In addition to creating an automated home that was easy to use, Advanced Technologies needed to find sustainable solutions when outfitting this home.
First and foremost, this homeowner desired to leave as small an environmental footprint as possible given the scope of this project. The second part of the equation; Ensure that every member of the family could easily control any system, anywhere, at any time – with security and control devices customized to their individual needs.
Part of the sustainability factor included integrating a solar system – and on top of the aforementioned needs, the client asked for an uninterrupted power supply when the solar panels simply weren’t providing juice.
Energy and Security
The solar system flips to backup batteries when the initial power supply’s interrupted, and solar energy powers all the home’s lighting, audio visual systems, networking and automation, refrigerators and freezers, the home’s control room and equipment rack, and certain outlets for window AC units if needed. (The climate system in the home is geothermal.)
To save energy, all of the home’s surround sound and non-critical electronic systems automatically power down when the customer sets the security system to “away” mode. There are also single-button “off” switches for nighttime settings. Temperatures throughout the home – and the adjacent greenhouse – are constantly monitored. The security system includes automated vocal commands; for example, should an intruder be observed outside, a voice will announce over the home’s external speakers: “Warning! You have been detected! Leave immediately!” Automated lighting gives the home a “lived-in’ look if the family’s on vacation.
The attention to detail in this home includes a ceiling fan override – note that one TV is able to extend into the space where that fan might be turning. That fan’s stopped in a safe position when the screen’s deployed. Sensors in the driveway and on stair treads add another level of security, a smoke detector in the kitchen notes the presence of something in the oven burning without immediately triggering the primary fire alarm, and water sensors can detect moisture in appliance pans in the home’s attic.
Industrial Solutions, a Residential Look
While the home’s systems are hardly visible to the untrained eye – and the remote-control devices are tailored to each individual user’s preferences – the look of the home belies a unique approach: Industrial techniques were used to prevent damage from unexpected power surges, and the home’s wiring conduits are carefully designed to adapt quickly and easily should upgrades be necessary.