Exceptional Innovation (EI) said its Lifeware home control and automation software will be available in packaged form to members of the Custom Builders USA (CBUSA) organization.

CBUSA is a $2 billion management company that currently develops and maintains 12 local networks of nearly 350 custom builders. It acts like a buying group, using its national footprint to hooks its members up with service vendors and product manufacturers at lower costs and higher levels of service through its Partners in Quality (PIQ) program, of which EI is now a part.

CBUSA members will be able to sell “good, better, best” home control packages to homebuyers, with installation performed by local Lifeware-certified dealers. If a builder would prefer to use an installer that is not Lifeware-certified, EI will certify that installer.

“We are taking an out-of-the-box approach to bringing custom home builders and home technology integration together naturally in the building process,” said EI Vice President of Sales Steve Cashman. “It should be both easy and profitable for builders to specify technology into their homes and have qualified installation companies complete the experience. Our relationship with CBUSA now allows builders nationwide to bundle Lifeware packages into the homes they are building so homebuyers have access to state-of-the-art home entertainment and automation systems at competitive prices.”

“Lifeware makes home automation easily understandable, and the simpler it is to understand, both in terms of how much money a builder can make and what it takes to make it work, the easier it is to increase the success of introducing technology into the home,” said CBUSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Odess. “Matching the installer base with packages they can easily sell through to builders also increases the long-term growth potential and overall success of this category.”

EI isn’t stopping with CBUSA. It took the opportunity to announce its Lifeware Builder Program, a set of packaged installations at fixed prices with fixed kickbacks to builders.

There are five programs available, each of which up the ante over its predecessor. There is the basic Lifeware Media Room Package, which includes Lifeware, a Windows Media Center, an A/V receiver, a 50-inch plasma display with wall mount, high-end speakers and two automated lighting control zones; the Lifeware Home Theater Package, which adds a DVD player, six automated lighting control zones, an A/V rack, a power/UPS conditioner and universal remote; the Lifeware Essential Package, which adds an Xbox 360 Media Center Extender, six multi-source, whole-house audio zones, six speaker pairs, 12 automated lighting control zones, an automated thermostat, the Life|ware Security System Interface, an IP surveillance camera and a network switch; the Lifeware Deluxe Package, which adds expanded automation control with the Lifecontroller Dedicated Automation Controller, a second Media Center and DVD changer, an additional 42-inch plasma display and wall mount and a 7-inch wireless touchpanel; and the Lifeware Premium Package, which adds a third Media Center, DVD changer and 42-inch plasma display with wall mount, two more each of the audio zones and speaker pairs, 12 more lighting control zones, a second thermostat and two more IP surveillance cameras.