As a follow-up to our last two-minute guide to the types of cables used in home technology, Ian Trudgeon of thinkingbricks looks at the issue of catering for future changes in a client’s needs.
The emphasis here needs to be on “future ready”, rather than insuring the building is future proof which, with the pace of change in consumer electronics technology, is a tough ask of any installation.
The key is understanding the client’s needs now, and anticipating the technologies they will engage with in the future.
It is important to ensure that the systems are robust, flexible, and deliver good quality of service to the right quantity of rooms/outlets.
A connected home has a structured cabling infrastructure – cables run from a central hub area out to each key room.
It is important for the cables run to account for the key services as a minimum – phone, broadband and TV/radio as a basic technology specification.
To be ready for future upgrades, it is useful to overlay with future ready cabling for other systems to enable integration.
Consider centralised speaker cabling (above) to different rooms for an audio system, or running lighting circuits to a central point to allow lighting control to be added easily in future.
There is much talk of the use of fibre cabling into a modern home. The key advantages of fibre cabling are enormous bandwidth and speed of transfer. Fibre has the ability to send large amounts of data at the speed of light.
Much of the renewal of telecommunications cabling in the UK is being undertaken with fibre cabling for just the above reason.
The need for speed and massive data capability offered in a residential setting is still the subject of much conversation and differing opinions. The expense of running conduits and installing fibre into these, alongside the costs of ensuring the termination of fibre is perfect, makes this option beyond the vast majority of clients, currently.
Future needs and the cabling required can be built in to the property, with up-to-date knowledge and the design skills from working with a CEDIA-accredited home technology design and installation company.
Ian Trudgeon is project director with thinkingbricks. He is offering RIBA-certified CPD courses on all aspects of home technology.