With Internet of Things technology powering a growing number of devices in buildings, real-time updates from cloud-stored data becoming the daily norm, and remote management now at consumer fingertips, the idea of personalized building automation has taken on a life of its own.
“We used to spend the majority of our time installing high-end audio/visual systems, but now we install everything from climate control to lighting, window treatments, security, and more, into living and work spaces,” said Lee Travis, owner of Wipliance LLC.
Travis launched Wipliance in 2006 and operates the Bellevue headquarters location; a second location in Scottsdale, Arizona; and an electrical-contracting company. In total, his combined workforce is now 30 strong.
Today, the company supports residential installs, as well as notable commercial building projects such as the new SPIRE luxury condominium tower in downtown Seattle. Other commercial customers include restaurants and bars, tenant improvement contractors, and companies looking to automate board rooms or other conference spaces.
On April 11th, a series of events atop the Peak Lounge in the Kinects Apartment tower transformed this sky-high venue into an informative neighborhood showcase and a celebration for hundreds of current and prospective homeowners at NEXUS. Presented by Seattle Magazine, the exhibition included The Downtown Seattle Association, LID I-5, NHL Seattle, Waterfront Seattle, the Washington State Convention Center expansion and NEXUS, which stands front and center in the fastest-growing neighborhood on the West Coast.
“Burrard Group hosted an extraordinary event that illuminated how the northern migration of downtown Seattle positions our homebuyers at the nexus of all,” said Matt VanDamm, Vice President of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). “We certainly share in the excitement for this pivotal development.”
The events kicked off with a broker luncheon and open house followed by a GeekWire podcast presented by the FutureCast Forum on “High-Tech, High-Rise Living”. Moderator Brian Westbrook hosted panelists including urban living specialist Julie McAvoy of RSIR, development strategist Billy Mainguy of Burrard Group, home automation expert, Lee Travis of Wipliance and real estate economist Brian O’Connor of O’Connor Consulting Group. Among the key findings, downtown Seattle is entering a housing cycle of increased homeownership following a record number of apartments being built, largely fueled by a tech-driven economy. Consumers desire a progressive, in-city lifestyle that is optimized by home automation and a sense of community that is activated by exclusive to building apps and thoughtful amenities that encourage owners and friends to converge and connect. Meanwhile, NEXUS was notably referenced as the archetype of such next generation development and remarkably, it is the only residential opportunity offered for individual homeownership in the burgeoning neighborhood.
“We forecast strong job growth and housing demand to continue well into the next decade as Seattle’s tech hub resists any slowdown that may be experienced in the national economic cycle,” said O’Connor. “The challenge however, will be affordability. New developments like NEXUS are experiencing construction hard cost increases of 6-8% per year, which increases the price of supply ahead.”
Bellevue, Wash.-based Wipliance receives 2019 Consumer Technology Association TechHome Division Integrator of the Year Award at CES 2019.
“I have been coming to CES for 33 consecutive years and I was still just as excited to attend the show as I was for the very first time,” said Lee Travis, owner of Wipliance, a Bellevue, Wash.-based custom integration firm as he accepted the Consumer Technology Association’s TechHome Division’s 2018 Integrator of the Year at CES 2019. Travis’ ability to maintain that youthful exuberance for his business and the technology is among the reasons his company was recognized by the CTA.
The CTA Integrator of the Year Award is presented to a custom integration company that has shown proven leadership both inside and outside the industry.
Wipliance is the No. 62 company on the CE Pro 100 with $4.6 million in revenues from 151 custom installs. That equates to $30,464 per install. The company is also one of the most efficient in the industry, producing $230,000 in revenue per employee from its 20 staff persons.
Wipliance offers solutions for audio video and smart automation that are unique to the homeowner and their lifestyle, and easily customizable to add value to the space. The company works with high-end homeowners as well as business owners for retail, restaurants and office spaces.
Based in Bellevue, Wash., Wipliance recently opened a second location in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company is highly engaged in the industry as a member of the CE Pro 100, as well as the Control4 Circle of Excellence for 2018.
Recognizing the finest achievements in custom installation and the best new custom-installation-targeted products and installations the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in conjunction with CE Pro magazine announced the winners of the 2019 TechHome Mark of Excellence Awards at CES 2019, Las Vegas.
Presented in an evening ceremony at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, the Mark of Excellence Awards recognize groundbreaking residential custom installation projects performed by professional integrators, as well as consumer technology products and services that are primarily targeted at the custom installation channel.
The 168 entries were judged by an independent panel of industry experts. Winners of these prestigious awards receive exposure via the websites and print publications from the Consumer Technology Association and CE Pro.
The tech industry has planted deep roots in the greater Seattle area, and it was only going to be a matter of time before it made its mark on housing. It has been a lot of fun to integrate more innovative technology into our homes, such as “smart” thermostats and remote lighting controls. But, just as transitional design fuses modern materials with more classic architectural design, cutting-edge components are seamlessly integrated within tried-and-true planning to deliver the best of both worlds. After all, who would want to live inside a server room?
We look at technology in terms of how it can relevantly enhance the classic comforts of home. These are some of the trends that we see continuing into the near future – you’ll notice lots of the familiar on a larger, more luxurious scale. Ultimately, we all want to love where we live.