BartW

What should I consider?

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Hi,

We are going to build at Graven Hill (not that it matters where), and have received planning, and signed up a TF supplier.

 

It is time to start focusing on the infrastructure, and all M&E.

 

I appreciate the Smart Home world is a vast field of knowledge, and opportunities. Whilst I am not looking to build a house that will shave my beard for me, being a fan of all things tech, I would like to make it a fairly smart home that will be up to date for years to come.

 

My question is what fellow self-builders have considered / installed to date? What gadgets and features do your homes boast?

 

My wish list goes as the below, but maybe I have not considered something:

 

- smart lighting for LED / lighting schemes / ambient / likes of Lutron / Creston / Fibaro and likes

- external CCTV

- internal security (quite fixed and NOT open to integration, as it is Verisure, but comes with a handy app that allows a degree of controllability)

- smart heating / like NEST - although quite limited as for the integration with other things smart

- MVHR / ASHP?

- audio in the house / I have done this on a couple of properties so far, but looking for an adaptable system. Been using ceiling speakers and central AV for Main Zone + Zone 2, e.g. Yamaha RX-V677. Whilst I appreciate Sonos gives the Multiroom option, perhaps there is something better?
- Visual in the house. It will be a 4 bed family home, with one central location for TV in the open plan living room. I appreciate this is enough for the two of us (so far) for now, but it may change. I want flexibility NOT to be made to watch CBeebies all day, or in the evening. So, I would gather that all Bedrooms should at least be pre-wired for basic Freeview 

- smart blinds / I always loved the idea of them going up when the Sun rises, and going private in the evening. It may be a big ask (financially for sure), but happy to settle on just electric blinds, perhaps controlled via an app?

- smoke and heat sensors from Nest? Just to give the added layer of peace of mind?

 

Your thoughts as always most welcome!

 

Bart

 

 

 

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Have you listened to this House Planning Help podcast?

 

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cDovL2hvdXNlcGxhbm5pbmdoZWxwcG9kY2FzdC5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw&ep=14&episode=YWY4YzFjZTYtNTkwYi00N2E3LWFiNTctNWRhMThjYTg5MDVi

 

I listened to it a while back and I think it says over 50% of all new builds in Austria are fitted with Loxone.

Not sure of the quantity of new builds per annum in Austria (doubt they have a 300k target) but it shows how much of standard this type of system has become in Europe. 

 

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14 hours ago, BartW said:

... Your thoughts as always most welcome!

 

Stick to the knitting. The house. You are building in a period of significant organisational change. Prices are not stable.

Put plenty of ducting in (with pull throughs) so that you can network anything you're going to need

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You should definitely take a look at Loxone. It'll cover pretty much all of your wishlist.

 

I've sent you a seperate message.

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Hey guys,

Apologies for the slack response, and many thanks for your answers.


I will look into the alternatives, and various ways of tackling this.

 

No doubt, there will be more questions soon!

 

Bart

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A switch where you can isolate all the electronics and have the lights on in the event of system failure etc

 

im all for automation but you need to factor in when it fails, currently have a building where the BMS failed, waiting on replacement part and engineer to fit- outcome nothing running in automatic

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I would integrate heat and smoke into the alarm but not into the systems such as NEST. They are designed to save your life, relying on something that in its own words was “designed to look good as smoke alarms are ugly” is starting from the wrong end of the requirements ... A decent smoke and fire alarm can be integrated into an alarm system - I’m assuming (hoping given the price..!) that Verisure can do this too. 

 

I think about 75% of the tech installed in new houses doesn’t get used. How often do people walk into the lounge and go “Hey Mabel (other voice controlled systems are available), put the lights to romantic and play Barry White...” This sort of thing takes ages to set up and to be honest I expect that the frustration is when you have left something in the lounge, you can’t just walk in and press a single button to turn one light on, then pick up said item and walk out. If I had to programme a scene to allow me to do this then it would rapidly become pointless. 
 

