Looking ahead at what the future holds in the world of homebuilding, one thing seems clear — smart homes will be smarter and greener than ever before.
This prediction is built on the work already being done by Oklahoma City’s three largest builders, and what they plan to expand upon in 2022.
Home Creations, Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods, and Homes by Taber are all implementing new technology to make their homes both smarter, and environmentally friendly as the market demands change.
This means homes are being built across the Oklahoma City metro with more than just smartphone compatibility and digital gadgetry. Solar power is being implemented into new construction, electric vehicle charging stations are being installed, and even sprinkler systems are adding wifi capability to ensure a yard isn't over- or under-watered.
The Oklahoman interviewed the three builders to get a better sense at what the coming year will bring as part of a series exploring what life and business could look like in the coming year. Some innovations may sound familiar, others not-so-much. For Home Creations, the first up on our list, the future is as bright as the sun.
Home Creations partners with solar energy company
The Moore-based building company said it has partnered with EightTwenty, a new solar energy company, “to put the power in the customers’ hands to build nearly net zero homes that will minimize utility expenses without altering a homeowners’ lifestyle or energy demands.”
A net-zero house makes as much electricity as it uses over the course of a year, so a nearly net-zero house makes nearly as much power as it consumes in a year.
Home Creations said its homes already score 42 to 52 on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index, by RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network. A score of 100 is the "standard new home," and the lower the score, the more energy-efficient.
The partnership with EightTwenty enables Home Creations to build solar-powered homes with energy storage capacity, EV (electric vehicle) chargers — and HERS scores down in the teens, the company said.
The chargers in particular could come in handy as electric vehicle usage is expected to explode over the next decade, and Oklahoma begins discussions over how to best regulate the new technology.
"Solar is part of the future," said Home Creations Chief Operating Officer MJ Farzaneh. "We want to make it simple to add to a home to reduce your energy cost, power your electric vehicle, or to keep your lights on during a storm."
He said Home Creations builds homes with solar, batteries and EV chargers, and homes that are "future ready," meaning they are ready for a buyer to integrate the innovations later.
Solar power can even help increase home values, said Hossein Farzaneh, Home Creations' director of investments.
Tony Capucille, co-founder and CEO of EightTwenty, said solar power provides a "win-win" for this generation of homeowners and the next.
“Solar provides homeowners with energy independence, resilience and a healthier lifestyle. With the inclusion of solar, the average home value increases and utility expenses drop. It’s a win-win for today’s homeowners and for our next generation," Capucille said.