The third edition of the SMARTHOME AWARDS has closed, with 7 impressive projects receiving awards. The winners demonstrated pragmatism, the ability to anticipate changing technologies and creativity.
With today’s growing emphasis on automation and three trade shows, INTERCLIMA+ELEC, BATIMAT and IDEO BAIN forming the world’s biggest building and architecture showcase, the results of the Smarthome Awards are more far-reaching than ever.
“Home automation finally seems to be coming of age, with technology at last finding its audience for simple, practical and useful applications. Being chairman of the judges is both an opportunity and a source of pride. I have no doubt that the winners of the 2013 Smarthome Awards will be the companies of the future.” Jérôme Bonaldi, chairman of the judges.
THE THIRD EDITION ILLUSTRATES THE COMING-OF-AGE OF THE HOME AUTOMATION MARKET
While some still consider home automation the preserve of the “geek”, the projects submitted for this third edition are evidence that it is starting to become more mainstream. To be eligible, projects had to be delivered and implemented in the residential sector by electricians specialising in home automation (installers/home automation specialists). Twenty-eight exceptional and diverse projects were shortlisted by the judging panel, which comprised industry experts and journalists.
The SMARTHOME AWARDS reflect the sector’s current status in France and also recognise and encourage home automation specialists. The four key developments to note are as follows:
1. Boom in home automation
The first observation is that more than half the submissions were from first-time SMARTHOME AWARDS entrants, demonstrating a renewed and growing interest in home automation. The market is therefore coming of age and today, the number of individuals wishing to invest in a smart home is increasing exponentially. By 2017, almost 90 million homes around the world will be equipped with home automation technology.
2. Home automation is going mainstream
The 2013 SMARTHOME AWARDS categories have been redefined to keep up with industry changes and were officially presented by the judging panel at INTERCLIMA+ELEC on 6 November. The 7 projects were exhibited at INTERCLIMA+ELEC in the Hall 1.
We have introduced a major category for projects under €25,000 (in new builds and renovations).
We have also added an “accessibility” category given that home automation is certain to be a key solution for keeping the elderly in their own homes and the answer to one of society’s major challenges.
The energy efficiency category is crucial since intelligent solutions in the home are paramount to achieving energy efficiency. Home automation will consequently play a major role in this area.
3. Smart devices are increasing
This third edition of the SMARTHOME AWARDS was also the opportunity to note the increase in the number of smart devices. The judges could see to what extent smart devices have entered the home, as was noted at the global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas in January 2013. Unattractive cables and wires have given way to smartphones, tablets and other smart devices that talk to each other in the home for seamless control. It is a genuine convergence of IT and automation.
4. More diverse automation solutions are available on the market
Another notable change is the diversity of technology in projects submitted to the SMARTHOME AWARDS. Previously the technology varied very little, but projects entered for the 2013 edition are teeming with new tools! Today’s market provides installers with a vast choice of solutions for the most creative and inventive bespoke installations, based on the needs of each occupant.
WINNERS OF THE SEVEN AWARD CATEGORIES
Winner: MEDETIC TECHNOLOGIES, Colmar
This project illustrates the use of automation to allow the elderly to remain in their own homes. The General Electric Energy Habiteq solution was used in the design of energy-efficient, smart housing for seniors, incorporating living-environment considerations that included entertainment, services, health and safety at reasonable cost.
With regard to home safety, assisted living and energy savings, home automation systems were complemented by communications networks. The fit-out also included special home telehealth equipment.
Energy efficiency category:
1. In new builds – Winner: DOMO LOGIS TEC, Vieux Condé (Nord-Pas-de-Calais)
DOMO LOGIS TEC installed an automation system in a house in Belgium based on a KNX multi-brand solution (ABB, Zennio, Theben) and an EnOcean solution (wireless and battery-free technology).
Controls the speed of the heat recovery ventilation system based on a ground-coupled heat exchanger depending on the inside temperature, monitors the rainwater collection system, optimises the level of required lighting, and manages heating on a per-room basis with window contact for frost protection on opening. It also measures power consumption.
2. Renovation – Winner: VFX CONCEPT, Lons le Saunier (Franche Comté)
This project involved refurbishing a farmhouse built in 1760 with the latest energy-saving technologies: full LED lighting, heating management, a standby eliminator, lifestyle pre-programming, and power usage display panel. The project was a collaboration between industry professionals and volunteers and featured highly economical automation solutions such as IPX800 (GCE Electronics), XBMC, Synology and Openremote.
Category: “Under €25,000”:
1. In new builds – Winner: L’ETINCELLE, Saint André (Languedoc-Roussillon)
This automation system installed in the home of a builder was based on the MyHome solution by Legrand and Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS). A Crestron programmable control system was installed subsequently to manage a home cinema via an iPad.
2. Renovation – Winner: 2TMI, Haubourdin
This project involved the refurbishment of a house in Le Touquet and the installation of wired and wireless home-automation products under the KNX protocol to control lighting, heating, motorisation and a watering system via smartphone or tablet using the MyLifedomus solution.
Category: “Over €25,000”:
1. In new builds – Winner: OCELEK, Brumath (Alsace)
A complete home-automation installation combining all of the project’s BSE packages, including heating, blinds with adjustable slats, weather station, watering system from a water-collection tank, heat recovery ventilation system, alarm system, sound system, video system, video telephony, video surveillance, and power usage metering. A comprehensive range of technical solutions providing the perfect balance of proven home automation products (Hager, ABB, Varuna, RTI, Casanova) and new generation equipment (Basalte, Mobotix, Lifedomus, Dune, Synology, Sonos).
2. Renovation – Winner: IHABITATION, Saint Lys (Midi-Pyrenées)
Renovation of the old gate of the walled city of Châteauroux, a listed 13th-century building classified as a French National Monument. The highly sophisticated automation solutions (lighting, radiator control, multi- room audio, IP video phone, alarm, video surveillance) respected both the historical nature of the site and the architectural constraints, and were based on a KNX multi-brand solution (Hager, ABB, Siemens, Beg, Zennio) centralised on a smartphone and tablet through Lifedomus.