When Christchurch couple Paul Williams and Alex Hazard went to choose light switches for their new home, little did they know it would result in a complete revamp of their electrical plans and the creation of a truly smart home.
The pair was in the middle of a post-quake rebuild, creating a brand new modern, energy efficient two-storey house on their one-acre section, when they visited PDL by Schneider Electric’s Vision Studio in Addington.
“The initial consultation was mainly about switch styles to match the interior they were planning,” says PDL’s Home Solutions Consultant Amy Griffiths. “They didn’t want wall clutter. Then I showed them the home automation side of things.”
“Initially, we didn’t contemplate putting any smart technology into the electronics, bar LED lighting,” says Paul Williams. “But Wiser Home had good features that we felt would complement the house itself. It was a smart move because the house needed that technology to portray its quality.”
Designed by Context Architects, the couple’s house has been created with their retirement and old age in mind – it is a home that will look after them. Its features include solar panels, an air purification system, electronic door locks, thermal design innovations and even motion sensor taps.
With the build underway, Amy Griffiths put them in touch with Matrix Automation. Director Barry Neil says it was an 11th hour call given the gib was about to go up, and his team moved quickly to install C-Bus wiring throughout to allow all the elements of the house to be linked into the Wiser Home system. He then worked with Williams and Hazard to bring the vision for their automated home to life.
The minimalist design and clean lines of the house meant they wanted as little as possible on the walls. “There’s a very sharp detail to the home,” explains Williams. “All the walls run into the window frames [the windows’ flush profile mean there’s no timber architraving] and the skirting is 3mm thick powder coated aluminium, so there is very little interference in the clean look and the sharp angles.”
C-Bus with Wiser is PDL by Schneider Electric’s home automation system and integrates home technology into one solution – controlling everything from lights to heating, to music, security, and even blinds and sprinklers. Running through a micro-processor controlled wiring system called C-Bus, the easy to use Wiser Home interface lets you control multiple devices through your smartphone or tablet, and even integrate third party systems.