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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home Automation Systems in Kerala

Home Automation in simple basic terms, mean anything that gives us a remote or automatic control of things around our home. As the world gets more and more technologically advanced, we find new technology coming in deeper and deeper into our personal lives at home. Home automation is becoming more and more popular around the world and is becoming a common practice in today’s world.

The process of home automation works by making everything in the house automatically controlled using technology to control and do the jobs that we would normally do manually. It is much easier to install home automation in a house while it is still being built, since you have the ability to put things inside the walls to save space. Though, people who have houses already built can still have home automation done in a less intrusive way through wireless systems.

Home automation takes care of a lot of different activities in the house. Some of these things are as simple as turning on the sprinklers at a certain time every day and detecting burglars in the middle of the night. Others are much more advanced like sensing the presence of the person in a room and adjusting light ambiance, the temperature in the room, the volume of the music, according to different factors like the day of the week and the time.

The systems that you can control include-
Heating and cooling, 
Security and monitoring systems, 
Entertainment (home audio and video), 
Communications (telephones and intercoms, internet), 
Lawn sprinklers, 
Curtain movements, 
Gate door motor, 
Shade motor control, 
Keyless entry etc.
The concept of home automation is to connect all of these systems and devices to a central controller so that they can be controlled from anywhere and react to one another. For example, as you arrive home, your home-automation system can automatically open the gate door, unlock the front door and disable the alarm, light the downstairs, and turn on the TV. Or if you power on the DVD player, it might automatically dim the lights, draw the shades, and direct all calls to voicemail.

This central controller can be accessed and controlled through interfaces like keypad, wired or wireless touch-screens (with/without video), universal remotes, mobile devices such as a cell phone or PDA, any PC, at home, in the office, or on the road.
The central controller has various peripheral devices connected to it so that it can receive and send signals to them for appropriate controls. These peripheral devices can be Lighting Controllers, Switches, Lighting Dimmers, Wireless security transmitters, Door contactors, PIR sensors, Infrared keyfobs, Fire/smoke detectors, Sprinklers, Sirens, audio controllers, speakers, temperature sensors, thermostats, cameras, televisions, CCTV, appliances etc.

If appropriately specified, installed, operated and maintained, advanced lighting control strategies can reduce energy costs from 15 to 55% in your home, either by keeping lights off when and where they are not needed or by lowering light levels to correspond to the task at hand. In addition, lighting controls can increase occupant satisfaction and productivity by allowing users to tailor lighting levels to their personal needs and by optimizing light levels for the work environment.
To make sure that your new house being built in Kerala can be adapted to Home Automation Systems, have it installed with structured cabling.
The telecommunications cabling in a modern home supports a large and growing number of applications, including voice telephony, data networking, personal computers, printers, Internet access, and other applications, entertainment equipment like TV, home theater, whole-house audio, and home automation equipment, lighting control and security systems. For ease and convenience it is necessary that the new home should have single cabling infrastructure with CAT 5 or CAT 6 cables.

Though sophisticated Wi-Fi equipments are there in the market, yet looking in to the promising future of IPTV etc. it becomes essential to go for high bandwidth solution. Entertainment applications, such as streaming video, typically use much more bandwidth than the voice and data applications. Therefore, a modern residence often requires more bandwidth than a typical office and needs to have structured cabling.

Benefits of Home Automation-

We’ve all gotten used to controlling our TV from the couch; just wait until you are able to dim the lights as well. Imagine adjusting the temperature from your bed or controlling the volume of your whole-house audio system from any room. Or imagine the wall/ceiling heater in your bathroom coming on automatically on chilly mornings 5 minutes before your alarm clock goes off so that it is warm when you enter. Many of the Home Automation products also save energy.

Automatic Gate opening systems are getting common these days, but you’ll be surprised how much safer you’ll feel coming home to a lit home and even turning on more lights from your keyfob remote upon your arrival. With a couple of basic products you can have your whole house light up when there is motion detected at any corner of your house. Imagine your house sending you an email if there is motion where there shouldn’t be any. Or you can have your security system call you if there is an alarm, which might include your typical security alarm or even a low or high temperature or water in the laundry room or basement.

High-tech products for the home are fun to use and share with others. Whether viewing visitors at your front door on your TV or tuning your stereo by using voice recognition, you’ll find home automation surprisingly enjoyable.

Some Home Automation companies that service Kerala are the following-

Eloka Enterprises Kerala
Ist Floor B Wing, 30/120B, Pranavam Tower,
Pettah Junction,
Poonithura, Cochin 682038.
Landmark : Varkeys Super Market
Mobile : +91 - 99955 87415 / 95678 62880
E-Mail : Support@Eloka.Net

Eloka Trivandrum
Future Desinz,
TC 13 / 1136, Kannammoola,
Trivandrum 695011
Mobile : +91 - 98470 65252 / 98472 99664.
E-Mail : Support@Eloka.Net

Netsys Consultants
A51/ Mosk road
Frazer town
Bangalore, India
T.  +91 80 4563787 
F.  +91 80 4563798

Honeywell Automation India Ltd.
No. 2234, 23rd Cross,
Banashankari 2nd stage,
Bangalore - 560070
Tel: 91-80-66146565
Fax No. 91-80-66146566

Controls & Schematics India
Kochi, Kerala
Tel: 91-98470 66638

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Preparing your Site for Construction

Now that you have your designs ready, it is time to start actual construction. Site preparation is a process that includes the following steps-

1. Soil testing
2. Site-plan designs
3. Zoning restrictions
4. Environmental concerns
5. Utility placements
6. Clearing
7. Excavation

Each step will have to be carefully investigated and have to go through a process of approval, and finally be put into action. The final result will be the proper placement of utilities, water supply and sewage disposal and the construction of a suitable foundation.

