Grand Designs: Intelligent Controls

Project Profile Patrick Bradley House, Maghera

Architect Patrick Bradley had a very distinctive vision for his new home, nestled in a strikingly beautiful location on his farm in the hills outside Maghera in County Derry, Northern Ireland.

Architect Patrick Bradley had a very distinctive vision for his new home, nestled in a strikingly beautiful location on his farm in the hills outside Maghera in County Derry, Northern Ireland. His design was so original, and so stunningly executed, that it drew the attention of Kevin McCloud, who featured it on his Channel 4 programme Grand Designs. McCloud described the concept, constructing a home using four 45-foot steel shipping containers stacked two high in the form of a cantilevered cross, as ‘radical’.

Grand Designs Patrick Bradley House iControl
Grand Designs Patrick Bradley House at night iControl
Grand Designs Patrick Bradley House interior iControl

Patrick wanted the workings of his new home to be equally radical, embracing cutting-edge technology to install the intelligent control of all the lighting and heating functions via his iPad or mobile phone. Enter iControl’s Aaron Kearney.

“Patrick had set a gruelling build schedule of just ten months and he was already well into that time when he contacted me,” said Aaron. “Patrick was very specific about what he wanted, right down to the smallest detail and the interior aesthetic was just as important as functionality.”

To deliver on every aspect, performance, ease of installation and then of use and visual appeal within the interior décor scheme, iControl recommended the domovea building automation package from Hager. This package would deliver all Patrick Bradley’s demands and more, giving him complete control of heating and lighting throughout the building directly from his tablet, smart phone or computer. Moreover, Aaron Kearney was able to build and pre-programme the central control unit in the iControl workshop, so that all the only work on site was to fit the cabinet to the wall and connect the appropriate cables.

Installing the iControl Hager system
Installing the Hager system

“Patrick was very specific about what he wanted, right down to the smallest detail and the interior aesthetic was just as important as functionality”

Photo of Aaron Kearney Aaron Kearney, iControl

There was one element of the system that Aaron was keen to modify from Patrick’s specification. “Initially, Patrick intended to have exclusively automated control over the lighting system. We could do this be we felt that, in practical terms, it would be better to have the option of switches.” Again, the Hager range provided the solution that met Patrick’s stringent interior requirements, with their premium German-designed Berker range.

Touch Panels from Hager
Touch Panels from Hager

The switch Patrick chose was the B.IQ, which offers up to four functional elements – temperature controller, information display, tactile sensor and timer – in a single control unit. B.IQ switches incorporating thermostats were fitted in each room, delivering an additional benefit of providing control over five zones of heating.

Within the tight timescale set, Patrick Bradley has created the home he envisioned, down to the last detail, and he was delighted with the building management systems put in place by iControl. He said: “When I met Aaron to discuss my requirements he completely put my mind at rest. In relation to the specification and quality of the systems he was able to provide, he really impressed me. I can honestly say I wasn’t completely aware of the level of technology he could provide.”

“When I met Aaron to discuss my requirements he completely put my mind at rest”

Photo of Patrick Bradley Patrick Bradley, Architect
Patrick easily controls lighting and heating with his iPad
Patrick easily controls lighting and heating with his iPad
Patrick using the iCOntrol app

How it works

The domovea building automation package from Hager is divided into two key elements, and consists of a server which connects the KNX bus system onto an IP network, which is then supported by domovea visualisation software, available across multiple operating systems, including iOS, Android and PC. It is designed to enable building owners to monitor and control their building automation simply through the intuitive control of different devices from PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Home Computers
Home computer The domovea software can be used on any standard Windows® PC.
Touch panel
Touch panel The Touch Panels from Hager are even more intuitive and ergonomic.
Tablet PC
Tablet PC Domovea can also be operated using tablet devices, at home or away.
Smartphones
Smartphones Comfortably monitor and control using a mobile or Smartphone.

About iControl

iControl is a leading electrical engineering company specialising in design, build, installation and commissioning of intelligent control systems for modern homes and living. iControl can deliver systems for the entire home, embracing heating and lighting, audio and audio-visual including home cinema, and smart appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines etc.

Part of the AK Electrics group, iControl has worked on a wide range of prestigious projects throughout Ireland and the UK.

For more information contact Aaron Kearney on 07702 545 749
aaron@icontrolbuilding.com