London based smart home installer Cornflake and manufacturer Legrand have announced an initiative to target property developers working on large scale MDU projects

Already the possessor of a fully equipped showroom to showcase its offering to end users, installers, developers and interior designers, Cornflake has struck a new partnership with Legrand to open a new area of its facility which showcases solutions from the Legrand family suitable for large scale MDU developments.

The partners feel that as property developers have realised they must invest in smart technology to ensure new properties keep pace with digital living demands (particularly for homes at the top-end), they need support and encouragement to build these aspects into their plans.

Keeping abreast of fast paced technological developments and the rapid rise in connected devices is proving a challenge for many housebuilders.

Legrand and Cornflake are looking to offer support with the new training facility at Cornflake’s London HQ, to provide product advice, technical expertise, professional training and an opportunity for hands-on testing.

Created to show systems for efficient heating, ventilation, lighting, CCTV, air conditioning, home entertainment and AV systems, the suite features a home automation system from Legrand, which has been created to be flexible and appeal to a wide range of developers. 

The developer focused area offers a large wall mounted scale plan of an apartment showing the various different aspects of a home that can be controlled via wall mounted Legrand touch-screens.

Developers can also be shown how the systems can be controlled using the same interface but over an Android or iOS handhelds.

The room also has some integrated AV to offer an insight into multi-room music as well as other screens for showing educational videos.
 
Cornflake CEO, Robin Shephard, says: “The rise in demand for turn-key apartments has created a huge opportunity for housebuilders to create homes in which to live, work and play. Modern homes are increasingly energy efficient, but they must be entertainment efficient too. It is predicted by 2020 that the global smart homes market will be a $100bn (£70bn) industry and that entertainment will account for 80% of this.

“It’s hugely important to factor in connectivity from the beginning of a development.  Phone lines, TV and broadband are central to modern living and are now considered essentials, not just desirables. Like basic utilities, new homeowners need immediate online access as soon as they move in.”

Lead marketing manager for Legrand’s wiring devices business, Richard Hayward, adds: “For the bespoke home and penthouse apartment, intelligent control systems are almost ubiquitous. No longer simply about the wow factor, systems that provide smart integration of functions including heating, cooling, lighting, AV and even blind control can also enhance a property’s energy efficiency and enable the occupier to tailor the space to suit their lifestyle.

“As an industry, we have moved beyond simply providing connectivity to suit today’s requirements; developers need to future-proof the technological infrastructure. Many consumers are familiar with smart TVs, but our homes are quickly becoming smarter in other exciting ways. Turning on the heating, lights, opening the gates, or drawing the curtains before we arrive home will be a prerequisite of every new home and developers who think otherwise will be left behind.”

Richard adds: “As more technology becomes available, demands on a building’s infrastructure will increase very quickly, especially over the next couple of years. The nation’s property developers must ensure their homes are not just ready for today’s technology, but also tomorrow’s.”

Robin concludes: “There are undoubtedly challenges to bringing smart homes to the mass market, but those issues will dwindle as digital living becomes more mainstream. The trickledown effect will be quite rapid with companies such as Apple, Google and other trusted brands already offering solutions. It’s going to be hard work but a lot of fun; we hope our new facility will help with education and training, and demystify this wonderful technology.”

Legrand is looking to build on successful projects already completed including ‘One Tower Bridge’ a luxury living experience completed in 2015.

306 apartments offer five star living from an on-site spa and gym, to an indoor golf simulator and around the clock service from a Harrods concierge as well as home automation from Legrand’s Vantage brand.

Another thing to take note of here, is that in terms of automation manufacturers, Legrand is perhaps uniquely placed to judge the readiness of the developer market for a push here as it also supplies so many of the other constituent parts of infrastructure, particularly electrical, that go into a new building.

This connection with the ‘nuts and bolts’ of what projects are happening and when, combined with its decision to make a concerted attempt to raise awareness for smart MDUs, could be taken as a good indicator that the developer market now more receptive and in need of such an initiative than before.

The emphasis is currently on the deal with Cornflake, however Legrand confirmed it was open to talks with other installers to support and develop MDU projects.

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