The Burcham – pushing the envelope in ‘smart home’ technology.
by Maggie Kelly
The modern world is obsessed with becoming smarter.
From smartphones to smart cars, nothing is safe from our 21st century creed of faster, better, stronger, smarter. And the next focus from the rapidly changing world of technology is right in front of you: the home.
‘Smart home’ is the buzzword of the tech world right now. Amazing advances in technology have reinvented how we view everything from energy management and home security, to creature comforts like temperature and entertainment. So, what can we expect in the innovative and intuitive home of the future?
Your imagination needn’t stretch far, because there are already amazing new examples of smart homes popping up across the world, with one of the best right here in Australia.
With it’s completion pegged for February 2018, the brand new “The Burcham” development in Sydney’s inner-city Rosebery is a peek into cutting edge, smart home design. Urban, yet powered by nature; secure, but inclusive – The Burcham’s impressive array of ‘smart home’ features are the talk of the town.
The Burcham is a cluster of three buildings on the site of the former Wrigley’s factory; with one historical building flanked by two new structures. Upon it’s opening in 1918, the now-heritage listed Rosebery building was declared one of the “most modern factories in the Southern Hemisphere.”
These days, it’s title might be a little closer to, “the most modern apartment buildings in the Southern Hemisphere,” thanks to a complete ‘smart home’ fit out by global leaders Schneider Electric. The tech features are, quite simply, astounding. Where should we begin?
Well, let’s work our way from the outside, in. Standing outside your front door, forget scrambling through your pockets for keys: The Burcham operates off biometric access…that is, fingerprint technology.
The fingerprint reading technology will allow access into the building’s entrances and to each apartment’s front door. You can add or remove various prints quickly and easily (which is far easier than asking for a key back after you break up…).
Scared that a blackout will leave you locked out? Don’t be. There are multiple backup systems including a battery unit located within each apartment, with battery back up in the event of power failure. And, if Plan A and Plan B both fail – armageddon could happen, we suppose – then there is a good old-fashioned key.
Once you’re inside your apartment, the fun really begins. Dangerous heaters are a thing of the past with hydronic underfloor heating in the heritage building, with hot water piping weaving its way through the concrete floor slabs. Toasty. Too toasty? Then switch on the air-conditioning from your smartphone controls – although, if you’re the organised type, The Burcham’s “geo-fencing” technology would have already done this en route home.
Everything else is available through your remote controls, where you can control lighting, air- conditioning, heating, apartment access, audio visual equipment, and even monitor your overall energy usage….wherever you are in the world. And that includes from your warm bed on a cold morning.
It’s easy to imagine a smart house feeling somewhat sterile, but The Burcham is anything but. This is a space made for entertaining. Guests have easy access with number-plate recognition technology to enter the carpark and building, whilst you can also buzz them in using your smartphone.
The facilities in the building are exciting and innovative: hang out at the rooftop BBQ areas, or settle back for an open-air movie night with The Burcham rooftop cinema, a unique space sitting beneath the re-birthed heritage water tower. Don’t like the movie? Then switch on some music using your home’s personal WIFI, and your own music collection – from the controls on your phone.
But being smart doesn’t come at the sacrifice of the environment. The Burcham has tapped into global sustainability trends to craft a space that is lean, green, and clean. Your garage space will be one of the first in the country to feature Electronic Vehicle (EV) charging bays, which, given the massive push towards electric cars in the coming years, will be a major selling point.
The EV charge will include solar power and billed directly at the low rate to the owner or tenant’s apartment, through the building’s very own Embedded Electricity Network, “Burcham Energy”.
Speaking of solar power, The Burcham‘s substantial 54 kW solar array generates approximately 77,000 kWh p.a of electricity, that together with the wholesale electricity sourced through Burcham Energy, that combined power source will be sold to the owners and tenants at prices substantially lower than retails prices.
The Body Corporate’s strata energy costs are estimated to effectively be eliminated, and what’s more, profits from a sizeable income generated from the electricity, will go further to reduce the Strata levies. Smart indeed.
This is an apartment building that will think for itself. In years to come, traditional home challenges such as soaring overheads, uncomfortable design, poor security will be an unnecessary relic of the past.
Smart homes like The Burcham are so clever, the competition will be left feeling like the ‘Flintsones’ to their ‘Jetsons’.
View more from The Burcham on their website, here.