When high-end developers acquired a somewhat rundown and redundant church in a most desirable home counties village, it was obvious to them that they could have a development that would be at the top end of the scale - if they got it right.
Having experience of Niko, the Belgian lighting control and home automation control solutions specialist, from previous developments, it was obvious from the outset that introducing a Nikobus-based system into the scheme would help to deliver that all important wow factor that could ensure that the property achieved its potential.
The first stage in the development was to gut the existing building - removing everything inside it and assessing the available space as a potential home. It was already clear that, situated in a large plot, it could be dramatically extended to provide sizeable family living accommodation.
The building was carefully dismantled internally. The level of attention to detail included preserving the stained glass windows and re-installing them as part of a much more energy efficient double-glazing system.
Giving a real sense of luxury
The new part of the house was built in matching brick with a stunning glass facade overlooking the grounds. Lighting the house to maximum effect from inside and outside was part of the brief - and integrating access controls and audio distribution added to the sense of luxury that this house exudes.
All rooms in the house have built-in speakers, video feed, data and programmable lighting linked to the central house automation system that regulates heating, lighting, video/audio and CCTV.
CCTV cameras are all around the exterior of the property and linked to a hard drive recorder. The images produced are viewable throughout the house on television screens as well as being viewable remotely via the internet.
Programmed light settings for mood - and economy
The lighting can be easily programmed using Nikobus to provide a wide range of light settings including Vacation, Party, Romantic, etc, and it can be set to run at 90%, which has no discernable impact on lighting levels, but greatly reduces energy consumption.
Safe and secure
An electronic gate with intercom and camera ensures that security is maintained, without inconvenience to welcome visitors. The entire exterior of the building and the garden has been fitted with lighting to create a stunning setting; all of which are controlled from within the house as part of the Nikobus system.
A Philips Pronto remote control has been programmed to give easy and accessible control of all of the functions within the house.
Music where you want it, when you want it
Distributed audio is available throughout the house using built-in speakers to provide music and programs from radio, iPod or CD, while the plasma screen in the family room alongside the kitchen benefits from in-ceiling speakers that deliver sound discreetly and exactly where you want it. HDTV has been distributed in all main rooms and stereo speakers are also fitted in these areas, along with data distribution. A surround-sound system has been pre-wired in the main living room.
Fully integrated system
A touchscreen has been positioned on the wall inside the front hallway to allow for easy control from a single source. This can be used to greet visitors using the intercom on the access control system at the gates, with their image appearing on the touchscreen; this also operates the gate-opening system and the house lights and audio system.
The indoor environment can be controlled using the Nikobus heating control system. This typically divides a home into at least three heating zones: the living spaces, the bedrooms and the bathroom. In an average home, these zones are used at different times during the day and normally they should be heated differently. Ideally, however, the system controls the heating levels for each separate room individually. The advantage of such a setup is that the heating of a room can be switched off when the normal everyday routine no longer applies. Moreover, children and adults do not use their bedrooms in the same way, nor do they use them at the same times during the day: children go to bed much earlier, and often they use their rooms for play and study, too.
Using the Nikobus thermostat, you can set different day and week programs. Three temperature modes are available: day temperature, night temperature and frost protection. Furthermore, the Nikobus actor has a connection point to force the thermostat in night mode, which overrules the program.
You can introduce a SMS messaging feature into the system to enable you to control your home remotely using your mobile phone.
The redeveloped church now features two areas - the original church with a new-build added onto the back which is seamlessly integrated to provide extensive accommodation including a light and airy open plan living area, impressive entertainment areas, four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Using Niko to put the final gloss on this pearl has helped to turn this redundant church into a dream home.