WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — Custom- and semi-custom builders are rapidly adding central vacuum systems to their list of standard features in upscale homes in an effort to make their homes easier to sell and more appealing to buyers who demand a healthier living environment and built-in convenience.
A recent study by the National Association of Homebuilders found that approximately one-third of new luxury homes and one-fifth of “move up” homes built in 2006 featured central vacuum systems.
Larry Hartley, vice president of sales and marketing for Electrolux Central Vacuum Systems, which manufactures Beam, Electrolux and Eureka central vacuum systems, says the popularity of central vacuum systems among custom- and semi-custom builders has increased during the past year. Hartley attributes the interest in central vacuum systems to the rapid growth in green building and the need for builders to differentiate their homes in a challenging market.
Fueled by a 2002 clinical study of allergy patients that proved using a Beam Central Vacuum improved allergic rhinitis symptoms as much as 61 percent, many of the nation’s leading green building programs recommend or require central vacuum systems. In fact, the NAHB’s National Green Building Standards that are slated to be ratified in February will award five points toward green certification for homes that include central vacuums. The point total is greater than the number of points awarded to a variety of other indoor environmental quality practices such as air filtration and ventilation systems.
Ron Jones, owner of Sierra Custom Builders and a member of the steering committees that developed both the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes and the NAHB Green Building Standards, says central vacuum systems have long been standard equipment in his custom homes.
“They stopped being an option for us years ago,” he said. “We want all of our customers to benefit from the improved indoor air quality, superior cleaning and convenience that results from using a properly designed and installed central vacuum system.”
Hartley says the integrated system will speed the inclusion of central vacuums as standard features in new homes. A recent National Association of Homebuilders study found that nearly one-third of new luxury homes and 15 percent of “move up” homes were equipped with central vacuum systems.
The National Association of Realtors has identified central vacuum systems as a significant differentiator that can help homes sell faster, or sell at a higher price than similar homes without systems. Hartley notes that several of the nation’s leading builders this year have committed to installing Beam systems as standard features in green developments as well as communities designed for active adults because central vacuum systems make their homes stand out.
“Including central vacuum systems as standard features is the kind of fresh thinking that’s helping builders compete in a challenging economic environment,” says Hartley..
Electrolux Central Vacuum Systems is the world’s leading producer and marketer of built-in central vacuums. The company’s Beam, Electrolux and Eureka Central Vacuum Systems are sold in 50 countries around the world. Electrolux Central Vacuum Systems is a division of Electrolux Home Care Products North America. For more information, or to locate a dealer, visit www.beam.com.