CEA Launches 'TechHome' Pre-wire Guidelines

During last week’s EHX, representatives from the Consumer Electronics Association’s TechHome Division met with me to describe their newly revised TechHome Rating System (THRS), which they call a “build-to specification” for residential technology infrastructure. THRS was created to offer integrators and builders thre
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During last week’s EHX, representatives from the Consumer Electronics Association’s TechHome Division met with me to describe their newly revised TechHome Rating System (THRS), which they call a “build-to specification” for residential technology infrastructure.

THRS was created to offer integrators and builders three levels of structured wiring guidelines to help integrators build a more productive relationship with builders.

The theory was that while builders increasingly see the value of structured wiring, many have remained intimidated by technology and unaware of the custom installation channel. In CEA's 7th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study (2008), when asked who builders sought to install home technology, only 59 percent of the respondents sought custom installers or electronic systems contractors (ESCs). Meanwhile, the study revealed that 73 percent use electrical contractors to install home technology, and 66 percent use security installers--and both of those figures were up over 2007.

CEA says that THRS will assist integrators at better explaining and demonstrating to builders how technology can further enhance the value of the homes they offer, while removing the complexity, difficulties, and frustrations that builders have experienced in the past when adding home technology to their offerings. THRS, in other words, attempts to make sense of the often-unwieldy universe of home technology options.

THRS is broken down into three levels: Bronze, Gold, and Platinum.

Bronze provides the basic wiring infrastructure requirements (style of wire, types of rooms in the home, and type of technology integrated) needed in homes for the distribution of TV and video signals to multiple rooms as well as networking and communications.

Gold expands to more rooms and adds advanced functionality, such as a multi-room audio distribution system for listening to music in rooms throughout the house.

Platinum, the top ranking, further enhances functionality by including a home office space with full networking and communications for “workstyle,” as well as lifestyle convenience.

Each rating provides requirements for safety and security, lighting control and home control.

For a PDF that features details about the pre-wire requirements or “build-to” specifications of each of the three rating levels, click TechHome.

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