I love those more interesting shoots – something that is completely different. Recently I received a commission for some interiors photography for a company that was diversifying into the Smart Home sector.
ACC Haus is an offshoot of ACC (Application Centric Computing) Ltd. The company is headed up by Jeff Jones who is an IT pioneer specialising in Technical Product Development and has over 100 press awards under his belt.
In 2015 Jeff decided to completely re-furbish his 1920’s built home and wanted to take advantage of the latest in Smart Home technology. He decided to make the property as energy efficient as possible. Also important were effective control and monitoring solutions. Jeff initially conducted a full review of the smart building market, before deciding to work with some industry leading partners. Smart control systems were designed which could be accessed from multiple devices, ranging from a PC down to a mobile device.
At the heart of the project are the latest innovations in space heating , control systems and security. The concept is more appealing as everything was done with a minimalism in mind. Initially, the existing gas fired boiler and radiators were removed and replaced with an internal air source heat pump to boost hot water. Secondly, far-infrared (FIR) heat panels were introduced. These are designed to be heated to around 100 degrees C where they produce long wavelength infrared. This energy is only absorbed by matter, which means that heat is not wasted by warming the air in the building. Allergy sufferers find that dust is less of a problem as no convection air currents are set up. The panels are fitted to the ceilings where they take up less space and one was also incorporated into the bathroom mirror.
As a back up, there is an efficient wood burning facility built into the property, just in case of extreme temperatures or power cuts. Solar panels generate most of the power used by the system even in winter. The unusual thing about the panels were that they were inset into the roof, rather than attached to it, saving on roof tiles used.
ACC devised the control systems present in every room where monitoring devices are built into what seem to be simple light switches. These are high tech control and sensing devices which can monitor temperature and tell whether someone is present in the room. This can be advantageous as devices can be set to switch off automatically. Each room can have the temperature controlled separately and lighting presets can also be set. Music can be piped to each room according to individual tastes. Security is built in to the system as CCTV cameras are installed which can be viewed remotely.
You do need to have a very well insulated home before you start. It is not something that would easily be able to be retro fitted. It would need to be carried out as a major rebuild of the property. All the systems are solid state, meaning there is little maintenance and no moving parts. The beauty is that you can set up systems at room level, making everything flexible and energy efficient. In time, as more smart devices come to market, this flexibility will increase.
One downside to all of this is that your standard Energy Performance Certificate would take a severe dip. The way round this would be take a full certificated assessment, which takes into account the efficiency of the FIR panels.
Even though this was very different, I found that this was a normal interiors photography shoot. There was perhaps more emphasis on the details, as there were many innovative devices to feature.
That is the beauty for me, as no two days are the same.
© Andrew Boschier Photography 2018