Ferndown

Tyron Cosway
30th July 2018 in Case Studies

Located in Ferndown, East Dorset, this absolutely exquisite home has been rebuilt from the ground up and was completed in 2017. The grandeur of the home is immediately apparent as you turn off the road into the gravelled drive. Walk into the double volume entrance hall and you’ll be welcomed by an interior that has been beautifully decorated. It was important both for the architect and the homeowner that the interior was not overshadowed by the smart home technology, and rightly so.

In fact, looking around the home you would be forgiven for not immediately noticing that this is a smart home because of the lack of typical big control panels and banks of switches. As this is a great example of a Real Smart Home, you’ll start to notice that the intelligence is actually behind the scenes; with Loxone taking care of the lighting, heating, security and access control without the homeowner or their guests needing to do anything.

Loxone Partner: Amica

When it came to building their dream home, the family had two requirements of the home automation; future-proof cabling and a solution that would centralise the main aspects of the home, such as the lighting and heating.

It was important that this approach to automation was already at the fore when the family started working with their architect; Chewton Bespoke Homes. The architect works with Loxone Gold Partner, Amica, to take care of the smart home planning on some of their builds. The family appreciated how having smart home experts on-hand meant they could already envisage throughout the planning stages what lighting and other functionality they would have on a room by room basis.

Another important consideration for this family was the ability to control all of the lights in the house and have an overview of what was on, no matter whether they are at home or on holiday.

The family have had some time to settle in so we caught up with them and Ben from Amica to find out about some of their favourite functions and their experience of ensuring their dream home was a smart home…

The Day Space

The main smart home feature in this home is evident in the large day space area – an immense open plan area on the ground floor, leading off the entrance hall through double doors ahead of you. There you’ll find the entertaining heart of the home. A beautifully arranged seating area with a side-by-side fireplace and flat screen TV adorning a feature wall; a 12-seater dining table and drinks sideboard; flanked by a double volume kitchen with solid clean lines, and a robust island with three modern metallic cut-out patterned pendant lights hanging above.

This day space area has natural light aplenty thanks to an array of windows, skylights and two double glass doors opening up onto a wrap-around patio and immaculate lawn.

All things bright and beautiful

Lighting was the main aspect of the home that the family wanted to be intelligently automated, as well as to be able to control remotely. With Loxone, this is exactly what Amica have delivered.

Throughout the home, lights turn on and off automatically, meaning the family doesn’t ever need to worry if they leave a light on. When the family gets home from work or school, the lights start to come on automatically based on the time of day and the light level in the room. If the room has enough natural sunlight then the lights don’t even need to come on at all. This is great for parts of the home such as the day space, where natural light can flood in on a sunny day. Of course, after dusk or if it is an overcast day, then the lights will turn on with motion to ensure the room is adequately lit.

The lady of the house is particularly impressed with the ability to see, at a glance, which lights are on in the house using the Loxone Smart Home App – wherever in the world she may be.

With Loxone, each room has various lighting moods to suit different occasions, making use of different light levels, circuits and potentially colours. In the day space, there is an entertaining lighting mood which can be set with a tap on one of the Touch switches located around the room.

“Being able to tap a few times on the switch and select a lighting mood that suits the environment is always a winner. When we are entertaining guests we can tap the switch a few times and set the lights to a beautiful entertaining mood which tends to go down well with our guests! They are shocked and amazed at how easily the system can be controlled and how many different lights can be combined to create so many different atmospheres.”

With Loxone, each room has various lighting moods to suit different occasions, making use of different light levels, circuits and potentially colours. In the day space, there is an entertaining lighting mood which can be set with a tap on one of the Touch switches located around the room.

“Being able to tap a few times on the switch and select a lighting mood that suits the environment is always a winner. When we are entertaining guests we can tap the switch a few times and set the lights to a beautiful entertaining mood which tends to go down well with our guests! They are shocked and amazed at how easily the system can be controlled and how many different lights can be combined to create so many different atmospheres.”

The smart lighting in this home also adjusts the level of light based on time. For example, when it’s 3am and someone needs to use the bathroom or a trip to the kitchen, the lights turn on at an appeasingly low level or only one lighting circuit turns on so that there is just enough light to find one’s way around but not so much as to dazzle them or wake anyone else up.

Things are heating up

The way we interact with our home changes for the better when living with home automation. There are so many tasks that a Loxone system just takes care of for us. In this smart home, one specific feature that you’ll likely never need to interact with, thanks to the intelligent level of automation happening behind the scenes, is the zoned smart heating… Gone are the days of having to fiddle with the heating controls as a Loxone system is constantly learning and simply looks after itself. Should the family have guests stay over, the room temperature can be easily adjusted.

