Smart homes for today and tomorrow

Matt Nimmons, Managing Director at CEDIA® EMEA, discusses the growth of smart homes and the opportunities this offers for property developers when marketing and selling today’s new homes.

In recent years, smart home technologies have gained significant traction in our lives, with consumer demand for connected technologies and services in the home is increasing by the day.

The result of this explosion is that a full spectrum of home technology devices and sub-systems can now be connected to provide home entertainment, security, heating, lighting, energy management, voice and video telecommunications, and assisted living benefits to homebuyers. These technologies can be professionally integrated to provide maximum convenience to occupants in operating the home, while giving them the best possible access to a wide variety of external digital services.

So, how can developers meet these technology demands and deliver on connectivity for homebuyers?

Firstly, it’s clear that connected technology represents a sales and marketing opportunity for developers.

Put simply, a property that’s professionally wired for technology can be a powerful attraction for buyers. With the right wiring infrastructure in place, a home can be fitted with a relatively simple system, then easily upgraded and expanded at a later point. Developers can enhance the value of their product by incorporating sufficient wiring that provides the basic infrastructure for a smart home.

Far from being a cost, the mindset for a developer should focus on the additional returns that this investment can bring. In a competitive situation a wired home with the potential for deep connectivity is likely to sell quicker than one without. It also allows developers to upsell electronic products, systems and services to meet their customers’ requirements in an approach that can create extra revenue and bring about a more attractive, clutter-free space. For example, TVs and speakers can be positioned in the optimum locations, often within walls and ceilings, with cables hidden out of sight. Control can be centralised from one interface, through control panels situated throughout the home, via mobile devices and by voice. Wherever and whenever necessary, entertainment systems, multi-room audio, lighting, smart security, heating, and more can be controlled with ease.

CEDIA’s Publicly Available Specification (PAS) by the British Standards Institution (BSI) entitled, ‘Design and Installation of Telecommunications and Broadcast Infrastructure within the Home’ outlines the technical standards and regulations required for designing and installing a domestic wiring infrastructure, applicable to residential properties of all types.

Supporting the PAS, CEDIA’s Smart Home Infrastructure Recommended Guidelines document is designed to educate housebuilders on the fundamentals of infrastructure for the modern connected home, why to use a CEDIA Certified professional, and how to go about preparing for a professional consultation about their project.

To download the BSI PAS document supported by CEDIA, please visit http://shop.bsigroup.com/PAS35491. Alternatively, for more information on industry standards supported by CEDIA, or to download the Smart Home Infrastructure Recommended Practice please visit cedia.net/resources.

It also makes sense to build a relationship with a technology integrator from the design stage of a development. CEDIA members are the best informed and trained in the latest technologies, design, project management, and installation techniques, ensuring the best possible smart integration systems for any new build project. CEDIA offers a Finder Service on its website — www.cedia.org/find-a-cedia-professional — which allows developers to locate their nearest technology integrator.

Sumptuous Apartments for the Luxury Rental Market
An exquisite, boutique development in affluent Mayfair was awarded Best Multiple Dwelling Unit Design at the 2018 EMEA CEDIA Awards. The vision was to produce the most sought-after short-term rental apartments in London. For this reason, CEDIA member, The Next Level, knew that the end result needed to be user-friendly, utterly reliable, and meet the requirements of the most demanding high-profile clients.

From the initial concept stage, The Next Level reviewed each aspect of the technology proposed to ascertain whether it could be integrated and then designed it accordingly. The AV system is comprehensive. Each apartment features TVs in principal rooms, with content being fed from either a Crestron 8×8 or 16×16 DigitalMedia matrix. Audio is distributed via Crestron’s Sonnex system to all

main areas, including bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. Each apartment features a media room, which incorporates a Sony 4K projector, a Future Automation dropdown lift, motorised screen, and Bowers & Wilkins speakers.

The HVAC Trend-based system is integrated into the Crestron touch panels and iPads for a simple set point control in each zone, with further control of fan speeds and time clocks if desired. The Next Level worked closely with the lighting designer to ensure the scheme was coordinated with the lighting control system. Lighting presets create dynamic scenes in each room, highlighting the exquisite interiors. With security being an essential element in these types of properties, the integrator designed a system that ensures all entry points to the building are monitored by CCTV, as well as having fob entry access to both the main entrances, lift, and apartment entrance. Lutron QS motorised blinds are programmed into the Crestron keypads, touch panels, and iPads for complete control.

www.thenextlevel.co.uk