Radical’ house brought under radical remote control

When Patrick Bradley came up with an innovative design for his own house (pictured), he wasn’t satisfied with just the cantilevered cargo containers. He wanted to control all its functions with his iPad or mobile phone, as well.

The house is famous. It was featured on the UK TV show, Grand Designs, which profiles ambitious self-build projects. Bradley, who runs his architectural practice on the family farm in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, used four 45ft steel shipping containers, stacked two-high in the form of a cantilevered cross. Series presenter Kevin McCloud called it ‘radical’.

Architect Patrick Bradley, controlling his pad with his iPad

He wanted radical control of lighting and heating as well, but didn’t give his contractor much time.

The project was well underway when Patrick Bradley approached AK Electrical with his plans for the electrical control systems in July 2014.

"With the build schedule, we had until the end of August to complete the installation, so speed was a key factor," says Aaron Kearney, owner of AK. "We also needed to be sure that the system we specified would be simple to install as by the time we were on site, activity was fairly hectic, with up to 35 tradesmen of various disciplines working at any one time."

The visualisation software works across different operating systems, including iOS, Android and PC

The Hager system recommended by AK Electrical consisted of a server that connects the KNX bus system onto an IP network. The visualisation software works across different operating systems, including iOS, Android and PC.

It worked, and Bradley’s happy. "I can honestly say I wasn’t completely aware of the level of technology he [Aaron] could provide," he said.

Adapted from a Hager case study. Photographs courtesy of Hager.

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  1. Surprised to see the word ‘radical’ used here. Technology exists to do so much more. We just don’t use it. Central locking is a must for our cars, why not our homes? There is so much more we can do.

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