Smart Architecture—Henley-on-Thames

A 'Grand Design' house with enhanced technology

If you have any interest in home design or architecture then you are probably aware of the UK TV series 'Grand Designs'.

grand designs text logo

This project was a finalist in the 2021 RIBA House of the Year; which was featured on Series 6 Episode 3 of Kevin McCloud's Grand Designs series on channel 4 in December 2021.

'River House' has a unique design by John Pardey Architects and our project partners were Morris Electrical and Electric Blue Light & Design.

All about the infrastructure

The project was completed in several phases over a number of years, so it was critical that the cable infrastructure was carefully designed at the outset to ensure it had the capability to meet the demands of all the technology of the finished home; yet was still a usable system as the various phases were completed.

"Cyberhomes were the perfect match for this architectural project, their attention to detail and willingness to come up with bespoke solutions was superb. The project build lasted a few years, and their support was 100% throughout the project. We are extremely pleased with the Savant and Lutron System, which works flawlessly day-to-day. We put all the electrical items including Air Conditioning control, Lighting, Intercom, Heating and CCTV into Savant and it is really nice to have everything in one place.

"Thank you to Cyberhomes for their professionalism and dedication over the past few years."

Max Narula | Henley-on-Thames, UK

The Services Provided...

Lighting Control

Working closely with the lighting designer meant there was a lot of emphasis on ensuring that the proposed solution was able to control all the amazing lighting circuits to maximum effect.

This was no ordinary lighting design. With 120 Dali circuits, 6 colour change DMX circuits plus a further 8 switched and 12 phase-dimmed circuits it was clear that the reliability and flexibility of a Lutron lighting control system would be essential. This was integrated into the Savant system along with five PIRs for automated triggering of lighting.

And control of daylight was equally important. There are 28 motorised blinds, all recessed to suit the modern design of the house. The custom-engraved lighting keypads from Lutron’s architectural Palladiom range were also recessed. In addition there are three Savant wall-mounted touch screens that can access all the home’s technology in addition to the lighting.

The unique building design gives the appearance of floating in space (a flood plain necessitated the building raised on stilts) and the clever use of lighting, both indoors and outdoors, reinforces that effect both day and night.

A key benefit of Savant Pro is the ability for the homeowner, who wanted an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn system, to create their own scenes without requiring any further programming assistance. For this project that was a huge advantage as it allows the homeowner to set all the lighting levels just right throughout the home and then save the scene for instant recall in the future.

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Similar attention was paid to the detail of the climate control.

In this instance we weren’t only considering the 16 underfloor heating zones, but also seven zones of air conditioning throughout the property, as well as natural ventilation via a series of motorised skylights.

It’s very easy for heating, cooling and ambient heat to all ‘fight' each other to reach the desired temperature in each room. To avoid this we turned to a building management systems from North Building Technologies to ensure the systems all co-ordinated in harmony. This was also integrated into Savant to allow skylights to be opened to allow fresh air into rooms without confusing the climate control system.

As this type of integrated solution was relatively new for North, Cyberhomes engineers invested considerable time with them prior to final system design to ensure it would all work seamlessly.

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This was a relatively modest AV solution by Cyberhomes standards.

An Atlona 6×6 video matrix feeds the three TVs around the home ensuring they can each access the shared video sources—two Sky Q satellite receivers and an Apple TV media player. An added complexity was the requirement for the TVs to be from Bang and Olufsen, which meant a Beolink gateway was required for Savant integration.

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CCTV & Security

The four Hikvision CCTV cameras can also be viewed on any of the TVs (and any device running the Savant Pro app) along with recorded footage from the NVR.

Three Savant intercoms provide a video link to the exterior of the property and can be answered on the touch screens or the homeowners’ personal smart devices. An integrated Texecom intruder alarm keeps the property secure.

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