Local builder incorporates Alexa into new houses

WASHINGTON — A D.C. area builder is now offering buyers built-in, smart home technology based on Amazon’s artificial intelligence Alexa voice-activated interface.

Brookfield Residential Properties recently opened a model home with the Smart Home powered by Amazon Alexa feature at its Avendale community in Bristow, Virginia, and is now offering the package at homes it’s building in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

More than just an Echo device on the kitchen counter, the entire Alexa ecosystem is incorporated throughout the design.

So what does that mean for homeowners?

“Locking doors, turning off lights, lowering blinds, turning on appliances, of course all the audio/visual type of interaction. Potential homeowners have really seen the value of how we will live moving forward,” Gregg Hughes, Brookfield vice president of sales and marketing, told WTOP.

Brookfield is including a basic smart package for all buyers at its current communities that includes Alexa, dimmers throughout the house, wireless thermostats, doorbells and cameras. From there, buyers can upgrade the package with other enhancements.

Brookfield said it collaborated closely with Amazon to introduce voice-enabled automation into its home designs.

The cost is minimal, according to Hughes.

“From a cost standpoint, it really is just wiring the home a little bit differently and making sure we have some wireless access points throughout the house to better hook up devices in the future,” Hughes said.

And integration includes a “future-proof” design, with Brookfield and Amazon collaborating to include infrastructure that will ensure new capabilities can be added as they become available.

In addition to its Avendale project, Brookfield is building the smart homes in its newer communities including Potomac Shores in Prince William County, Virginia; Travilah Station in North Potomac, Maryland; and Heritage Shores, an active lifestyle community for those 55 and older in Bridgeville, Delaware.


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