Challenging was how home automation system installers, Connected Living, described the integration of traditional wiring and an iCONTROL system at a new rural property near Plenty, north east of Melbourne
INSTALLED ALMOST AS AN afterthought, the system at Happy Hollow was initially intended only to control indoor and outdoor lighting. Traditional wiring had already been installed when Connected Living was approached by Edgebuild to provide automated lighting control in the house.
Edgebuild’s brief to Connected Living was to install a system that displayed new trends in home automation technology in this state-of-the-art, contemporary home.
Caught at just the right time, Connected Living was able to integrate traditional wiring with iCONTROL to allow the home owner to dial in via their phone from just about anywhere to turn on the airconditioning,spa, lights window-washing system for the floor-to-ceiling feature windows and rooftop sprinklers for fire protection. In an area subject to bushfires, this is no handy little add-on feature, but an essential means of keeping the home safe during periods when the family is absent.
Built as the Watts’ family home, the house features a contemporary design utilising local stone to highlight outdoor elements including the swimming pool and waterfall.
“Half the house was already built — the electrician had to re-run cables throughout the house. Of course, the ideal time to put in automation is in the planning stage, well before you build. However, the retrofit that was necessary to integrate traditional technology with iCONTROL proved to be fairly straight forward,” says Connected Living spokesman Sasha Apel.
“What we were able to do at Happy Hollow really shows the flexibility of the iCONTROL system. Most home automation systems can only be installed at the start of a project. The true value of the system is revealed when you’re controlling more of the home,” said Sasha.
Edgebuild director Michael Watts is a very happy man. Feedback on the system has been very positive. “We’re now using it extensively in current projects. You can quickly see the advantages of iCONTROL. Originally, I wanted only a very limited system. But gradually we added more features. Once you use it, you no longer regard it as a luxury but a necessity,” Watts says.
“The best feature is that you can change any of the functions at any stage — you just have to alter the computer program.
“It’s a very flexible system and something we should have considered sooner. There are obvious benefits in including home automation at the planning stage.”
“Two things that convinced us to expand the system were the ability to turn on the airconditioner by phone, as well as using the timer.
“Initial thoughts for the system were the ability for someone to be sitting on a beach in St Kilda to be able to heat the spa and have the water ready for when they arrived home — so there’s no waiting around.
“It definitely minimises electricity use because you can dim the lights and turn down the airconditioning as you need it.
“Home automation is something that more and more people building their own homes are considering. I wanted to build a home that showcased this technology, that I can now show prospective home builders,” Watts says.
THE ICONTROL SYSTEM
The iCONTROL home automation system combines and controls the subsystems around the home such as lighting, security, and energy management. The systems are extremely flexible, permitting devices to be added, replaced or upgraded at any time, providing a bespoke system which allows individuals to choose the functions they want their own system to maintain in their home. iCONTROL uses the latest technology to create sophisticated systems, all engineered and manufactured by HPM, one of Australia’s leading electrical companies. –CHD–
Tel: 1300 555 476
HPM project manager: Cameron Duffey
Property: Happy Hollow, Plenty, Victoria
Builder: Edgebuild, Michael Watts
Installer: Connected Living