EDITORS CHOICE 30.01.18

Inside look at the making of a smart home in Abuja, Nigeria

bang & olufsen TV and speakers in living room of Cachez Turnkey Projects and Hausba Smarthome project in abuja

A testament to first-class design, collaboration and integration, look no further than the latest project from Hausba Smarthomes for an example of Nigeria’s emerging custom installation market. HiddenWires explores.

When  Hausba  Smarthomes’  long-term  collaborator  and  local  real estate developer Cachez Turnkey Projects came calling with a US $3 million, 700 square metre, seven-bedroom luxury villa owner looking to own his first smart  home  system;  the  answer  was  an easy one.

The  property  is  located  in  the  city  of Abuja, Nigeria’s bustling political, business and  design  hub –  a  breeding  ground  for the country’s growing custom installation market  –  where  the  company’s  portfolio is  growing  with  ambitious  projects  with healthy  budgets.  “Hausba  has  been working with Cachez for over seven years now.  Their  client  had  just  purchased  the home and requested to have a smart home living  experience  and  we  put  ourselves forward  to  deliver  the  project,”  explains Toochukwu  Onyemelukwe,  managing director at Hausba.

As a technology fan, the client’s needs were specific – from smaller requests, like what content he would watch on his TVs to  far-reaching  ones,  like  requesting  the conversion of one of the home’s bedrooms into a high spec home cinema.

hausba smarthomes control4 control in home next to marble wall

"In order  to  deliver  the  bespoke experience the client was looking for, and with the understanding that budget wasn’t a concern, we decided to go for what we feel are the leading brands in each area of the industry,” says Onyemelukwe. “Firstly, we  wired  the  whole  house  for  a  Lutron HomeWorks smart lighting system, which integrated seamlessly with Control4 home automation.”  Glass-finished  keypads dotted around the home were chosen over traditional switches to give an elegant and modern finish.

“During  our  client  discovery  session, it  became  clear  it  was  important  for  the homeowner to be able to control all lights and window shades from a keypad at his bedside, since he was going to be home alone most times when the housekeeper retires  at  night.”  To  accommodate  this, Hausba  created  a  “Goodnight”  scene  on the master bedroom’s bedside keypad for switching off the night lights in the living rooms  and  common  areas.  Furthermore, Lutron window shades automatically roll down at sunset and roll up at 7am every day to suit the homeowner’s schedule.

“The client was particular about being able to access the latest movie releases in UHD from the Bang & Olufsen TVs around his home.”


lutron shades in entrance/hallway in hausba smarthomes project in abujaHausba  furthermore  tailored  the automation  system  to  provide  added protection  to  the  multi-million  dollar home,  and  the  technology  inside. “Security  was  a  concern,  and  we  had  to come up with an alternative to installing burglary  bars  on  the  stairs’  windows whilst  also  not  obstructing  the  view along  the  stairs’  fixed  glazing,”  explains Onyemelukwe.  To  secure  the  stairs’ glass  curtain  wall,  Hausba  introduced motorised  shutters  which  rolled  down to  secure  the  windows  against  burglary, but still allowed the client see through its perforated  openings.  A  custom  button on  the  Control4  touchpanel  (in  addition to  the  “Goodnight”  scene)  triggers  all eight roller shutters to close. A DSC Neo security  system  and  biometric  access control  to  the  elevator  further  bolsters the safety of the homeowner and the villa, all  of  which  is  integrated  via  IP  with  the wider Control4 system.

“The  client  was  also  particular  about being  able  to  access  the  latest  movie releases  in  UHD  from  the  Bang  & Olufsen TVs around his home,” continues Onyemelukwe.  To  fulfil  this  requirement, Hausba  ensured  4K  HDBaseT  video distribution  delivered  UHD  video  signal from  the  central  Kaleidescape  Strato system to his five TVs.

