suite of products.  

As an industry, and as a society, we all have a responsibility to reduce our energy consumption, partly to allay concerns over our future energy supplies, but mainly as one part of the crucial fight against climate change.

Our industry is embracing its responsibility to help create a more sustainable world.  The bulk of this conversation is around construction, but why stop making a difference when we hand over the keys to a new home if we can influence its impact for years to come?

We’re all starting to dip our toes in the water when it comes to bringing new innovations to our homes.  Let’s start this process in a way which brings the most benefit, not just to ourselves and our customers, but to the world.”

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