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The Smart Home

Technology integrates with today’s homes

Smart home technology is one trend that is gaining momentum with designers, home owners, and the techie in all of us.

From a fully integrated smart home system to various smart home gadgets, the industry is rapidly evolving into a multi-million-dollar hub of creative concepts to help make our homes more comfortable using the latest in technology.

A smart home is quite simply a home equipped with lighting, indoor climate control, and electronic devices that are all connected via Wi-Fi and can be controlled both onsite and remotely.

Recent surveys illustrate the rapid adaptation of smart home products with more than a quarter of all consumers owning at least one device. This technology trend is largely driven by millennials who have embraced the technology.

Smart home products range in use and cost, but some of the most popular products are used to control lighting, temperature, windows and doors, and electrical outlets. These products are designed to not only make homes more comfortable, offering easy solutions to routine tasks, but they frequently reduce electricity consumption by sensing when devices are on and off.

Smart products can also improve aesthetics in traditional appliances. OBM International has worked with integrated Creston touchscreen panels on three recently completed homes in the BVI and Anguilla. Clients are able to switch their lights on and off, wake up to pre-made coffee, and the TV on their favourite channel—all without using a switch or remote.

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A fully integrated smart home begins during the design phase of a new home. It integrates and controls everything within the home that runs on electricity from automatic lights, locks, shades and shutters, and security cameras.

The engineering of a fully integrated home is complex and requires a technology professional who is familiar with the system to be used in the home. These smart home engineers will work with architects and interior designers to ensure the wiring is available for control panels and switches. They will also clarify over sufficient space for the ‘rack room’ or control room for the system. Not only must space be allocated, but frequently additional cooling and back-up generators are required to keep the rack room operating efficiently.

If an integrated smart home seems overwhelming, there are many things that have been integrated into BVI homes for years that continue to be smart.

Utilising solar elements throughout a home—whether for heating a pool or for supplemental electricity—will always be smart, as well as building open, tropical homes designed to provide airflow for natural air conditioning.

As technology continues to evolve and it integrates into our homes, it’s important to remember the best smart technology is the one that works for you to make your home a more comfortable place.

Photography courtesy of OBMI

Marvin E Flax

Marvin E Flax

Marvin is the Managing Director of OBM International, leading the global master planning, architecture, and design firm in its Tortola office. Creative by nature, Marvin uses the beauty of the BVI for inspiration.
Marvin E Flax

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