Barging through with high-tech demo facility

UK integrator, New Land Solutions has purchased one of only two existing ex-Naval barges with plans to transform it into a cutting-edge new demo facility for home automation and technology.

MAC1010 is 34m ex Royal Navy electrical load test barge which was converted in 2016 into a high standard floating home. When the opportunity arose to purchase it, Luke Newland, director of New Land Solutions, jumped at the chance, seeing the MAC1010 as an obvious space for a small-scale version height of smart technology.

Following the success of ‘The Disco Bus’, Newland Solutions’ airstream demo facility, MAC1010 will provide a larger space for them to exhibit their capabilities.

“The Disco Bus was original and cutting-edge at the time,” said Newland. “It provided the audio for some brilliant events and parties. But it wasn’t big enough to manifest the full extent of our capabilities. Basically, I was looking for a bigger, better toy.”

The barge was originally used in the refits of nuclear boats to test main generators, up to a load of three megawatts, the equivalent of 3,000 electric fires. Ironically, the new demo facility will be a low energy consumption flip of that concept. With intelligent 24v lighting, solar panels and multiple heat sources, MAC1010 will be self-sufficient and sustainable.

“I love the irony of MAC1010’s past being a complete juxtaposition to what we are going to create,” Newland added.

Modelled on a three-bedroom house, MAC1010 will provide New Land Solutions with insights that they will use to optimise energy efficiency on their projects. It will feature sensors to constantly monitor and analyse the performance of the system, and then make decisions based on the feedback to maximise energy performance.

The barge will be full of the latest flagship smart technologies, including a fully integrated KNX heating system which will offer automated comfort for visitors.

Working with Meridian Audio and McIntosh, the barge will also feature a precise and pre-eminently powerful sound system both inside and outside.

Another exciting feature will be an integrated 4K cinema room to demonstrate immersive AV home entertainment experiences.

“Our dream is to see her floating on the Thames, offering London’s residents and property developers a glimpse of the simplicity, synchronicity, and seamlessness of our smart technology solutions,” Newland concluded.