Designing The Connected Home

22 August 2019

Designing The Connected Home

Learning to Design the Connected Home

Though experts in our field and practices, we at Micasa strive to further our knowledge and learn new skills. In our roles as Architects and Designers, we partake in CPD, which stands for Continuing Professional Development to ensure we possess the most up-to-date and relevant information in our respective areas. Our latest CPD came in the form of learning about Audio Visual Installation from the fantastic team at Smart Life Audio Visual.

Smart technology changing home life

With the increase in smart homes and smart technology in general, there have been vast changes to the way homes are designed, built and enjoyed, utilising these new technologies. In these modern times, we now have apps that can control our TV, lighting, front door and much more. Technology has truly been embraced throughout homes and is helping us and keeping us entertained.

The purpose of this training session by Smart Life Audio Visual, which was CEDIA accredited, was to educate our teams across all practices about the considerations that need to be made and taken into account when designing smart homes. Our Architects were on hand to learn about how to look at the layouts, space, and positioning of these cables which provided the use of smart technology, whilst the Designers would learn about the design aspects and exploration of different products that could be used when technology would be required. Smart Life Audio Visual spoke in-depth to our teams about high-end home automation, and how they are seeing a huge increase in homes looking to bring move into the smart age.

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Keeping your home secure with technology

One of the most important smart technologies seen in homes has been door entries and locks. The Smart Life team presented their various options of security for gate control and video door entry, all of which have been designed to give the homeowner complete control and peace of mind. Though already well knowledgeable in how to incorporate such a door in their designs, our Architects enjoyed discovering the new methods being implemented in doors and security.

Our Interior Architect team were extremely interested in learning more about new security cameras and the wiring work that would be involved in setting these up. When creating the layout of a home's interior, our Interior Architect team look at everything from wires, spatial layout to lighting fixtures so for them to learn about how the newer style of security cameras work and how that would impact their work was priceless. The team were notably interested in this particular part of the training.

The power is in the blinds

Does one remember the days of having to carefully pull down blinds, fearful you may be pulling them too hard? New smart powered blinds currently serving consumers, make this a thing of the past. With motorised blinds and curtain tracks, consumers enjoy comfort and privacy with the push of a button. During this training session, our teams were shown Smart Life Audio Visual’s numerous blinds and were refreshed on how these blinds would require careful planning to ensure they fit nicely into a client’s room and offered full functionality at all times. ‘Blind Control’ as our friends at Smart Life so fantastically described it as offers technology for a very important feature of a home.

The numerous options of blinds included those powered by batteries, plug in versions and those hardwired blinds. Again, all of these were extremely interesting to hear for our teams, as with the hardwired and plug in versions, our Designers and Architects would have to factor in many decisions when designing these for client homes and projects. Finding out how these blinds work and are set up was nothing new to our teams, but like everything, a quick refresh certainly goes a long way and will not only benefit our teams in their work but ultimately our clients.

Enjoy a cinematic experience, at home

‘I’d love for my home to have a cinema/entertainment room, can you design me one please?’ a question our Designers and Architects hear from many new clients. Enjoying the comfort of your own home and having a plethora of movies at your fingertips have made home cinema/entertainment rooms a huge trend. With any normal room of the house, when designing it huge amount of planning and work would go into it and during the training session, our teams were shown some exciting new products which when being planned for in client homes would require knowledge and expertise to ensure every element was correctly installed and placed.

The products which our teams were shown are not your regular high-street products. These incredible pieces were direct from manufacturers who would only sell to approved installers, which Smart Life are. The reason these manufacturers only sell to approved installers is that they require a greater skill set and knowledge to install them, rather than being carried out and installed by a DIY enthusiast. Our teams were shown how such products would need to be carefully planned for and installed in client homes. There were plenty of Dos and Don’ts when it came to wiring and installation of these pieces, which were shared with our team and are now forged in their bank of knowledge. With our newly formed working relationship and own knowledge of planning, designing and constructing cinema/entertainment rooms, why not contact us to discuss such a room for your home? Take a quick look at some of our previous work on client projects below.

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Lighting is key

Lighting is crucial in a home and not for the obvious reason! Lighting can create different ambiances across different rooms and spaces. With the introduction of technology, we now have the option of choosing different lighting colours without having to change a single bulb. During this training session, our teams were shown new lighting options and styles for all types of interiors. As these lights featured smart technology, their installation is far more complex than traditional lighting which is why our teams were given a great insight into how to ensure these types of lights are installed correctly. Again, our teams are vastly knowledgeable in the installation of all types of lighting but it was a welcome part of the session to ensure any new lighting installations were added to our teams skillset. Circuit lighting was also discussed with our teams and they were able to have an important reinvigoration of the importance of wiring such lighting. Have you seen some of the stunning lights we have installed in our client’s home? Do any of the below give you that lightbulb moment that it’s time for you to update your lighting? If so, be sure to contact us or visit our showroom and see how we can brighten up your home.

An interior aspect of smart homes

Alongside the more technical aspects of a smart home, the design element is just as important which is why our Interior Designers were present. Having already designed and produced homes that incorporate smart technology, our Designers were keen to learn about new technologies and how these would impact their design work for upcoming client projects. As technology evolves, we at Micasa work hard to ensure we’re never left in the dark and can offer our clients only the best in our product selection and design.

Future proofing a home

As mentioned, with technology continually changing, it was of great importance that our teams had a new insight into how to future proof their designs. Integrating new systems into a smart homes technology could prove to be difficult if the design element was not carefully considered beforehand, thankfully for our clients, all of our design work from all teams in the business consider a future proof design. Who knows what the next phase in technology could offer our homes? Our trainer from Smart Life Audio Visual mentioned if something around the home had some form of technology involved, it could easily be automated now or in the future.

Accredited by CEDIA for Audio Visual projects

To conclude, the training session was excellent for our teams as they were able to learn about new smart technologies which they could now offer clients, have a refresh on the installation and planning of many audio and visual products and keep on top of the ever-changing world of smart homes. Pankaj Bhudia, Architectural Technician said of the training “I was very excited before the training to learn about the new technologies that are helping us in our home lives. I’ve always been interested in discovering what and how technology can be utilised in a home and after seeing some of the newest products that are on offer, I’m even more excited to see what the future holds. This session will most certainly help me in my work, as I’ve gained further insight into how to approach wiring in a home for example”. After successful completion of the training, our teams were awarded certification in ‘Designing The Connected Home’ certified by CEDIA.

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