Depending on your heat method (UFH..?) then smart heating becomes reasonably irrelevant as your ability to influence heat input in any sort of real-time impact is negligible. Multi room systems only work when the rooms are isolated - leave a door open and you have just messed with the controls ..! If you want to trigger something such as a post heater in MVHR then an £20 Shelly will do this for you - you don’t need some amazing bespoke app with a complex control system. 
 

I would really look at your use cases for the tech and then decide what you really need - I think you will be surprised at how much isn’t really a need, it’s a want and it will become very expensive. 
 

 

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I've got the NEST smoke alarms, style over substance to be honest. They also keep randomly going off in the middle of the night which frightens the life out of our little ones. I was in the US a few years back and got a ping on my phone that the smoke alarm was going off.. what can you really do about it? Luckily was a false alarm.

 

Given the choice to install again - I'd go with a standard wired/linked system. No smarts needed there for your average house.

 

MM.

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I have seen the Nest alarms criticised widely.  And note they almost self destruct after 10 years!

 

SONOS is not much better.

 

Anyone got a smart fridge?

 

3D TV?

 

People just seem to want to spend more time looking at an app on their phones.

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Network cable to TV location

Network cable to PC/Xbox location.

have Alexa sitting on top of the microwave in the kitchen when I want to play music while cooking.

 

that’s my smart technology.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 03/01/2021 at 19:29, BartW said:

smart lighting for LED / lighting schemes / ambient / likes of Lutron / Creston / Fibaro and likes

 

I went for z wave .

 

Quote

- external CCTV

 

Currently running surveillance station off a nas but might change to blu iris 

 

Quote

- internal security (quite fixed and NOT open to integration, as it is Verisure, but comes with a handy app that allows a degree of controllability)

- smart heating / like NEST - although quite limited as for the integration with other things smart

- MVHR / ASHP?

 

mvhr should be self activating but I might link the boost to an event 

ASHP again fairly self sufficient 

Will control the ufh off z wave relays 

 

Quote

- audio in the house / I have done this on a couple of properties so far, but looking for an adaptable system. Been using ceiling speakers and central AV for Main Zone + Zone 2, e.g. Yamaha RX-V677. Whilst I appreciate Sonos gives the Multiroom option, perhaps there is something better?

 

Raspberry pi with max2play I.e squeezebox with a stereo single speaker in each room . Works great 

 

Quote

 

 

 


- Visual in the house. It will be a 4 bed family home, with one central location for TV in the open plan living room. I appreciate this is enough for the two of us (so far) for now, but it may change. I want flexibility NOT to be made to watch CBeebies all day, or in the evening. So, I would gather that all Bedrooms should at least be pre-wired for basic Freeview 

 

I’m less concerned on this . So freeview , kodi , cat5 to each tv - so options open

 

Quote

- smart blinds / I always loved the idea of them going up when the Sun rises, and going private in the evening. It may be a big ask (financially for sure), but happy to settle on just electric blinds, perhaps controlled via an app?

- smoke and heat sensors from Nest? Just to give the added layer of peace of mind?


I believe you can get an auto blind opener that sits on the track - I might look into that .

Edited by pocster

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On 03/01/2021 at 19:29, BartW said:

- smart lighting for LED / lighting schemes / ambient / likes of Lutron / Creston / Fibaro and likes

- external CCTV

- internal security (quite fixed and NOT open to integration, as it is Verisure, but comes with a handy app that allows a degree of controllability)

- smart heating / like NEST - although quite limited as for the integration with other things smart

- MVHR / ASHP?

- audio in the house / I have done this on a couple of properties so far, but looking for an adaptable system. Been using ceiling speakers and central AV for Main Zone + Zone 2, e.g. Yamaha RX-V677. Whilst I appreciate Sonos gives the Multiroom option, perhaps there is something better?
- Visual in the house. It will be a 4 bed family home, with one central location for TV in the open plan living room. I appreciate this is enough for the two of us (so far) for now, but it may change. I want flexibility NOT to be made to watch CBeebies all day, or in the evening. So, I would gather that all Bedrooms should at least be pre-wired for basic Freeview 

- smart blinds / I always loved the idea of them going up when the Sun rises, and going private in the evening. It may be a big ask (financially for sure), but happy to settle on just electric blinds, perhaps controlled via an app?

