1. One of the clients has macular degeneration, so she wanted to manage the light, controlling glare and lux levels intuitively to improve visibility and clarity, ultimately reducing eye fatigue. They had clear goals on how the home could be designed to assist with the vision, for example:
2. A future proof living space for the rest of their lives, supporting assisted living providing ease of use and convenience with the ageing years.
We had to plan for their needs now and predict for future requirements in older age. At this time in their life the automated events are designed mainly to support convenience, but with age, they may need to expand, allowing the client to have less input into the control of their home and ensure ease of use, with little or no explanation, for a live in carer, if required.
The clients were aware that needs would change with age, as they already have insight into the changing visual needs, so flexibility to expand/modify the system was essential. They wanted the system to be a ‘living’ solution that grew with time.
They planned for some integration initially, for example:
The clients wanted a home that was an exemplar of contemporary design, finished in best in class materials to the highest standards, and of sustainable design.
They wanted a life led indoors and outdoors, to take advantage of the amazing views.
4. They also wanted the ability to maintain and remotely monitor the solution.
The clients wanted a remote monitoring service that identified issues prior to them being aware of them, so they could be rectified. They also wanted the ability for some of the settings and programmes to be adjusted remotely for both speed and convenience in later years.
When did the client’s contact Intelligent Abodes?
The clients approached us early in the design phase, as they wanted to ensure their concept could be realised and that it would be fully integrated into the fabrication of their home. We were an integral member of the design team, brought into the project at the same time as the architect and M&E engineers, so we could be involved in researching and developing the design concept.
The detailed planning and team working ensured a smooth build and no changes to the original plans.
Lutron lighting control & their automated blinds were considered ‘best in class’ by the clients, with their long standing presence in the industry, excellent warrantees, outstanding performance and the ability to meet the client’s goals. Reliability of the system and also the ability to modify/control them via a remote solution was also essential. Glare is one of the greatest challenges for visual clarity with macular degeneration, and Lutron lighting control solution manages these fittings to the finest detail.
The keypad option for Lutron was also a contributory factor in selecting this solution, as the client can see flat, matt surfaces more easily; in addition, she could choose the font type and size for the engraving of the scene settings. The matt white Palladiom was ideal as it had no glare and the buttons are flush.
The ability to incorporate control of third party items on the Lutron keypad provided greater convenience and reduced the number of keypads/remote controls, all creating a visual challenge, especially in older age.
There were other aspects of the home the clients wanted to control either via the Lutron keypad or via an automatic scene setting/ timed event. For example, they wanted to incorporate the automated garage door into the ‘welcome’ setting, triggered by a sensor, so the garage door automatically opens on arrival home by car. A water feature, for the indoor and outdoor led living experience, was programmed on a timed event, via a Lutron switched module.
The clients, after much investigation, decided they wanted to use the Lutron roller blinds in the living areas and master bedroom. The main reasons for choice were the accurate control; smoothness of function, quietness; hem bar alignment with adjacent blinds, but most importantly the materials. The materials provided functionality, controlling glare and heat without, disrupting the view in the living room and providing darkness in the master bedroom.
Rti Control System
The Rti Control System offers good integration with all the systems proposed and it can easily be expanded/ developed with changing needs. The main reason for choice was that it allowed a client specific interface to be created. We worked closely with the client to understand font size, font colours, button sizes and names that would all optimise her ability to view them clearly with the macular degeneration.
The clients wanted to automate the house, managing lux levels and glare, and open/closing windows according to weather conditions. The most effective solution was to install a weather station on the roof. The weather station offers excellent functionality with separate facades for assessing the weather in all directions and optimum monitoring of the wind, rain and temperature; with accurate feedback the Rti can provide a more appropriate response.
The clients have some windows, designed to enhance natural light and airflow, but in difficult to manage locations, so we integrated these windows with the weather station. If the weather is warm they open, when cold or raining, the sensors trigger them to close automatically - so the clients don’t have to worry about leaving them open when they go out.
Draytek and Ruckus
The networking systems selected were a Draytek router and the Ruckus wireless access points with Pakedge switches. All these systems have proved very reliable and effective over the time we have used them. The Draytek router can be easily set up for remote monitoring and the ability to construct configurations for custom control is very user friendly. The Ruckus WAPs, with good wifi protocols and technology provide an excellent coverage, reducing the number of units required to achieve wifi throughout the home.
The clients were really please with the final outcome as it met their immediate goals and will allow for expansion. Watch the video for details on the project and the testimonial.
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