Home integrator ELAN and Maryland-based Chesapeake Systems Service recently built the 1,800-square-foot CSS Experience Center, changing the traditional relationship between custom builders and technology integrator.
The model apartment in the Mid-Atlantic region includes a full living room, dining room, kitchen, and home theater. “Usually, integrator cater directly to their clients during a project, and in doing so, they work around builders, architects and designers. Our CSS Experience Center helps to change the narrative,” explained Jack Rainey, General Manager of Chesapeake Systems Service. “We designed a showroom that demonstrates how sophisticated technology can seamlessly and invisibly integrate into a custom build.”
The CSS Experience Center is built with the intention for visitors, such as custom build professionals as well as end-customers, to experience the technology without seeing it. All integrated tech was designed to be “invisible”, with a television tucked behind motorized wall art, and blended in-ceiling speakers. The technology is able to enhance the home experience without disturbing a home’s design.
CSS installed an ELAN gSC10 Controller to serve as the home control hub. It controls invisible thermostats, a full QMotion dual hardwired shading system, a SpeakerCraft MRA-664 Multi-Room Audio System with invisible speakers, a full 4K Atmos custom HDR home theater designed by CinemaTech, and an “invisible” television hidden behind retracting artwork.
“Press one button on ELAN HR200 remote or flushed-in ELAN TP7 touch panel, and the shades will open, the 85-inch Sony TV will appear from behind an art piece, and the home theater will power up. It’s extremely impressive, especially for visiting builders and architects who could not detect the room’s technology while hidden,” Rainey explained.
According to Rainey, the CSS Experience Center is critical for future technology integration as it relates to the custom builder market. “We show instead of tell. It’s all about the experience, and we’re excited to create that instead of just talking about it,” he said.
“Smart homes are here to stay, and an increasing number of technology integrator are expanding their business into the builder channel,” Core Brands Director of Builder Sales Bret Jacob said today. “The CSS Experience Center is not a traditional showroom. Rather, it’s a dynamic home environment that lets visitors experience the ‘wow’ of smart home automation.”