There is another aspect to the smart heating in this home that is actually one of Ben’s favourite features:

“Although the bathroom may already be nice and warm from the buildings superb installation, or a lovely summer day’s sun; you can still have warm, dry towels when you get out of the shower – even though the zoned heating has no reason to be on. It’s thanks to the Towel Rail Boost function which switches just the towel rails on for 20 minutes at a time. Thanks to the way Loxone controls the heating system, the boiler can heat a towel radiator up in no time at all, much quicker than an electric towel rail in fact. Also, we used the humidity sensor to activate the underfloor heating and extractor fan to dry the room out if moisture builds up – which has also turned out to be a great feature for the family (again something that works well in the background without being noticed).”

There is another aspect to the smart heating in this home that is actually one of Ben’s favourite features:

“Although the bathroom may already be nice and warm from the buildings superb installation, or a lovely summer day’s sun; you can still have warm, dry towels when you get out of the shower – even though the zoned heating has no reason to be on. It’s thanks to the Towel Rail Boost function which switches just the towel rails on for 20 minutes at a time. Thanks to the way Loxone controls the heating system, the boiler can heat a towel radiator up in no time at all, much quicker than an electric towel rail in fact. Also, we used the humidity sensor to activate the underfloor heating and extractor fan to dry the room out if moisture builds up – which has also turned out to be a great feature for the family (again something that works well in the background without being noticed).”

The heating system is zoned, which means energy is not wasted heating all the rooms at the same time. If the family is enjoying a movie in the upstairs lounge before going to bed, then it makes no sense heating the larger reception area downstairs at the same time. Of course, the intelligent separation of heating zones is all controlled by Loxone – automatically. The heating for each room runs to its own schedule and custom temperature. The temperature in each room is read by the Touch switches, which means there’s no need for separate temperature sensors – another great way that the technology doesn’t distract from the interior.

Not everyone’s life runs to a perfect schedule though, and a Loxone Smart Home knows this. If the family arrive home earlier than expected, or if they are entertaining guests and motion is still detected at the time a heating schedule is meant to end, the home will make sure that the relevant rooms reach and maintain a comfortable temperature. All this is done without anyone needing to adjust a thermostat or reach for an app.

Smart features

Night Mode

With a triple click of the bedside Touch the entire home begins to put itself to bed as ‘Night Mode’ activates; with any lights that aren’t required turning themselves off and even arming the downstairs rooms for security. All heating zones that are still looking to the schedule will end early to not waste energy & money.

Garage and Gate

As the project neared completion, control of the gate and garage door were added to the Loxone system. This not only gives the family the ability to open and close these from the Loxone Smart Home App but also shows them whether or not the garage is open – no matter whether they’re in bed or on holiday.

Switches and Sensors

Darren (the architect) and Ben were both keen to make sure that the design of the home wasn’t compromised by any intelligent technology going in; and it wasn’t. Switches and sensors were placed in strategic areas to allow seamless control over the system but also to have no negative impact on the home’s design. For this, the multifaceted Loxone Touch was the perfect fit.

Smart Garden

As future-proofing their home was a requirement of this family during the planning stage, Amica decided to install one additional Loxone component during the build to ensure that when the family are ready to add smart home functionality to the garden, such as smart lighting, then there is the option to do so without hassle.

Set over three floors, this remarkable home has been made even more remarkable thanks to the way that Loxone has been used to intelligently automate the lighting, heating, security and access control. The healthy working relationship between architects who understand the importance of including home automation considerations at the planning stage and a professional smart home installation company such as Amica is evident in the meticulously finished product.

Ferndown is a Real Smart Home where so many aspects of the home are simply taken care of behind the scenes, making life simpler and making being in this dream home that much more enjoyable.

I love being a Loxone partner and installing their products. It keeps me at the forefront of the industry and I’m always busy with new and exciting projects. As for the quality of the Loxone devices, I cannot fault it as the craftsmanship and technology underneath is second to none.

Ben Tozer

Director, Amica

Congratulations to Ben and the rest of his team at Amica on commissioning this exceptional smart home. You can find out more about Amica and their journey to being a Gold Partner by clicking below.

Gallery

This Real Smart Home was commissioned by Amica, a Loxone Gold Partner based in Dorset – in conjunction with Chewton Bespoke Homes.

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