• Ivan Jordan RIBA

Optional (sonic) Architecture or Digital Plumbing

The hi-tech methods for controlling our homes seem endless. Nine years ago we tutted at a client who wanted a computer network in their home! How dare they! Now this house, on site and at full speed, is going automated. It involves a few cables.

Last week I received this text in an email from email from a sub contractor who it would appear is still stuck in that mode of thinking:

....I understand from our electrician that there is talk of an automated lighting control system which interfaces the lighting with other elements of the building, this may be site based gossip, which I sincerely hope that it is, or the client may have been sold an idea by others...

ooh, the darkness.. The sender of that email will no doubt want to punch me when he sees me, but really, we have moved on: an automated, networked control system of some sort is becoming commonplace in most residential architecture. It could have been designed in earlier, but in the end it is not a huge system, but it will add another dimension to what is shaping up to be a great modern family home.

On site, specialist Guiseppe Conti of Single Switch [] ran through how the system would work with great aplomb. At times we were baffled by sheer volume of possibilities the system could offer, linking all manor of networks and circuits,with the ability to control the system remotely from anywhere in the house [or outside for that matter]. There were many elements to consider: In which room does the controller TV live? Which TV needs HD? Where does the Sky box live? How do we link window blinds into the system?

But the really most important question was; "who holds all the power in the household?".... needless to say the answer is the matriarch and the high tech all powerful TV hub will of course be in the hub of the home [the kitchen].

So put simply the system will make it possible to control lights, sound systems and televisions all from one central hub controlled via a TV remote or even an iPhone.

Whilst the system does involve a few cables, whats a few more when you're wiring a house!?

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