Wicklow housing gets green and smart

27 Apr 2007

Irish-based company Orkit Intelligent Homes is unveiling a state-of-the-art ‘smart’ show house in Wicklow next month.

The house, part of a luxury housing development located in Burkeen, will feature advanced technology to control and manage lighting and heating, as well as built-in energy management.

Orkit, which has been in business less than a year, is the only intelligent home technology company in Ireland and the UK that offers an integrated system where parts of the house such as security, the sound centre, computer and lighting communicate with each other.

Heating and lighting settings can be adjusted to different profiles such as ‘working from home’ or ‘party profile’, with unique temperature, security and light levels. This can be controlled remotely via your PDA, mobile phone or your office desktop.

Alan Murphy, founder of Orkit, said: “It allows all aspects of the home’s systems to communicate with and control each other. For example, if your security system is triggered, it can call you, put your house lights on and even record what is happening. This can be viewed via mobile, PDA or PC, if necessary.”

Going green is a hot topic both for the government and individuals. There is a need for homeowners to monitor and reduce their energy usage. With Orkit’s heating systems, “intelligent sensors can tell your heating system to warm up, or cool down and even close your windows,” said Murphy.

Murphy added that these smart houses are equipped using Orkit’s own technology, but also technology from companies like Microsoft, Siemens and Philips. Home entertainment centres can integrate MP3, iPod and Microsoft Media Centre, and it is all upgradeable.

Orkit provides this service both to the individual home-buyer and to contractors in the building industry. For developers working on 40 to 50 units, Orkit’s basic energy management package starts at €5,000 and goes up to €20,000, said Murphy.

The Wicklow office currently has a staff of four but Murphy said that it is looking to expand within the next 12 to 18 months, with a pipeline of new business worth over €1m.

By Marie Boran