Soil Testing
A soil test provides basic information on the composition of the soil and its ability to support a structure; as well as the absorption and drainage rate of the soil. It will help in determining the strength of foundation required. Knowing the absorption rate will give homeowners an idea on how well the soil will accommodate septic and water and in determining where a septic system and well can be placed.

Site-Plan Design
A “site-plan design” is a crucial step in site preparation. It is the step that indicates the anticipated placement of the building, septic tank, well location (or public water connections), and any other fixtures. The site-plan design will also portray current vegetation that will be removed, surrounding wetlands or protected areas, access roads for construction vehicles, anticipated location of any paved driveway or road, and curb-cut locations. All site-plan designs must adhere to local or town regulations and be brought before zoning-approval boards to be used in the permitting process. You may have to refer to the section on Site Setbacks in Kerala Building Rules to know how much area has to be left between the house and the boundary wall on all four sides.

Clearing and Excavation
The final steps in site preparation include clearing and excavation. Certain sites will require you to remove trees and stumps from the building site in order to make room for septic systems, wells and utilities. The process of clearing and excavation is very expensive. For this reason, it is suggested that you only clear the necessary areas. Too much clearing can be very expensive and affect erosion.

Have a center-line diagram prepared for the foundation and perform a 'kutti-adi' or Site 'Setting-out' using pegs and ropes to determine the area that is to be cleared for the house and the surrounding set-backs and landscaping. 

If there is extensive clearing to be done, you may have to depend on heavy machinery or JCBs for this task. Proper planning will help in efficient utilization of time and resources in preparing your site.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The steps involved in building a house

Simple List-
> Design Phase -
Step 1- Prepare Architectural Designs
Step 2- Prepare Submission Drawings
~ Submit for Approvals
Step 3- Prepare Working Drawings
~Electrical, Plumbing & Sanitation Layout
Step 4- Prepare Cost Estimates
> Construction Phase -
Step 5- Prepare Building Contracts with Cost & Time Schedule
Step 6- Clearing the Site
Step 7- Excavation for Foundation
Step 8- Building the Foundation
Step 9- Build Ground Floor Wall with lintel
~Carpentry Works
Step 10- Ground Floor Ceiling Slab
Step 11- Floor Concreting
Step 12- Build First Floor Wall with lintel
~Carpentry Works
Step 13- First Floor Roof Slab
Step 14- Parapet Wall
Step 15- Installation of Electrical, Plumbing & Sanitation
~Water Tank & Septic Tank
Step 16- Plastering
Step 17- Painting
Step 18- Floor tiles
~Compound Wall & Gate
Step 19- Furnishing & Interior Design
Step 20- Solar Panels, Security Systems & Other Enhancements

Expanded List-
Construction Steps -Working Pattern
Design –
1. Site survey, Soil study
2. Discussion of functional requirements
And budget limitations
3. Presentation Drawing by Architect
4. Discussion, Corrections and finalization
5. General Architectural Drawing
6. Prepare Drawings for Submission
7. SubmitDrawings for Approvals
8. Prepare Structural Design and drawings
9. Prepare detailed working Drawings.
10. Electrical, Plumbing & Sanitation Diagrams
11. Prepare Detailed Estimate
12. Prepare Working Schedule, Contract conditions,
Progress Chart & B O Q
13. Invite Quotation with previous working Experience
14. Scrutiny of Quotations and enquiry on previous projects
15. Awarding of work and Execution of Agreement.
16. Clearing the Site and set out of building foundation at site
17. Excavation for Foundation,
Collection of materials at site for foundation
Construction of Water Tank Ground
Digging of well
18. Starting Foundation work,
Procurement of wood for joineries
, Material collection for walls and lintels
19. Ground Floor Masonry with lintel
fixing of door and window frames
Collection of materials for floor slab
lay pipes on wall for wiring
Shuttering and bar bending for floor slab.
20. Concreting Floor Slab
21. Curing time floor slab,
Material collection for first floor
Carpentry work continues
Collection of materials for plastering walls G F
22.Remove form work
23. Start first floor masonry and continue up to
roof level including lintel and shades
Fix doors and window frames
lay pipes on wall for wiring
Shuttering and bar bending for roof slab.
Concrete Roof Slab
Wait for curing
Remove first floor form work
Start wood work for interior
Concrete Ground floor-floor
Do concealed wiring and plumbing
Start plastering Ceiling G F
Ground floor walls
Parapets outside
Plastering F F inside
Water Tank Over Head
Construction of Septic Tank
Compound wall
Land scaping
Plastering Out side
Design Works
Leveling walls for smoothness
White Cement to walls
Painting Ist coat
Floor tiles
Fixing of Sanitary and
Water supply fittings
Fitting of Kitchen modules
Fixing of Furniture and cupboards
Roof tiles
Solar panels
Security fittings
Exterior pavements