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Design of Smart Homes
Everyday our lifes getting more directed by technology. Smart homes become more popular and it will place an important place in our lives.
Smart home technology was created to provide automatic and coordinated operation of all systems of life support and safety. It recognizes changes outside and inside, reacting to them appropriately because of the user’s command or independently.
The main feature of this technology is the integration of individual subsystems and devices into a single complex which is controlled by the automation.
Modern apartments, flats, cottages, country houses represent a sophisticated engineering complex. Smart home is able to take on the responsibility for the management of energy system, heating systems, plumbing, ventilation and conditioning.
The work of such systems must be coordinated so that the owner will have a possibility to get the maximum benefit from using them. Thus, the batteries will not heat a room with open windows pointlessly and wireless technologies will allow the client to be informed of any emergency situation immediately, no matter where he is.
Today smart homes technologies attract more and more people who appreciate comfort and modern technical solutions. However, it should be noted that the arrangement of the smart home is a serious step and the final result depends on how well the prepare for selection, installation and commissioning of all systems was made.
One of the options for creating a smart homes are DIY solutions when a user manually constructs and connects the smart devices. Typically, these solutions are offered “out of the box” and they do not need special settings.
However, professional systems that are called Custom Install are more interesting – professional companies install and configurate them, moreover, the project of such decisions is often discussed during the stage of construction of the house.
What we need to pay attention?
A smart home should not be initially designed as a standalone system. It is necessary to foresee ways of interaction with higher-level systems, e.g. control systems for buildings, emergency systems as well as systems of resource metering and systems of content delivery. It turns out that firstly it is necessary to have a possibility for interaction with the outside world, in order to provide the highest quality service which is provided to the user.
That is why design of a smart home system has the same importance as the design of the building in which the system is installed. Of course, if there’ll be an error, consequences will not be fatal, but periodic defects in the work of air conditioners and disconnection of water supply because of the improperly installed sensor leaks will not allow to use the room in a full way.
There is only one way to prevent possible problems: to create a project. Undoubtedly, there is a possibility that during the time of creation of drawing and putting the house in operation the owners may get additional requests, so the correct plan should always have the potential for some expansion of the system, so you won’t have to change everything that has been already done.
Ideally, design of a smart home system should begin simultaneously with the design of the building (or apartment), because a fairly large number of electrical and signal cables are involved in this system, and there’ll be impossible to hide them under the plaster.
In addition, it is necessary to provide not only space for the equipment, which will definitely need ventilation, but also to hide hatches for access to the cable routes at key points. Thus, on the initial stage of design an architect and an engineer should work together.
The first step in this work is the creation of a conceptual design. It should describe all tasks which this system will do. This information is needed for the preliminary selection of equipment, which details in turn can affect the characteristics of the entire system.
The design of smart homes control is created based on the needs of the consumer. A response to each request is a device that performs a particular task. The combination of such devices is the periphery of the smart home. The component parts of the system are the sensors that provide information about the status of the objects of the physical world and actuators which provide the impact on the condition of the objects in real world according to the commands.
There are also networks of data collection, networks of distribution of the commands, that receive data from sensors and give commands to actuators, and a DCS, for example the condition of sensors and actuators.
There are some more main parts of the system of the smart home control which are the client application and the intellectual core which is a software system responsible for the work of smart devices.
It is important to remember that one of the important challenges is to ensure the connectivity of sensors and actuators with the core of the control system. The system of communication must provide a reliable identification of the active devices, must have enough bandwidth and must support the easy integration with new devices.
Ways of Organizing Smart Homes Network
There are three ways to organize smart homes network: to use wireless technologies, to lay special cables or to use power cables. There are two types of wireless systems: with a fixed topology and a mesh network. The first option is a classic network that is designed and deployed manually.
The second option is more promising and it is a network which can be configured by itself and it is based on the protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee, Bluetooth and others. Wired systems are based on serial protocols like 1-wire. Their obvious disadvantage is the necessity of laying the special cables.
After gathering all the necessary information about the system you can make a technical assignment for design, that is the second phase. It is important that the customer at the time of writing a technical task already has an understanding of the cost of the system and of the functions which it can provide.
After the preparation of the technical task the third stage comes, it is the development of a detailed project including all the documents: the set of construction drawings, equipment specification, schedule of works, etc. Installers, adjusters, an architect, a designer and other specialists work here together, that allows to take the wishes of the owners into account.