The  ability  to  enjoy  music  across  the villa  was  also  high  on  the  homeowner’s list  of  must-haves,  and  B&O  were once  again  preferred  when  it  came  to choosing  discreet  yet  powerful  in-ceiling architectural  speakers.  “The  client  loved the  speaker’s  small  form  factor  yet incredible sound reproduction. A Control4 audio  system  enabled  multiple  audio video sources as well as music streaming services  such  as  TuneIn,  Spotify  and Deezer,” states Onyemelukwe.

control4 remote and bang & olufsen TV in living room of home installed by hausba smarthomes in abuja

With US $188,000 (€154,000) dedicated to creating the ideal customised smart home system,  a  significant  budget  of  $163,000 (€133,000) was set aside for bringing to life the homeowner’s vision of his dream home cinema. What previously served as a guest bedroom  has  been  converted  into  a  fully-automated  immersive  cinema  space.  “The cinema room was a replica of a similar project of  ours  which  the  client  fell  in  love  with,” says Onyemelukwe. The room now boasts a Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 immersive audio system powered  by  a  Trinnov  16-channel  audio processor  and  Bowers  &  Wilkins  cinema speakers,  concealed  behind  an  acoustic wall  treatment  and  a  Stewart  Filmscreen acoustically transparent projection screen.

Creating  perfectly  balanced  audio  in the  room  was  not  without  its  challenges, however; “When  designing  the  cinema room, we had a constraint of space as the room’s width wasn’t able to accommodate the  surround  speakers  behind  the  wall panels,”  explains  Onyemelukwe.  “To resolve  this,  we  decided  to  recess  the speakers  into  the  solid  block  wall  and gain back 120mm on each side of the wall. Again,  the  headroom  was  about  2.7m, thereby posing a challenge to our seating risers which typically would be increments of 300mm.” He concludes: “We eventually elevated  the  projector  screen  to  the maximum height possible and reduced the floor risers to 200mm each.”

hausba smarthomes-installed cinema room in abuja, nigeria

Another  issue  was  reducing  the  noise filtering  into  the  adjoining  living  room and  bedroom  from  the  cinema  room. “We  resolved  this  with  a  sound  isolation panel made out of a double layer of half-inch dry wall with green glue in-between, placed along the wall prior to our under-construction for the acoustic wall panel – which was a composed of 1-in chipboard and 1-in fibre glass panels.”

A  Control4  interface  enables  simple control of the home cinema for homeowner and guests, with the added option of using one of the manufacturer’s SR260 remotes if they would prefer. A Sony 4K VPL-320ES is paired with the large 135-in screen in the cinema, with nine individual black leather seats  from  Elite  Home  Theater  offering guests  the  ultimate  comfort  whether enjoying  4K  content  from  Amazon  Fire TV,  via  Kaleidescape  Strato  or  watching the latest sports.

The reach of the homeowner’s control system also extend outdoors to the villa’s large  pool  area,  where  the  safety  of  the client’s  visiting  grandchildren  and  non-swimmers  was  a  priority.  “The  challenge was  that  client  didn’t  want  any  physical barricades around the swimming pool, but wanted  to  ensure  the  safety  of  others,” notes  Onyemelukwe.  “We  resorted  to customising a motorised pool cover. This meant as well as monitoring the pool via Control4 4sight on his phone when he was away,  he  could  also  open  and  close  the pool cover for authorised use only.”

Although  a  2-year  build  timeline  was delayed in its final delivery, the homeowner can  now  enjoy  his  family-friendly,  fully customised smart home, with Ihiji remote management  on  hand  to  ensure  Hausba provides excellent customer support and are on-site only when necessary.

 

Tech-Spec

2N Helios IP Verso

Apart Audio Revamp 1680 power amplifiers

Axis IP cameras

Bang & Olufsen in-ceiling speakers

Bowers & Wilkins CT7.3 LCRS, CWM7.3 in-wall speakers, CT SW15 subwoofers and CCM7.3 in-ceiling speakers

Control4 EA5 controller, EA1 controllers, SR-260 remotes, 7-in touchpanels and 16x16 audio matrix switch

DSC Neo alarm starter kit

DSTV satellite recorders and decoder

Dune HD media players

Elite Home Theater seating

Invixium access control

Kaleidescape Strato movie player

Lutron HomeWorks dimmer/switching modules & keypads, Sivoia shading system and occupancy sensors

Middle Atlantic racks

Muxlab 8x8 4K matrix switch

Séura Hydra indoor waterproof TV

Sony VPL-VW320ES 4K projector

Stewart Filmscreen 16:9 projector screen

Trinnov Altitude 32 processor and Amplitude power amplifiers

QNAP HS-251 media server and NVR