Green Home Builder Offers Home Automation as Standard

Green Home Builder Offers Home Automation as Standard


Tucson, Ariz.-based Pepper Viner Homes is offering Clare Control automation systems in its Stonebridge in the Foothills development—and looks for more smart home automation standard to come.

When Tucson-Ariz.-based homebuilder Pepper Viner Homes wanted a way to distinguish itself beyond the green and sustainable features it touts, it looked to smart home automation systems, and will offer the systems as standard in a new subdivision, and likely others.

“We wanted to find the next thing, and felt we were already the leader in green building in Tucson,” says Pepper Viner Chief Operating Officer Chad Williams.

Pepper Viner’s 10-home Stonebridge in the Foothills subdivision, which will open the second week in October, offers up to 4,000-square-foot homes from $519,900 to $659,900 and will come with Clare Controls’ home automation system, which Williams found at the inaugural TecHome Builder Summit in March.


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The standard smart home systems will operate two zones of stereo speakers for multiroom audio, two lighting dimmers and thermostats and connect to door contacts on exterior doors. It will come with an iPad mini and dock to control the system, with optional upgrade packages for lighting, entertainment and security. Homes will also come with a Wi-Fi router.

Pepper Viner is making home automation standard in its homes.

“We’re not looking to make a profit on this stuff. We’re looking to set ourselves apart,” says Williams of his company’s standard home automation offerings. That’s the sentiment of most builders TecHome Builder has interviewed about standardizing new home technologies.

Williams and his colleagues looked for something new, and they found Clare Controls at the TecHome Builder Summit, in Austin in March. They liked the simple interface and hit if off with Clare’s executive team.


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“We needed to have something that looks built-in. With so many products in the market targeting existing homes and homeowners, it needed to look and feel different than that,” Williams says. Clare Controls fit the bill.

 

Green Building Roots

Pepper Viner had already tried and implemented a lot of green building techniques and practices. The company built a test home with BASF and along with trade partners implemented key building practices such as spray foam insulation, house wrap and window/door wraps. In its La Posada community, it built homes with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and with recycled fly ash in the concrete. The company’s Sunnyside Pointe Villas rentals received LEED certification.

Pepper Viner home exterior.

Pepper Viner is also deeply interested in water conservation, and has installed catch basins and swales to keep water on properties, and has tried graywater recycling via automated Rain Bird irrigation systems. The company is still seeking an energy, water and gas monitoring system.

For its Stonebridge community, though, Pepper Viner will focus on the smart home systems.

Williams said everything in its Stonebridge model will be available, even the televisions. He understands the power of offering technology as standard. “When you have a 46-inch TV in the model home, people ask how much is it to go to the 52-incher. … If it’s there, you have a chance of selling it.”

These are the items in the model being offered through Pepper Viner’s integrator, Area 51:

  • Clare Controls processor
  • Clare Controls thermostat (main living space and master suite)
  • Clare Controls audio zone amplifier (patio and living room zones wired)
  • Clare Controls IP camera (front door)
  • Clare Controls light dimmer switch (front entry, dining chandelier, breakfast table chandelier)
  • InterLogix security alarm – Integrated with Clare Controls
  • Linksys wireless router

Pepper Viner is also looking to put smart home control and automation in another development of 15 lots, with different options packages.

The rear exterior of a Pepper Viner home.

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