- smoke and heat sensors from Nest? Just to give the added layer of peace of mind?

 

Still a work in progress here but my list:

  • Loxone for all lighting and heating/DHW control (would do alarm too if you wanted)
    • Lots of Loxone RGBW spots
    • Lots of Faradite motion sensors
    • Has Siri integration now :D
    • Can control pretty much everything if I want/ever get around to it...!
  • Unifi for networking and CCTV - absolute no brainer.  I have complete overkill - UDM-Pro, switches and cams - a full comms rack but that's just for my entertainment!  All cameras are CAT6a cabled and PoE from switch, so no batteries and no 230v supplies needed for them.
  • Zehnder Q350 MVHR with LAN Connect option - again a no brainer if you ask me, couple with a proper steel spiral ducting system with attenuators to stop any noise - professionally designed and working brilliantly
  • Sonos for audio, it still is hard to beat - I did mull a number of options including Apple, Loxone or Raspberry Pi with amp pi hats but I already owned a load of Sonos gear and the Sonos ceiling speakers in the kitchen are really good - sub coming soon :D
  • Wiring for future proof - just drop CAT6 in each room, in each corner if you want behind the plasterboard, you can run anything over that and just dig them out later if you need them.  I ran a few but tbh was quite frugal on that front
  • Blinds - I have the Velux Integra windows with the electric blackout blinds and the Velux Active hub which does scheduled open/close for blinds and also full Siri control.  Cost-wise this was much less than anticipated and not much of a premium over standard Velux - each blind is circa £120 I think
  • Nest smoke detectors don't compy with new build building regs AFAIK so I will be replacing my godawful building regs compliant ones with Nest later this year...
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Wow! That is some technology to comprehend!

 

Just in time before the weekend starts. Can’t wait to make some popcorn, and start diving into the world of unknown. 
 

Thank you very much so far Gentle-people! 
 

😎

 

Bart

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On 03/01/2021 at 19:29, BartW said:

audio in the house / I have done this on a couple of properties so far, but looking for an adaptable system. Been using ceiling speakers and central AV for Main Zone + Zone 2, e.g. Yamaha RX-V677. Whilst I appreciate Sonos gives the Multiroom option, perhaps there is something better?

I have 5 DAB radios, all tuned to the same station.  Total outlay less than £120.

Works a treat.

I have a 6th radio, that I can take into the garden, and one came with my car.

For catchup, I use my phone.

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59 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

I have 5 DAB radios, all tuned to the same station.  Total outlay less than £120.

Works a treat.

I have a 6th radio, that I can take into the garden, and one came with my car.

For catchup, I use my phone.

Cornish simplicity 

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13 minutes ago, pocster said:

Cornish simplicity 

Yarp

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14 minutes ago, pocster said:

Cornish simplicity 

 

1 minute ago, Onoff said:

Yarp

The home of telegraph and wireless.

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2 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

 

The home of telegraph and wireless.

 

What the inventor(s)?

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9 minutes ago, Onoff said:

What the inventor(s)?

Cause not

Just the weather, not a lot else to do in the rain, except hide down a mine.  Why we improved the Bolton and Watt engine.

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On 06/01/2021 at 17:46, andy said:

Zehnder Q350 MVHR with LAN Connect option

Are you integrating MVHR and Loxone?  If so, ho?

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7 hours ago, Dan F said:

Are you integrating MVHR and Loxone?  If so, ho?

At this point not, I don't see a use requirement for myself.  The Q350 increases flow rate when it detects increased humidity (it's enough to boil a pan in the kitchen).

 

There's a Python module here:

https://github.com/michaelarnauts/comfoconnect

 

That could be used to integrate if you wanted to.  The reason I want to use that (eventually!) is to pull the stats into InfluxDB rather than control it per se.

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