Control4 Smart Home in a Grade 2 Listed BuildingGary Blackburn
The Grade 2 Building Challenge
Back in 2014 we did our first design meeting for a Control4 Smart Home project on a grade 2 listed home in North London. The building had previously been split into two separate homes, but the new owner wanted to bring it back to a single property for his family. It has been a long running project with 1st fix finally starting in 2016. Due to a number of building issues the client was finally able to move into his home in December 2019. The last 12 months have been spent completing the installation in some of the outbuildings. Although the client is into his tech, his wife was more reluctant. Her requirement was for a solution to be simple to use. Control4 was chosen as it has a simple, intuitive user interface but has the power to automate the most sophisticated technology. A lot of automation has been used to monitor and control what is a large property.
Based on a Control4 solution the property has 170 circuits of lighting, powered by Control4 panelised lighting and a combination of some smart switches, Wandsworth retractive switches and some Forbes & Lomax invisible light switches, to allow for lighting control around this large residence.
The property features an 18 zone multi-room audio system. Four key rooms have utilised Amina plastered-in speakers and hidden sub woofers, in order to conform to both the clients’ exacting interior specification and also requirements of the local authority. The remaining zones are a combination of Bowers & Wilkins in-ceiling and free standing speakers. There are ten 4K video zones, one of which is a compact home cinema based up in what was previously the roof space . Due to the low head room, we incorporated a projector lift that drops the recessed projector to its operating height when the cinema is in use.
For security, we have provided an extensive CCTV system, Control4 video intercom and access control, links to external gates and garage doors and a Texecom alarm system, all of which are linked into Control4 in order to provide an integrated solution.
All the windows at the front of the property have Qmotion wireless blinds. The battery powered rollers avoided the difficulties of getting cables into some of the window reveals which were unplastered finished stone. The Zigbee motors link to Control4 which has given us the option to automatically close blinds by time of day, but also by an increase in temperature caused by the sun. The heating system uses Heatmiser to control a massive number of separate zones which have wet underfloor, electric underfloor and radiators. Every radiator is fed by its own separate port on a high temperature manifold ; separate underfloor manifolds lets the client have precise control of the temperature. All the temperature sensors are hidden away along with the room stats, avoiding ‘wall acne’.
One of the biggest difficulties, apart from keeping up with the ever-changing specification of the building, (this was the first time I had seen construction drawings at revision WW), was to try and keep on top of the advancement of technology and equipment going end of life. The original intention was to try and get the client into the property for Christmas 2018, so a lot of the hardware was purchased at that time. Some products have already become outdated. The client, in order to keep up with the latest technology available, is now reviewing his options and looking at introducing HDR around the home.
To find out more about a Control4 Smart Home click here.