Tag security

My Townhouse Remodel part 2

Our house is finally finished (for the most part). I’m hard at work tweaking all the automation functions at this point. The pictures are some of the highlights of this house. I received a lot of interest in this project, so I wanted to showcase some of the finished product. Here is an exclusive (for now) preview.

This is a 3 story design 210 sqm, and actually 4 story if you count the roof space. I built in access to the roof where I will eventually add an outside dinning area.

My idea was to mix Chinese and American design throughout. All the infrastructure (electrical and plumbing) is built to commercial American specs. All material was personally purchased and sent to this location for our builder’s use. Very little material was actually used locally. I travelled to USA, HK, Shenzhen, Gaungzhou, Germany and Shanghai to aquire the materials used in this project. I was responsible to inspect and approve every phase of the construction. With over 4000 meters of data cable alone, I had to teach the builders the art of data wire routing and handling. This is just not done in China, well certainly not Kunming. In the end, all the time I spent was well spent.
The result is a solidly built home that should last trouble free for quite some time. You can see some home pictures. I didn’t take too many, but you get the idea.

I spent 3 years on the design and testing of the automation and security systems. The main challenge was integrating electronic systems from several countries so that they all communicated with each other. The systems are all commercial spec and designed as bullet proof as can be made. The breaker pic divides all the house electrical systems properly and everything protected via a custom made arrestor panel from Germany. You will find all houses in China will have a maximum of 5 or 6 CB’s. I have 44 CB’s including EFI’s. Everything is 3 wire, including lighting circuits. China normally uses 2 wire electrical.

I designed this to be a green house, and it’s using 40% of the energy consumed in a normal home. If I turn on every light in my home, it consumes 500 watts of power, about the same as a normal single dinning room light fixture. Water heating is solar and electric. A computer monitors the solar water temp and constantly pumps solar heated water back into my electric heater to maintain 60 C temperature 24/7. The HA picture shows a few screens on my iPad to illustrate the energy monitor. The upper left screen updates every 30 seconds giving me energy use for heating, lighting, appliances. With other software, I can graph this data year by year to monitor and adjust various configurations.

The whole house is controlled manually using iPads and iPhones. I can operate and monitor all the functions from anywhere in the world. Also the house functions automatically without the need for any intervention on my part. All the security and control systems are on an integrated UPS power system that will continue to function 100% for 6 hours should A/C fail. The house even follows my location and knows how far away I am from home. When I get within a certain distance from home, automation systems will react. If it is night time, certain lights will turn on. The security system will disarm and unlock the entry door. Of course the coffee machine will turn on. If a friend is trying to locate my place, I will have outside lights blink so he can find my location in the dark.

I will break down the HA systems by category next.

Security: The HA screens pic (lower right) and the Cams pic is my ipad monitor for security. Cameras are all IP, with PTZ function. Controllable from any location. They sense and record motion events, as well as sound. Via the HA screen, I know the state of all security devices, including main water and gas. The system will respond to any emergency much the same as any security system, but with a few differences. If a fire or burglery occures, I am notified by email and instant phone messages. Same is true with any house malfunctions. For example, if a water or gas leak occurs, the house will shut of the water or gas mains, then notify me of a problem. I can even call into the house and “listen in” to various areas of my house.
The reality of a police response to a home in China is non existant. Therefore I designed the house for “self protection”. The bad guy will find himself very uncomfortable should he gain access inside. I won’t elaborate on this specifically here, but suffice to say, he will want to leave as fast as possible. My experience as a security systems tech for US govt, military weapons facilities, prisons and banks came into play with my house project. The server room pictures show the various systems in operation.

Lighting: LED lights and even wall sockets are automaticaly controlled. The lights are all dimmable (see HA screens top right and bottom left). The house tracks the azimuth of the sun to determine when to activate light automation. Moving around the house will automatically turn lights on and off. The house also uses logic to control the lights functions. It knows when I want to watch the theator, and will close window curtains, drop down the screen, and adjust lights accordingly. If I arm the security system for away mode or sleep mode, it will turn off all lights and appliances. I create program routines the system can pick from based on sensor inputs for many different scenerios. For instance, when I wake up and disarm the security system, the system knows to turn on my coffee machine. It can also give me audio feedback for any given situation.

A/V system: I have whole house audio and video distribution controlled in the server room. I can Play movies or watch TV in different rooms, all controlled in a central location. HDTV is streamed via CAT6 to the various TV’s. Same for music. I use the iPad to select music to play, and which room to play it in. I have about 300 channels of worldwide TV via an IPTV box. Throw away the satellite dishes! This stuff works well here, and the HD is way cool!

That is a pretty fair overview of my home in Kunming. The reaction of visitors to my house is quite positive. In fact, I’m already doing designs for 2 villas in Kunming. I think Chinese people really embrace this style of living and security. The HA market here has a huge potential. Not to mention the fact the savings in energy resources.