Second City Savant(s)

Savant’s smart home integration system provides for the ability to easily capture, save, and revisit multiple settings – or “themes” – on a room-by-room basis. (Photo courtesy of Savant.)

By Larry Berliant, Berliant Builders, Inc.

Some NextHaus Alliance (NHA) members, courtesy of NHA partner Joe Barrett of Barrett’s Technology Solutions , recently journeyed to New York City for in-house presentations on cutting-edge smart home automation and lighting technology.  The NHA was represented by Barrett’s, Kipnis Architecture + Planning, and Berliant Builders, Inc. .

The demonstrations in NYC by Savant , USAI , Delos, and Lutron were notable for many reasons.

We were particularly impressed with Savant’s smart home automation system, which has the capacity to seamlessly integrate multiple functionalities of a “smart” home – including HVAC, lighting, security, and audio-visual systems – with the push of a button.  Savant’s system is set apart from the competition by its intuitive, easy-to-use interface, which allows for infinite customization by the home owner without constant calls to service technicians or technical skills greater than those needed to operate an iPhone.  It takes the “scary” out of “smart.”


Extraordinary automatic shading and LED lighting effects on display at Lutron’s showroom in Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Joe Barrett.)

As contractors, Berliant Builders focused on the installation of Savant’s smart home products, and was pleased to learn that they are “modular” in the sense that they can serve as either the “hub” for an entire-home system or be installed on a room-by-room basis.  We’re excited to present this technology to both our new-home construction clients and as a retrofit to existing homes.

Moreover, it was encouraging to discover that Savant shares the NHA’s vision of building smart, resilient and sustainable homes.  For example, beyond its smart home automation system, Savant presented intriguing products that work to reduce plug load (the electricity consumed by devices that are plugged in but not being used) as well as advance a home’s capacity to cheaply and efficiently rely on internal battery storage, making the home both more-resilient during a power outage and more-sustainable in its ability to “switch off” from the grid during peak, “rush hour” power times.

This “field trip” to New York reinforced NHA members’ belief that these will be standard components in homes of the future, and that the time is rapidly approaching where home buyers won’t be asking “Is this a smart home?” but “How smart is this home?”

Berliant Builders is a core member of the NextHaus Alliance. The NHA is grateful to Barrett’s Technology Solutions as well as its New York City hosts for allowing us the in-person opportunity to better educate ourselves, and our clients, on the products of tomorrow.


A demonstration of the many beneficial aspects of a Naava “green wall” at Delos’s HQ in Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Joe Barrett.)