Building Sustainable Homes with a Modern Design

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Long before there was such a thing as “influencers,” Interior Designers had influence over their client’s purchasing decisions. For environmentally-focused designers like Jo Alcorn, founder and principal of Alcorn Home Design & Build, smart home technology is part of the picture, in steering homeowners towards a sustainable future.

While Alcorn says that she’s “been designing things since I was a kid,” sustainability has been a core principle since she launched her company in 2005. “I think sustainability should be our everyday way of thinking. I only source sustainable products,” she says. That said, she recognizes that it can be hard for clients to add extra upfront costs into their budget. “It can be a major sales pitch.

But she feels that things are changing. With smart home technology becoming more prevalent and growing concerns about rising energy costs, talking about energy conservation “is becoming a very easy conversation,” says Alcorn, particularly with products such as the Wiser Energy Smart Home Monitor, which she finds “sells itself.”

Wiser Energy Smart Home Monitoring System

I recently learned about the Wiser Energy Smart Home Monitor and I thought it sounded fabulous,” she says. At the first opportunity, she presented the system to a client who was equally enthusiastic and is installing it in their home. “It was an easy sell once they saw what it could do,” says Alcorn. “It’s like an Apple Watch for your house, monitoring its heartbeat and so on.”

The Wiser Energy Smart Home Monitor gives owners 24-hour a day monitoring of their household appliances, lighting, heating, and cooling systems, and more. The system provides real-time energy consumption data and the peace of mind that they can manage the system remotely. Worried you might have left the stove on? You can check via the app. You can also use the app to turn some lights on for added security wherever you are.

WiFi-enabled Square D Switches

Schneider Electric also has a full line of stylish Square D™, X, and XD WiFi-enabled switches that put even more control and monitoring capabilities into the hands of homeowners. These WiFi-enabled switches and outlets can be controlled via the Wiser Home app, and Alexa or Google Home. This gives homeowners the ability to, for example, create custom lighting sequences while simultaneously monitoring energy consumption.

These stylish, durable, easy-to-install smart switches also offer homeowners unprecedented design versatility. The screwless covers simply snap into place, allowing owners to effortlessly change the colors, style, or finish of their smart switches and outlets.

These new features consolidate into fewer products giving customers every benefit in any device they do pick with a minimalist, easy to clean aesthetic. It’s all a variation on the same theme: flush-mounted, easy to install, and connected options.

I am so excited that this product has come out. It makes so much sense when it comes to the design aesthetics,” says Alcorn. “I use them for all of my projects. I can’t stand looking at the screwheads on the old system. Why wasn’t this invented earlier?

We’re all overworked and stressed. We really need to find balance in our lives, and smart home technology is one of the things that can help us do that,” she says. “It gives you that peace of mind knowing that all of your stuff – the lights, the oven, the heating system – is monitored.”

The energy savings that come from being able to monitor your energy consumption and make adjustments become part of the sales pitch. While there are some additional upfront costs, Alcon can confidently tell her clients, “You’ll save a lot of money in the future.”

Changing Perspectives

But Alcorn wants to impart her perspective beyond just her own clients. “As Designers we have to start the conversation about sustainability,” she says. “This is something we should have been talking about years ago.”

Still, she feels reason for optimism. “I really think that sustainability is beginning to become the norm.”

As smart home technology, including Wiser Energy Smart Home Monitor, becomes increasingly accessible and easy to use, more homeowners will be able to track their electrical usage and make sustainable living part of their lifestyle.

As a designer, take the opportunity to educate your clients on how these new discoveries can help them do their part for the environment, while also making their lives easier and more manageable. Click here to learn more.

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