Take con­trol

Once the pre­serve of the as­pir­ing Bond or gad­get geek, but now lit­er­ally in our pock­ets, smart home tech­nol­ogy saves time and money, says Ara­bella Youens

Country Life Every Week - - Property News -

DO you know what a BMS is? If not, read on. In ex­cep­tion­ally high-tech new-build houses, or houses that have un­der­gone a sub­stan­tial re­fit, the chances are high that what was once com­monly thought of as ‘the boiler room’ will have been con­verted into an ‘energy cen­tre’, at the heart of which will be the Build­ing Man­age­ment Sys­tem (BMS).

Look­ing not un­like some­thing that Q might have de­vised, this is where the house’s light­ing, sound and au­dio­vi­sual equip­ment as well as bur­glar, smoke and any other sort of alarms are man­aged. And, un­less the own­ers have a de­gree in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and com­puter sci­ence, they will need dif­fer­ent spe­cial­ists to re­pro­gramme the sys­tems in the event that they go wrong—which they do.

Smart home tech­nol­ogy is a sort of half­way house, of­fer­ing some of the clever re­mote-con­trol as­pects of the more com­pli­cated sys­tems with lower costs and no rewiring. Now that the se­cond gen­er­a­tion of kit has been launched on the mar­ket, iron­ing out some of the teething prob­lems of the first wave, coun­try-house own­ers— par­tic­u­larly mul­ti­ple-home own­ers— are reap­ing the ben­e­fits.

‘Heat­ing and se­cu­rity sys­tems that can be con­trolled from your phone are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar,’ says Luke Mor­gan of Strutt & Parker (020–7318 5095), who adds that he’s just as likely now to come across them in ren­o­vated old rec­to­ries as in new houses. ‘For example, you could check your CCTV cam­eras on your mo­bile and then turn the heat­ing on as you drive home from hol­i­day.’ House of the fu­ture: kitchen ap­pli­ances such as fridges and cof­feemak­ers can now be con­trolled from your phone or tablet

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