Picture this. It’s Sunday. All your buddies are over to watch the Broncos. They follow you into the TV room, and out loud, you say, “It’s game time.” Automatically, the window shades lower. The TV turns on and flips to ESPN. The overhead lights dim, and a row of accent lights throw the Broncos’ colors— white, blue, and orange—onto the walls. Over in the corner, a popcorn maker whirrs to life. All the while, you’re standing there like a king, grinning at your open-mouthed friends.
With a smart system integrated into your home, immersive automations such as this, called “scenes,” are easy to program—with endless options for customization. In a first-of-its-kind partnership, KB Home has teamed up with Google, Nest, and Dish Smart Home Services to equip some of its new homes with the latest smart technology. We spoke with Randy Carpenter, president of KB Home’s Colorado division, and Craig LeMessurier, senior director of corporate communications, about the brand-new KB Smart Home System and the company’s push to bring our living spaces into the future.
How has KB Home started using smart home technology?
Carpenter: “This notion of smart systems is really important at KB. It’s one of the four pillars of our eDifference strategy, which include energy efficiency, water conservation, healthy homes, and smart homes. Our intent is to provide the latest technology in a new home while keeping it affordable. Our system includes a Wi-Fi mesh network created by two transmitters, a Google Home smart speaker, a Google Home Mini smart speaker and a Nest Hello Video doorbell. These are all equipped with Google Assistant technology, which allows people to integrate all their devices. This same Google Assistant technology also works with more than 5,000 smart devices across hundreds of brands.”
How do people make use of the technology?
Carpenter: “One of the most popular components of this system is the Nest Hello doorbell, which is pretty slick. When someone rings your doorbell, you can just glance at your phone and see who it is. You can control the thermostat through your phone as well as a lot of other devices: dimmers on lights, motorized window shades, automatic door locks, alarm systems. People are really enjoying the flexibility. It becomes a lifestyle function.”
LeMessurier: “I’ve heard anecdotally that a lot of buyers enjoy being able to set scenes. The peace of mind that comes with automated security and thermostat control is great, but it’s also fun for people to be able to set mood lighting when they want to.”
When someone buys a new home, do they have to set up the system themselves?
Carpenter: “Customers receive help setting it up. That’s part of the package. We know that people like these conveniences, but they also don’t want the process to be inconvenient. We have a relationship with Dish Network, and their staff will come out to the home after people have closed and will fully integrate all of the components into the house, get everything up and running for the customer in the way that they want to use it. It’s a concierge-type service that we provide. The buyer isn’t left to figure it out for themselves.”
Where can homebuyers find this new tech?
Carpenter: “We recently opened a new community in Thornton, called Homestead Hills, where the KB Smart Home System is an included feature in all the homes. This is the third community that makes the system an included feature, along with the Stapleton Starlight Collection and Meadows Villas in Castle Rock.”
LeMessurier: “And, even if you’re moving into one of our homes outside these three communities, you can always buy the KB Smart Home System as an add-on. Buyers can select the option at the KB Home Design Studio in Centennial.”.