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Case study – home smart home

Andrew Brister 27 October 2010

Systems integrator Lewis Building Technology and control solutions provider AMX have come together to showcase the ultimate smart home. Welcome to the home of the future, today.

Welcome to a home so technologically advanced that its entertainment, access, security, lighting, blinds and environmental systems can be operated at the touch of a button. A home where custom installed technology saves you time, money and energy and can be controlled so intuitively that you don’t even have to be in the country, let alone the property. All this, and more, is possible thanks to systems integrator Lewis Building Technology and a unified control solution from AMX.

Packed full of the very latest in smart home technology, this impressive six-bedroom property is a showcase for home automation and the many lifestyle, environmental and economic benefits it can bring. “This is more than just a smarthome, this is a working demonstration of how home electronics can be used to deliver both cost and energy savings,” explains Justin Rhodes, managing director at Lewis Building Technology. “A robust and reliable control system was fundamental to the realisation of our environmental and technological ambitions and AMX was the obvious choice.”

Offering future-ready control of entertainment, access, security, lighting, blinds and environmental systems, the innovative AMX system has been programmed to automatically make energy-saving choices according to the homeowner’s wishes; reducing pollution and fuel bills at the same time. AMX technology integrates seamlessly with the property’s Sensible Heat system to deliver unified control of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. This integrated control solution stops the heating and cooling systems ‘fighting’; facilitating optimum operating and energy-saving efficiency.

With a single touch of an AMX touchpanel or mobile phone, it is possible to check or change the temperature in any given room, increase or decrease the heating throughout the house or change to pre-programmed heating modes. Dynamic feedback on the AMX touchpanel allows the homeowner to manage consumption intelligently and simply.
This sophisticated system has also been programmed to react automatically to external conditions and use weather information provided from the internet. The AMX system effectively communicates with the home’s heating, blinds and ventilation systems to maintain a constant and comfortable environment. For example; when the sun hits the windows, the blinds can lower automatically to prevent rooms from overheating, avoiding the need for air-conditioning.

Fingertip control over lighting schemes is provided through integration with Lutron Homeworks. Amongst its many energy-saving features, the system has been programmed to graduate the intensity of the lights so that the bulbs closest to the windows are dimmed more than those in the centre of the room.

But, if this is a house that works hard for the environment, then it’s a house that plays hard too. At the heart of the audio-visual and entertainment provision is a dedicated, projector-based home cinema, housed within a cellar that was excavated specifically for the purpose. An AMX NI-700 controller communicates with the impressive array of home cinema equipment in the room, so a single touch can start all the action. The homeowner can select a movie from the Kaleidescape system, control the lights, blinds and press play; all from one MVP8400i touchpanel. And, if you thought that being ensconced in the cinema meant you were cut off from the rest of the house, then think again. Should the doorbell ring while users are engrossed in a film, the movie will pause and the lights will go up a fraction. Relaying real-time CCTV footage of the caller, the wireless AMX touchpanel enables them to communicate directly via any one of four Metreau Entry Communicators and grant access by unlocking the door remotely.

The property boasts an impressive complement of AMX touchpanels including a NXD700vi touchpanel in the kitchen, MVP5200i in the bedroom and two NXD500i touchpanels at the front and back doors. Five Mio Modero R-4 wireless remotes located throughout the home provide further custom control and two-way communication, in one elegant handheld unit. So, whether the homeowner wants to activate the screens on the motorised wall brackets, initiate one of the pre-programmed lighting scenes, view CCTV footage, or grant access to someone at the front door; control of all the automation elements is only a fingertip away, wherever they are in the property, or indeed, wherever they are in the world. Yes, being out of the country doesn’t mean being out of control because innovative AMX technology allows them to access, manage and monitor the property as if they were there, via any computer, smart phone or internet-enabled device.

Behind the scenes, no fewer than nine high-performance NetLinx Controllers provide the brains of the entire AMX solution, allowing the large number of devices and components to become integrated as part of the central control system. In addition to the controller in the cinema room, two NI-3100s meet the advanced control and automation requirements of the main house, whilst there are six NI-900s to control the AV equipment, motorised TV mounts and various screens, including a 3D TV. 26km of Cat6 cabling has been discreetly trunked around the building, invisibly connecting every device in the house with the centralised control system in the loft. Audio distribution to the Meridian and B&W audio systems is provided by an AutoPatch DSP Audio Matrix and an AutoPatch Optima Digital Audio Matrix Switcher, whilst an 8×8 HDMI Matrix Switcher routes eight different HDMI sources, with HDCP authentication, to up to eight connected displays.

With so many technologies and operating platforms in-situ, the realisation of this project could have been a challenge but AMX and Lewis Building Technology have effectively solved this  complexity with one reliable, consistent and all-encompassing solution – creating a home that is technologically-ready for anything.

Kit list
2 x NI3100s for main house control, alarm integration, PIRs etc, integration to Lutron Homeworks, AV systems, Sensible Heat, Kaleidescape, Nuvo DAB Radio
1 x NI700 for cinema room control
6 x NI900 for various TVs (including a 3D TV), motorised TV mounts, AV equipment
1 x AutoPatch DSP Audio Matrix
1 x NXD700vi touchpanel (kitchen)
1 x MVP8400i touchpanel (cinema room/TV room)
1 x MVP5200i touchpanel (bedroom)
2 x NXD500i touchpanel (front door/back door)
4 x Metreau Entry Communicators (front and back door, two gates)
5 x MIO R4 remotes (bedrooms etc)
AutoPatch Optima Digital Audio Matrix
8 x 8 HDMi Matrix Switcher

www.lewisbt.co.uk
www.amx.com/eu

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