There’s no doubt home technologies – including lighting, security, home cinema, streaming music and entertainment – have influenced an important shift in the way homes and projects are planned. But the first step anyone planning home technology should take, is to go back to basics. Our founder and director, Rob Sutherland, explains how to respond to the growing importance of technology in the home, in a cost effective and straightforward way.
Basic cable infrastructure
If you get the cable infrastructure right, you give the homeowner the freedom to add on additional tech at a later stage. Cable infrastructure essentially means wiring for any future devices which may need networking/connectivity with the rest of the home; everything from televisions to laptops and tablets and lighting control systems.
By getting high-quality cabling in place at the very start of the build, you effectively create
a blank canvas. An essential investment for any development-type projects, a
comprehensive infrastructure reassures a prospective buyer that their new home would cope with all the latest technology – without the expense or hassle of re-fitting and re-wiring.
Try to plan to have a first fix of systems swiftly and easily installed as part of the build. As a starting point, this will nearly always include Category six cables (allowing for high data transfer speeds) and a data point in every room.
Internet access in every room is a twenty-first century prerequisite. Television and the way we access our entertainment has become increasingly social; your infrastructure needs to support multi-channel usage –social media interaction, online streaming, on-demand services – as well as cope with multiple devices to watch it all on. These will be laptops, tablets and smart phones as well as the ubiquitous flat screen.
Solutions like Apple TV mean multi room audio and entertainment can be achieved very cost effectively, but only if the streaming and download capability is there. Ensure connectivity is integrated into the build right from the start and don’t rely on wireless solutions, which could cause costly problems down the line.
Plant room planning
Perhaps the biggest consideration is, where do all these wires go? Ensuring the home has a safe, properly ventilated place for all the cabling to go back to, should be a primary consideration. Basements are the natural and popular choice, but they must have adequate air and temperature control. In smaller builds, a discrete custom-built space allows racks to be hidden away; we recently did just this for a home cinema in Mayfair, allowing the owner to stream a film and music library across not just one, but three properties…
A good home technology specialist will openly show you how they can build, test and install a single control rack that will power all devices in the home. In our case, the entire system is built and tested off-site, meaning everything can be quickly installed at the end of the build.
With the right approach and knowledge of home technology, more professional contractors should be able to future-proof their projects for the (inevitable) addition of technology, adding to the desirability and value of their projects. If you would like advice on to integrate technology into your project, please contact us www.inspireddwellings.com.