Modern home automation was a decisive factor

A family chose their new home based on comfort and sustainability

Located in the Kivistö district in Vantaa, Finland, Villa Kapee received new residents in a record short time. One family of four was not even looking for a new home, but as soon they saw the house, they fell completely in love with it. The beautiful, natural log cabin setting attracted them, but the well-implemented electrical design was also essential in making the decision. According to the new residents, the multi-level lighting and its state-of-the art control system was a decisive factor in their decision to buy. Modern bus technology was an investment not only in living comfort, but also in the sustainable life cycle and resale value of the property.

 “We first came across this house by chance. We were not really looking for a new home, but as soon as we saw it, we were so completely infatuated with the overall package that we decided to buy it straight away. The wiring of the building was originally designed for conventional installation, but later converted into a cutting-edge bus solution that permitted a complete home automation system.”

“The smart control added yet another nice element to the pleasant general appearance and warm atmosphere. Controlling the lights with the home automation system is the perfect solution. In fact, the advanced wiring was one of many factors that affected our decision to buy,” says the lady of the house.

“The home automation system improves our comfort and safety every single day. We also saw that this system was an investment in the future. It will increase and maintain the value of the property, as more and more home buyers want the latest technology and smart functionalities.”

Responsible for electrical contracting at Villa Kapee was Jukka Voutilainen, a professional electrical contractor specializing in home automation systems for small residential houses, and the managing director of the Vantaa-based electrical installation firm Tehomen Oy. He confirms the view of the current state of smart solutions held by the family now residing in Kivistö:

“As a result of developments in ICT and information systems, bus-based home automation systems are here to stay. They provide a lot of added living comfort. The level of awareness is constantly rising, and builders of small residential houses are increasingly well informed. Technology that provides long-term use benefits and protects the value of the home can be obtained for a reasonable additional investment.”

“On the professional side, some contractors welcome the new technology, while others do not. We have embraced the development as a new challenge that we are not afraid to take up. Compared to conventional installation, bus technology provides a clear competitive advantage that sets it apart from the competition.”

“I have noticed that there is new and profitable business to be had by developing new competences and by meeting or even exceeding customers’ expectations. The ABB-free@home home automation system is very simple to use from the residents’ point of view. Its intuitive symbols mean that no special computer skills are needed. Our job is to highlight the various options and raise awareness of the advent of new technology in new construction,” Voutilainen concludes.

Control of lighting and curtains are integral to everyday scenes at home

The home automation system at Villa Kapee makes it possible to adjust home lighting for different situations, such as weekday mornings, weekend atmosphere, cleaning day or evening party. The residents can choose the scenes according to their current situation and adjust the system from one single point of control.

Villa-Kapee-verho-ohjaus_300px“I think it is wonderful that we can set up different scene controls for each day and for different moments during the day. On weekday mornings, the lights come on automatically in the kitchen, while at weekends we can programmed them to come on at a later time.”

“Light has always been important to us. We are now enjoying that our home has enough sources of light. They are also extremely easy to use, as you can even control the lights with a tablet.”

During daytime, the family enjoys the daylight that comes through the large windows, while in the evenings the view is curtailed with impressive curtains. The automation system controls the curtains that are placed high in the hallway.

“The curtains are included in our scene control. In particular, electric control of the curtains in the hall is an everyday luxury. They would be virtually impossible to operate manually.”

The home automation system also features a built-in astronomical clock. It follows the changing lighting conditions over the year and, for example, begins to turn on the lights in the yard as the evenings begin to get darker. The amount of light remains optimal at all times without the need to make daily, or even monthly, adjustments.

Door entry system is part of the freedom and flexibility the system offers

Villa-Kapee-ovipuhelin-näyttö_300px“Until now, simultaneously controlling window blinds and awnings, lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling and door phones has required a lot of effort. Thanks to bus cabling, all this can now be carried out quickly and easily using a single control system,”
says Zan Pujol, area sales manager at ABB.

Integrated into Villa Kapee’s home automation system, the ABB-Welcome door entry system registers when visitors arrive and shows a video image on the touchscreen in the hallway. The terrace lights switch on when the doorbell rings so that the visitor can be seen better. For security reasons, the door entry system will save images of any visitors at the door.

Space and time for technology

In Villa Kapee, all the controls are located in a central unit, which is practical in terms of flexibility, for example. However, the controls can also be distributed to pushbuttons around the apartment if desired.

“In this case, the central unit is located in the center of the apartment, so the cabling distances are short. This, in turn, permits cost-effective cabling,” says Pujol.

“It is a good idea to reserve enough space for electrical services during the design phase,” Voutilainen points out. “New technology can be expanded and adjusted to individual needs throughout the life-cycle of the house.”

Today, customers are well-informed and make use of a variety of technologies. The home automation system is simple enough to commission that it can easily be done by the homeowner. However, it is advisable to reserve enough time for people to learn how to use it.

“If you buy a state-of-the-art car, you want to take the time to carefully study the manual to make sure that you know how it works. The same logic applies to home automation: you can only take advantage of the technical features if you are familiar with them,” Voutilainen points out.

Further information

The ABB-free@home automation system in the 194 m² Villa Kapee building was implemented using the following solution:

- System Access Point
- Power supply
- Lighting control: 4-gang switch actuators
- Lighting adjustment: 4-gang dim actuators
- Blind actuator
- 4-gang binary input
- 1-gang push buttons
- 2-gang push buttons

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