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Managing energy consumption

Rising water and energy costs have put this high on the agenda. Statistics show that at least one in four UK homes waste money by leaving on devices and unnecessarily running heating. In the summer, it’s worth remembering that the energy discussion turns and is often around cooling. With the right system in place homeowners

can always opt to adjust heating, hot water, control lighting and blinds or even turn devices on and off from a smart phone while they are out. Two popular systems in smart homes are single room controls and special heating. In the home, heating can be controlled

through single room controls where the temper- ature and lighting is adjusted through wall mounted, touch screen controls, room by room. This means energy is only used when the room is needed. Another option is to consider spacial heating.

This is run through a sensor system that learns your lifestyle habits. Sensors in rooms turn on and off lights, televisions and screens can be dimmed to save energy and even forgotten windows close themselves.

Design led


 Take television and the way we access our

With the right system in place homeowners can always opt to adjust heating, hot water, control lighting and blinds or even turn devices on and off from a smart phone while they are out


entertainment. Your infrastructure needs to sup- port multi-channel usage – social media interac- tion, online streaming, on-demand services – as well as cope with multiple devices to watch it all on. These will be laptops, tablets and smart phones as well as a main television. Solutions like Apple TV mean multi-room audio and enter- tainment can be achieved very cost effectively, but only if the streaming and download capa- bility is there. Ensuring connectivity is integrated into the

 58 selfbuilder & homemaker

build right from the start means homes don’t just rely on wireless solutions, which could cause costly problems down the line.

The first question we are usually asked is ‘so where does all this wiring and kit go?’ The technology will be there to power all aspects of the home but it needs to be integrated and blended in with classic – and innovative – design principles. Ensuring the home has a safe, properly venti-

lated place for all the cabling to go back to is the primary consideration. Basements are a popular choice, but they must have adequate air and temperature control. In smaller spaces, a discrete custom-built area allows racks to be hidden away. A good home technology specialist will show

you how they can build, test and install a single control rack that will power all devices in the home. In our case, the entire system is built and tested off-site, meaning everything can be quickly installed at the end of the build. With the right approach and knowledge of

home technology, you should be able to work towards a smart home which has the right tech- nology to work in the real world, and not fall into the trap of technology for technology’s sake.

Enq. 225


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