Intelligent innovation

FERMAX PROFESSIONAL, the audio & video door entry systems and control access systems manufacturer offers a variety of home automation and security solutions. Here this leading developer outlines recent offerings, sector trends and some notable case studies working with a valued technical partner.

Turning a house or dwelling into a smart home requires intelligent flexible technology as well as innovative best practice by installers. Future-proofing is a vital component in the engineering approach and familiar wiring habits must often be dispensed with if a building is to benefit from the adaptability of leading components. Such adaptability is often evaluated by the end-user in terms of precise control and intuitive interfaces. Developments in home automation need to keep apace with the information technology and information-sharing improvements that residents see in their offices.

Push buttons with multiple, easily comprehensible functions must be seen to have replaced the humble switch if home technology is to be perceived as leading-edge. Smooth integration of video door-entry systems and apartment or house lighting with logical ‘scenarios’ is now a starting point for reputable manufacturers.

Apps proliferate in terms of user expectations

As smartphone and tablet users benefit from increasingly powerful Apps in all aspects of their lives, it is a logical step that they should want full management of their homes from similar platforms and with remote connectivity even for precise tasks and functions. Case studies now show how this functionality is achievable and fully robust. Impressive examples include projects such as the Kapertoren housing development in Hasselt, Belgium.

Hasselt is a Flemish city and municipality, and capital of the province of Limburg. The Kapertoren is being erected close to the Hasselt university campus and offers 76 homes over 16 storeys. It will use home automation by Dobiss, a Belgian manufacturing company backed by the international FERMAX group. Dobiss have been innovators in the home automation field for over two decades and are respected for extensive R&D activity which focuses on high levels of functionality and ease of use.

The Kapertoren apartments employ Dobiss home automation from an NXT-server, a new master module, with full web-based architecture. The NXT server allows every apartment owner to easily manage and control their home automation installation remotely from anywhere with devices as diverse as a tablet, mobile phone or PC as well as via individual Cloud accounts. The installation has been optimized by equipping every apartment with a DUOX VEO-XS touch monitor for easy control of the lights and shutters with ‘scenario’ routines and combinations. The site features DUOX video SKYLINE door panels with graphical displays to give visitors digestible information.

Best practice in notable Flanders project

Other notable residential projects include the Warelles development in Rumbeke, west Flanders, which adjoins a noted area of deciduous forest. Each residence at Warelles has a unique layout and configuration of terrace and other individual amenities. There are 18 villa-style apartments as well as five penthouses across three blocks with a general entrance gate with 23 push buttons. This is a full digital 2-wire door DUOX system with standard FE9415 Dobiss VEO-XS and Dobiss NXT-server.

FERMAX technology of this kind extends the concept of home automation and improves ease of life. Temperature control can be precise and blind/shutter possibilities are varied. Lighting combinations can be simple or subtle, and watering/irrigation can be automated. Facility automation of this kind makes going on holiday a less fraught process with reduced risks stemming from the ability to monitor the residence permanently. Energy efficiency can be improved with chronothermostats, notably the 'leaving home' scenario which ensure that lights and devices are switched off when a resident leaves home but with the option to retain some light usage that simulates occupation in a random manner in order to deter burglars.

Passing on cost-savings

This combined Dobiss and FERMAX approach becomes an attractive choice for all stakeholders in residential projects and notably property developers. Simple cabling and flexible installation options mean minimal engineering time on site so reducing disruption to other trades people who will be working to tight deadlines. Modifications and upgrades are always achievable. Time-savings are achieved by the absence of vertical gaps between blocks and ceiling and tile drilling is necessary only for the light point. Configuration is simplified thanks to intuitive procedures and many opportunities to replicate proven configurations in different apartments. Cost-savings can be passed on to m & e contractors whose offering to the turnkey contractor becomes more attractive.

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