The National Association of Home Builders awards cutting-edge products, services, and communities through its Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program every year. These 2020 winners offer smart tech focused on wellness for homeowners and the environment, and showcase the latest product and technology innovations enhancing the industry and housing’s capabilities.
Finalists and winners include an all-in-one energy center, AI-powered washer and dryer, and an Amazon-like construction service.
“The products and services highlighted by the Global Innovation Awards give a glimpse into how companies around the world are advancing by introducing new ideas and technologies,” said Jillian Pritchard-Cooke, chair of the NAHB GIA Program, mentioning an addition to this year's program. “We added an exciting new category, International Home of the Year, showcasing the integration of high-performance, sustainable building practices.”
The new International Home of the Year category awards a project that addresses socio-economic challenges. Each submission category had its own panel of judges ranging from researchers to architects, journalists to engineers.
Below we take a closer look at the finalists and overall winners in the two products-focused categories:
Exterior/Interior Product of the Year
Finalists in the Exterior/Interior Product of the Year category were Flo by Moen, LG Electronics’ LG STUDIO WashTower, and Schneider Electric’s Square D Energy Center. Schneider Electric’s energy center, described by the company as an “electrical panel with a digital makeover,” took home the prize.
Wiser Energy monitoring system
Square D Energy Center by Schneider Electric
The Square D Energy Center claims to be an all-in-one energy solution that makes a home’s electrical system safer and more efficient. The energy center’s code-compliant technology and algorithms protect against fires, electroshocks, and surges, according to Schneider Electric.
It’s integrated with the company’s Wiser Energy intelligence solution that allows homeowners to manage and review their energy usage across all devices and associated costs through one app. It combines an array of smart home tech, including electric vehicle connectivity, a solar inverter, a backup interface module, and a backup-ready panel.
Builder KB Home and Schneider Electric announced a partnership this year that will make the Square D Energy Centers and connected Wiring Devices a standard in the builder’s new Sundance at Park Circle community located in Valley Center, Calif.
Flo by Moen
Flo by Moen gives homeowners the ability to review all water usage and protect their homes from water damage. The system consists of a smart water shutoff, smart water detector, and smartphone app, and it’s proven to reduce water damage by 96%, says Moen. When combined and placed throughout the home, the monitors will notify homeowners of any moisture detected outside pipes and allows them to turn off the water through their phones. Homeowners can also monitor daily water usage and set goals to save water and money.
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LG STUDIO WashTower by LG Electronics
LG Electronics’ LG STUDIO WashTower utilizes artificial intelligence to determine washing and drying temperatures, motions, and more for each load. Its TurboWash function can get laundry done in less time, and in between washes, the TurboSteam capability can refresh clothes and other fabrics. The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) awarded the WashTower for its advanced capabilities.
Technology/Education Service of the Year
In the Technology/Education Service of the Year category, SWiDGET, Tranquility by Trane, and Veev were deemed finalists, with SWiDGET taking home the winning title.
Temperature and humidity insert
SWiDGET is another smart technology system that gives more monitoring power to homeowners. In this case, it uses a system of outlets and inserts that work as power monitors, easily viewed through the company’s accompanying app. It works with existing wiring, and the system's integrated outlet can handle different functions based on the chosen outlet insert, such as a video camera, speaker, voice assistant, and emergency light. SWiDGET makes it easier for homeowners to use different technologies as they emerge without the need for new devices to be installed, all they have to do is switch out the insert.
Tranquility by Trane
Tranquility by Trane focuses on providing the healthiest indoor environment for homeowners through a reliable HVAC design solution, the company says. It provides the design as a service to builders and utilizes other Trane products to grant homeowners easy access to indoor air quality monitoring.
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Finalist Veev claims to be “Amazonifying” the home building industry through an end-to-end system. Similar to how Amazon can drop a package off the next day through its distribution centers across the country, Veev does the same with prefab facilities near construction sites. And when it provides those prefab elements to the jobsite, each wall will include smart devices and sensors to offer homeowners complete home control.
Submissions for the NAHB 2021 Global Innovation Awards are open now through October 18 and includes new, updated submission categories: Home of the Year, Building Materials and Construction Components, Research and Exchange, Special Purpose Project, and Land Planning.