Automation Differentiates One Model Home from the Rest During Minnesota’s Parade of Homes

Iverson Homes partnered with technology integration firm J. Becher & Associates to design an ELAN-based home automation package that distinguishes them from their competition.

Hundreds of builders participate in Minnesota’s annual Parade of Homes, a free tour that showcases the variety of new home opportunities for prospective homeowners in the region. This past spring, local Plymouth, Minnesota-based builder Iverson Homes sought to stand above the rest with a new option: smart home automation. To build an inclusive package and ‘wow’ Parade attendees, they partnered with technology integration firm J. Becher & Associates to design and integrate a fully functional ELAN Entertainment & Control System into their 5,000-square foot Maple Grove model home.

“Every local home builder has the opportunity to showcase models in Minnesota’s Parade of Homes,” J. Becher & Associates’ Travis Hafften explained. “Realtors and home buyers can tour each model for free to determine what each builder can offer them. This year, Iverson Homes wanted to incorporate a cutting-edge home automation package to showcase what the home could do, in addition to what it could look like.”

Within the model home, J. Becher & Associates integrated an ELAN system, based on an ELAN g1 controller, to control the lighting, security, and multi-room audio and video from an ELAN gHR200 remote and gTP7 touch panel, smartphone and tablet. “With ELAN, prospective homeowners can see how easy it is to control the lights, shades, whole home audio system, security system and televisions with the touch of a button,” Hafften said. “It’s one thing to tell them about it, and it’s another thing to show them and let them use the system, which is what we were able to do during the showcase.”

During the Minnesota Parade of Homes event, J. Becher & Associates sought to demonstrate how home automation can take entertainment to the next level. That’s why his team built a cutting-edge multi-room audio system around an ELAN S86A audio controller with six zones of audio, and SpeakerCraft in-ceiling speakers installed throughout. Additionally, the team integrated two 5-channel entertainment theater systems, controlled by ELAN and powered by Sony receivers. Both systems are connected to a Sony Blu-Ray player, while three Sony LED 4K televisions provide the ultimate entertainment system for prospective homeowners.

Both the lighting and security systems are fully integrated with the ELAN smart home control as well, providing maximum functionality and ease-of-use. “The Lutron Caseta lighting system is controlled through ELAN,” said Hafften. “The instant and remote control throughout the entire home is easy for prospective homeowners to understand, and when they see how ELAN enables the automation of lighting ‘scenes’ – each of which automatically incorporates pre-determined settings – they start to really understand how easy a smart home system can be.

The model home’s extensive GE security system is also integrated into the ELAN control system. “If there are issues or a fire, a security dispatch can automatically respond accordingly. The security can even be set remotely through ELAN using the ELAN Mobile app,” Hafften added.

According to Megan Schwartz, Client Services Coordinator at Iverson Homes, automation is an essential next step for builders to consider when appealing to homeowners. “A smart home component is pretty crucial to incorporate into building packages today,” she said. “Prospective home buyers want smart functionality within a new home, and going forward we will always offer a customizable package that gives them the option to incorporate home automation from the very beginning of the home building process.”

Hafften and the J. Becher & Associates team received a significant amount of positive feedback from prospective homeowners during the Parade of Homes, and he looks forward to the next Parade in Spring of 2017. “This program is bound to be a success,” Hafften said. “With ELAN’s ability to incorporate and control lighting, shades, security, entertainment and more, we are able to meet the needs of every future homeowner looking for reliable and robust smart home control.”

For hi-res images, click here.