In this week’s Green Building Perspectives, we sat down with David Rodarte, President and COO of NuVo Technologies. NuVo will be supporting the home’s whole home audio system with its revolutionary Essentia E6G, the first system of its kind to earn the coveted ENERGY STAR rating for its low energy consumption. As a company, NuVo has been at the forefront of the green movement in the consumer electronics space.
What do you think of the Green Life Smart Life Project? What interested your company in the GLSL project?
We were highly intrigued by Green Life Smart Life from the minute we heard about it. In particular, the project appealed to us because it was focused on showing and proving that green-conscious lifestyles and consumer electronics usage weren’t mutually exclusive concepts.
NuVo has long been a proponent of the greening of electronics. In 2007, we debuted the first whole home audio system to earn the ENERGY STAR: our Essentia E6G system, which has been incredibly well-received not only for its energy efficiency but also for its performance and value. Our use of digital amplification throughout our line greatly reduces the heat that our whole home audio products once generated, and thus further reduces our systems’ energy consumption. Our OLED Control Pads consume less energy (and look better) than the LCD controllers used by other players in our category.
We’re even about to introduce a whole home audio system called Renovia that uses the existing electrical wiring in a home to deliver audio and associated metadata throughout the house. Traditionally, you need to pull new wire all over a home to get quality whole home audio to each room; with Renovia, your audio uses wiring that’s already there. Not only will Renovia give whole home audio an attractive appeal to existing homeowners, but it also eliminates the need for installers to run a lot of fresh copper wiring.
Green Life Smart Life is a great rallying point for our industry in terms of rethinking how we do business. We want to support that effort, because the custom installation industry needs to stay relevant and in step with the times and with social mores. At NuVo, we’ve been thinking about how we can become greener for years. We have aggressively moved to rethink and reduce our use of hazardous materials, to rethink and reduce our packaging, to rethink and reduce our manufacturing waste. We instituted a company-wide recycling program. A lot of that sounds like common sense and, to be frank, a lot of it IS common sense. But just because things make sense doesn’t mean a company will commit and follow through on them. It takes an organizational will, a direction, and the dedication of the people who work for the company. We’re so fortunate that, as a company, we employ people who want to make a positive difference.
Where does your company see green building going in the next five years?
Obviously, new construction will become greener over the coming years. Projects like Green Life Smart Life will help to educate the consumer on housing choices they can make that are smart and responsible. There are proactive efforts by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) that are providing leadership for both builders and electronics manufacturers to offer energy-smart products and lead to good practice standards. Not only is this trend encouraging for the planet, but it’s also encouraging for our nation’s economic recovery. Innovation like green building is going drive this recovery, and products like ours that support energy-efficient, environmentally responsible lifestyles will only become more attractive to home buyers over time.
We view green building really as more of an opportunity than a challenge. In many ways, taking green building, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness into account helps us become more efficient as a manufacturer. By thinking through smart decisions to reduce materials, you ultimately reduce your expenses as a manufacturer. A traditional power supply for an audio system can weigh two or more pounds; a more energy-efficient digital power supply is weighed in ounces. You use less copper, you reduce the size of the amplifier box, you incur less shipping expense in terms of weight and size, you produce less material to recycle or reuse at the end of the product’s life cycle. It all adds up to a better value for the consumer, for the manufacturer, and for the planet.
Do you think green practices/manufacturing will ever dominate your business?
I believe the consumer electronics industry will be proactive in best practices and that manufacturers will be responsive to consumer preferences for green products. It will become a standard way of doing business for our industry to practice green standards. NuVo will remain at the forefront of this effort.
What do you think installers need to do, or prepare to do, to take full advantage of the green movement?
Installers need to become educated and aware about green. Good green practice presents many opportunities that can make a difference in an installer’s bottom line. The installer can reduce material usage, such as copper cabling. The installer can implement smart designs that utilize low-energy-consumption appliances, or provide controls that shut down electronics when not in use. The installer can manipulate a home to be most efficient in general power consumption, utilize lighting control to reduce light output to an optimum level instead of just “on”, control HVAC temperature cycling. The list just goes on and on. A green-aware installer can truly make a difference… and profit from it as well.