The result of the work on the project is a complete set of documents about the established system that satisfy the needs of the owners and takes into account the specification of a particular house or apartment. The client receives a detailed equipment specification and functional diagrams, also he receives drawings, a magazine about cables, schemes of electrical and instrument cabinets, etc.
Today technological progress which brings new benefits and convenience to our lives has filled the daily life of every modern person with different innovations. These technological innovations also affect the spheres of life.
The natural human instinct to have a comfort was the reason of the development of a high-tech system, with the help of which it became possible to carry out centralized management of all house equipment. Proper design of systems and the use of technology allow to fully enjoy the advantages that the smart home offers and to equip the home of your dreams.
Audio equipment as a design element of the interior
This week we decided to analyze the most frequently asked questions and myths from the sphere of audio equipments. For a starting point we decided to use the most interesting moments about which the listeners of audio programme «Sound» written in reviews and the stories of their own audio systems.
Today we will talk about what the modern equipment from the point of view of interior design for home and beyond.
Example installation of Bang and Olufsen – Beovision
A tangle of wires and bulky cabinets with home audio systems— what to do with that?
Acoustic systems of Hi-Fi class are not luxury items anymore, they has become an indispensable attribute of a modern home. As it is a full-fledged element of interior design, acoustics can become a harmonious continuation of design or it can entirely destroy its perception.
It is better to take care of this during the early stage of audio equipments installation. There are specially trained people for that, who can give a recommendation for the installation of equipment using the information about the size, the shape of the room, the materials and the interior.
One of the most common problems that our clients have is the wires. The showcases in most of the shops do not show all the technical nuances that may occur with the direct use of the audio equipments.
A buyer sees a beautiful photo and just forgets about such nuances as cable management. Of course, on the market of Hi-Fi and Hi-End equipment there are wireless systems, but they also work using the net so it’s impossible to get rid of all the wires.
There are many solutions to this problem. For example, there is specialized furnitures that provides convenient location for “hardware,” and a possibility of hiding the hidden cables in the walls of furniture. In this case the manufacturer of such furniture takes into account all nuances, up to a possible heating of the equipment.
In most situations this approach helps to reduce the time for preparatory work, not to ruin the walls, and most importantly to place the audio system so that it would not only have a good sound but it would also have a nice look.
Today it is not popular to put bulky equipment for show off, although it was popular in the 80s. People think primarily about ergonomics and space efficiency. It is possible to order something and build it into the interior, but in some situations it is necessary to consult with a specialist.
If we continue the theme of convenience, we would like to consider a huge number of existing solutions that provides system control with the use of smartphones and tablets. In Audiomania we use a system called Bitvise which solves the necessary tasks and does not give any discomfort during the settings.
These systems provide sufficient flexibility in order to adapt the control elements for your own design. The system works using Wi-Fi, and we can turn the music on anywhere in the house.
So it is possible to work with the whole home cinema system, but if there is no desire to buy specialized furniture, you can move all equipment to another room. Such a room can be quite compact, the only nuance which is needed is a sufficient ventilation.
I have my own restaurant, but the old acoustics from home looks strange. What am I doing wrong?
Unfortunately, the owners of bars, restaurants and cafes generally don’t pay enough attention to the acoustics of an area. There is a myth about expensive professional equipment, so people often buy an amateur or a car audio equipment and use it for other purposes. As a result, it quickly fails, because even if they seem to serve for the same purpose, the effect of a sound system which is designed for the car cannot give the same effect to a restaurant.
“People are trying to invent a bicycle. Perhaps they are guided by the fact that the professional audio equipments will cost more, the word “professional” always scares them. Unlike what’s known professional audio equipments which are designed for voice acting, for background music are cheap.
Thus it is necessary to think about the conditions of the environment in which the system will be used. For outdoors waterproof and frost-resistant acoustic systems are needed. Here it is necessary to take the class of protection from moisture into account. It’s one thing if we are talking about the open veranda of the restaurant, and it’s another thing if we talk about the sauna on a completely different level of humidity.
“There are very interesting and beautiful landscape solutions. You should read carefully if they should be used for internal or external use. If the speaker looks like a beautiful stone, it does not mean that it can be placed on the road. It is necessary to look what class of protection from moisture it is.
