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14 December 2022
Manoj Singh

Design Drawing Considerations for Smart Homes

It used to be in the realm of science fiction, but no more. Smart living in smart homes is fast becoming a reality for an increasing number of homeowners. The new smart homes on the block may feature IoT/AI technology, rainwater harvesting systems, solar panels, fire systems, security systems and external building services that function intelligently, both independently and that integrate between systems. Incorporating these systems into home design requires the expertise of specialists who can create accurate, detailed plans and provide high-quality engineering design services.

Living in smart homes means that the end of a long working day and long commute can see you walk into a temperature-controlled room, with your favourite music playing and lights dimmed to perfection, all without any effort from you or anyone else. You may even get a a notification that it’s suddenly started raining and the bedroom window has been left open. And that’s only an appetiser. A variety of main courses may follow.

Planning a home that is this smart involves considering how to incorporate smart home features into the design drawings and design workflow as early as possible. Architects have been known to bring in specialists for this. It can be challenging to create a smart home automation system and get different devices to work together, controlled by individual apps.

Using the Internet of Things, or IoT, frameworks, data is collected. Artificial Intelligence, or AI, uses that data to perform specific tasks that make life a little bit easier for the inhabitants. Integrating IoT and AI results in smart devices that respond remotely to voice commands or pre-programmed commands. Typically, a reliable software development team can deliver high-quality IoT solutions.

Design Considerations
  • Understand the requirements, without trying to fit in new features that may not support the users’ lifestyles.
  • Plan for changing needs in the future.
  • Design should include data access points that may need to accommodate future innovations and technological advances.
  • In prefabricated smart home design, a complete home can be created with smart technological infrastructure and systems and controlled from a central app, so that more than one task can be performed simultaneously.
  • Decide how energy efficient the home should be, including solar panel design or an electric car charging point.
Core Elements of a Smart Home

Right on top of the list of smart home core elements are lighting, temperature, security and entertainment systems.

  • Smart lighting can control the colour and brightness of the lighting in different rooms by using motion sensors in every room, which turn on automatically when someone enters a room and switches off when no one is in the room.
  • Smart heating systems involve motion sensors and switches with temperature sensors to control the temperature and humidity. Smart thermostats and motion sensors can turn the heating off or on, using a smartphone to detect when someone leaves the house or returns. Smart window blinds can also help regulate the inside temperature. Smart thermostats respond to voice commands.
  • Entertainment systems can involve multi-room audio with speakers in different rooms controlled by a smartphone or a tablet. A smart speaker linked to smart lighting can turn music and lighting on and off through voice activation.
  • A central communication hub can control smart lights to home security cameras, displaying video feeds. A quality home security camera can help monitor children, the elderly and pets, while outdoor models can monitor prowlers. Some models integrate with lights. Cameras in doorbells can help keep track of the front porch and visitors, without going near the door or even while the resident is away from home.
  • Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can sound alarms or send alerts to a smartphone and to designated people. In case of a fire, the smoke detector can direct the thermostat to shut down the HVAC system, to avoid the circulation of smoke to other rooms. Smart smoke alarms can turn on emergency lights to guide people out of a smoke-filled space.
  • Smart irrigation systems can help ensure your lawn and garden get just enough water, without any wastage. They can connect with the rainwater harvesting system to improve sustainability goals.
Introducing the Internet

In smart homes, an Internet connection is critical to control devices from outside the home. This means planning for a wired data network in addition to Wi-Fi, which can frequently be unreliable due to weak signals or interference from neighbouring networks. This wired data network can use new and upgraded cabling, which combines electrical and data cabling. Conventional data cabling needed to be installed separately and connected to electrical wiring by an electrician. Telecommunications and Internet connections will need flawless external services as part of building design.

Completely Smart
  • Complete smart home systems integrated seamlessly with each other in the home. An example would be using the same motion sensors to control lighting, temperature and a burglar alarm, while designing for home security systems.
  • Home access control and a smart intercom can be added to the mix.
  • Though it may be expensive, complete smart homes save expenses on typical fixtures and wiring in the long run.
Design Drawings for Smart Homes

Smart homes come with a range of features, and thus they need accurate, detailed and thorough design drawings at every step, such as:

Electrical Drawings
  • An in-depth account of all electrical connections, outlets, fixtures, switches, lighting
  • Support wiring layout on the floor and electrical connections for many smart devices
  • Indicate the load capacity for use in energy efficiency
Plumbing Drawings
  • Show the markings and locations of plumbing components, sanitary pipes, water pipes, water drainage systems and piping related to rainwater harvesting systems
HVAC Drawings
  • Show the layouts and components of heating and ventilation systems, especially useful for maintaining preferred temperatures in certain rooms
  • Include the air conditioning patterns and layouts
Fire Protection Drawings
  • Represent the placement of fire hoses and water outlets
  • Specify the fire protection plan and safety systems

As these drawings are detailed, it is critical to have expert and experienced MEP BIM services partners provide precise mechanical design services and other MEP services. Smart homes need smart design drawing solutions.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing scan to BIM services for engineering and point cloud to MEP BIM services for general contractors and consultants. Our range of services for consultants and manufacturers across the world includes point cloud to BIM, structural point clouds, scan to BIM services for MEP, and we can convert point clouds to MEP models. We create these models and drawings by using Revit, AutoCAD and BIM Collaborate Pro for cloud collaboration.