In 1998 only about 38,000 new homes had some type of structured wiring. That number more than doubled to 90,000 new homes in 1999, and this year the figure is predicted to reach 200,000 outfitted with structured wiring.
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Giant Pulte Corp., the nation's largest home builder, inked a deal with Leviton Manufac-turing Co. that will make structured wiring a standard in all its homes throughout the United States. Under the agreement, Leviton Integrated Networks, a home system consisting of low voltage wiring products, will be installed in every home to support satellite and digital television, whole house Internet and networking, multi-room audio and video, home automation and home security applications.
Starting with Texas and Florida, all Pulte homes will be equipped with its national standard package which includes an enclosure box and panel, eight drops, amplifier, wall plates, jacks and connectors. The company will also offer two upgrade packages, and buyers can customize any package to meet their needs. The program will be rolled out nationwide by the second quarter of next year.
"These systems are becoming must-haves for customers to participate in the digital revolution--allowing them to work or do schoolwork at home, or even use the TV as a baby monitor and start the oven by using the phone," said Alan Laing, Pulte's vice president of e-business development.
Pulte's structured wiring package is expected to add only $300 to its new home base price. Like most builders, Pulte has long offered buyers structured wiring as an optional upgrade, but few selected it because of the price, said Pulte spokesperson Valerie Dolenga. "Including structured wiring as standard at a significantly lower price ensures buyers that the homes they buy today will be ready for the future," said Dolenga.
The Fourth Utility
In 1998 only about 38,000 new homes had some type of structured wiring. That number more than doubled to 90,000 new homes in 1999, and this year the figure is predicted to reach 200,000 outfitted with structured wiring. "The need to 'future proof' a home is becoming more and more necessary as increasing numbers of consumers choose to bring technologies once reserved for the workplace into their homes," said Leviton's vice president of marketing and product management Bill Marshall. Marshall predicts that structured wiring will become the fourth utility in new homes, alongside electric, telephone and gas service.
"As these systems get installed into more homes, they will become a critical selling point when homes go onto the resale market. In just a few years, buyers of existing homes will expect a house to be networked."
Leviton's integrated networks system is built around the Structured Media Center, a unit that uses snap-in modules for fast installation, customization and future proofing. This center is linked to QuickPort multimedia outlets that provide room connections for voice, data, video and audio.