If it is assumed that the speaker will be put in the lowlands, then the equipment must be of the appropriate class or it is necessary to refocus and put the speaker to another place. Fundamentally nothing will change, plus or minus 1,5 m — it is not very important, and the system will make you and your guests happy for a longer time,” – shares the user his experience.
/ Speakers Visaton FRS 10 WP/8 are manufactured in a plastic shell with integrated protective grid which gives them a nice appearance and a good moisture resistance
Design and installation of professional audio systems require appropriate knowledge and experience. So if you are worried about the comfort and the image of your institution, you should contact a special firm.
Home system won’t suit in this case. For background sound and also for voice announcements sometimes the so-called “translational” audio equipments usually used. It is called sometimes as «100-volt». There is a well established term for it abroad – “public address”.
Such systems allow to transmit sound for distances up to several hundred meters. It is necessary to stretch a separate cable to each speaker when you use traditional Hi-Fi systems, but when you use “public address” systems it is not required. You can simultaneously connect as many speakers as you like.
Special multi-media players, microphones and such sources can be used as the sound sources. Mixer-amplifier, where acoustic systems are connected to, increases its signal and, if it is necessary, distributes it.
You can have a separate street veranda with your own music or VIP-hall where the notifications will not sound. When you choose an amplifier, it is recommended to consider a little extra capacity to make it work not at the limit.
A very good way to promote the restaurant is to design it in the broadest sense of this word. To create an unusal restaurants. Institutions pay attention not only to the appearance of menu and interior, some of them go further and build a promotion strategy using the general “strangeness”. Today we present to your attention the material about 10 unusual restaurants from all over the world which are seriously stand out from the crowd of “ordinary” institutions.
What is the conflict between interior architect and decorator professions? Which line is separating their duties? What are their working principles? Which level of contribution they can create in an interior?
Since so many years, architects were also designing the interiors. According to the developing technology and the increment over social life, the need of interiors in different purposes was aroused. The functionalities of the interior, the purpose of use and user requests started to be effective over the interiors. The interiors were then designed by architects as shells and mostly over touched by decorators. The requirements over interiors created emerge of a profession which was always there but not named. There are still conflicts over the explanation of profession interior architecture, how it segregate itself from architecture and decoration. In this article, we will try to explain what interior architecture is and what an interior architect does?
What are the main differences between interior architecture and decoration?
Who is Interior Architect? What does an interior architect does?
Architects inspired by the depths of the history and the architectural history are opposed to the separation of architects both inside and out because most architects say that a structure is a complete and integral whole and that it must be designed together. In the contemporary world, there are some requirements in the interiors of some structures beyond the outside. In today’s world, contemporary structures can require very specific arrangements in the interior. Interior architects design interior spaces arranged independently from the outside in accordance with needs.
Interior architecture has become a separate occupational discipline in line with the needs of the time. An architect is obliged to cooperate with the interiors of the structure and the exterior.
Interior architect is a person who is capable of understanding the infrastructure of a building, designing the interiors, starting from the structure. An interior architect reorganizes and manages the structures and conducts all kinds of researches and designs in their projects. They work on the development and design work of the subjects belonging to the interiors.
Interior architecture is to organize all kinds of closed or semi-open spaces in a manner appropriate to the function of that space, without overlooking the structural and aesthetic values. In short, if it would define “Interior architecture is the art of adding meaning to the space.”
Interior architect needs to have a knowledge of physical requirements of an interior temperature, humidity level, and lighting, sound systems and etc., psychological requirements such as aesthetics, cultural levels, etc. of an interior.
An interior architect works as a team with architects, material providers, practitioners, artists and etc. Interior architecture is a team work, and the interior architect is the designer and the director of this duration starting from the research, till the last touches. An interior architect must complete this process in accordance with the art principles by taking account the wishes of the costumers and the economical possibilities.
Interior architecture is never to determine the location of the seats in the house, nor to place the purchased seats in their places.
Who is decorator? What does a decorator does?
The word decoration is coming from “decoration” term in French. It is an ornament art based on beautifying the existing things. Decorator is a person who is not authorized to make changes over the structure of building. Decorator is a person who has a sense of art, has a broad point of perspective about aesthetics and help costumers about color combinations, furniture selection and accessories decisions to be used in the interiors.
In fact, decoration is the name given only by the interior architects to their practitioner team. The decorator is practitioners who move with the interior architect’s schedules in the direction of the fixtures they receive from the interior architects. Unfortunately, in so many places decoration is coincided with interior architecture.