London in bloom
Orchard House, a spectacular eight-bedroom detached residence adjoining Wimbledon Common in South London, was designed to offer unparalleled luxury.
Built by property developers Curzon Place Properties, the house has three floors with four living rooms, separate staff accommodation, a multi-car garage and a security lodge.
It is also equipped with its own cinema room and library, and an indoor swimming pool and spa complex.
Orchard House incorporates state-of-the-art technology, including a sophisticated home automation control system from lighting control and automation group Dynalite.
The fully automated Dynalite system controls the lighting circuits, air-conditioning, underfloor heating and gas fires in the main living rooms.
According to estate agents John D Wood & Co of Wimbledon Village, Orchard House has been built to an exceptionally high standard with top-of-the-range fittings and finishes.
Home automation and electrical specialist CEI of Meopham Green, Kent, has created a fully automated home that provides the occupants with convenience and flexibility.
The facilities include multi-room AV systems, a fully equipped modern home cinema with one-button touch control and bathroom-tile televisions.
Dynalite’s mood lighting and climate control system is featured throughout the property.
The system’s colour touch screen at the entrance displays a schematic of the building layout, allowing users to control and adjust lighting in each room, as well as in the pool area, sauna and steam rooms.
Each of the controllers on the main panel can be used for raising or lowering the level of light, so users can create their required ambience or mood-lighting combination. These ‘mood settings’ can be recalled at the press of a single button.
Alternatively, users can alter the settings via the touch screen to reflect their current mood.
The keypad has a ‘goodbye’ mode, which turns off all the lighting circuits, and a ‘hello’ mode, which turns on the pre-set lighting settings.
The lighting control system has been programmed to operate all the dimmed lighting circuits at 95%, which reduces energy wastage and prolongs lamp life.
Ballast controllers have been incorporated into the design to enable the Dynalite system to dim all circuits, including cold-cathode varieties.
Each of the climate-control systems is integrated into the network, including the underfloor water heating and the air-conditioning, which is integrated via a LonWorks interface.
This solution enables the heating and air-conditioning systems to be linked to Dynalite’s organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays that are built in to the control panels.
These OLEDs feature a dynamic text display and have been developed for applications where environmental controls are integrated with the control systems.
The OLED displays have been installed in the main rooms to give occupants localised climate control and clearly display set-point and fan speed. Each panel detects the ambient temperature then calls for more heating or cooling, as required.
This technology makes it very easy to view individual room temperature settings from the main control panel. Users can easily adjust the settings to what they deem necessary as they enter or leave the premises.
The house features a central glass atrium that floods the residence with natural light, so sophisticated lighting controls were required to respond to the changing ambient light conditions.
To minimise energy wastage, CEI has installed passive infra-reds with daylight sensors.
When natural light reaches the designated lux level, the system automatically extinguishes unneeded lighting circuits.
When the lux level drops below a set level, the system reactivates the ceiling lighting.
Various circuits in the multi-purpose room, which doubles as a home cinema, can be controlled using an infra-red hand-held controller or the wall-mounted keypad.
The room has been programmed with ‘daytime scene’ and ‘movie scene’ configurations.
With the press of a button, a living space is transformed into a home cinema – the projector, screen and speakers automatically lower from concealed locations, black-out blinds cover the windows and LED perimeter lighting is activated.
Other lighting circuits in the room are faded down to the selected level. The infra-red controller also controls sound levels.
The cold-cathode lighting is concealed in troughs with downlights positioned below to create an attractive V-shaped lighting effect that ‘wall washes’ the polished plaster walls.
Ceiling-mounted fibre optics replicate the sparkle of stars in the night sky.