03 June 2016

Comelit’s SimpleHome Home Automation empowers residents at assisted-living complex

Comelit is working alongside Atlas Fire and Security (NI) to install its SimpleHome intelligent home automation system at a supported living community in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The client is Triangle Housing Association and the project is a development of 13 wheelchair-accessible apartments, with staff accommodation, on a brownfield site at Hillsborough Old Road, near the River Lagan.

The design of the apartments and choice of components have been geared to empower residents facing mobility issues, learning disabilities or mental health problems. The scheme underlines the Association’s aim of providing accommodation that includes the care and support needed by clients so they can live with a high level of independence and social inclusion within their local communities. This was a requirement that Comelit was able to meet and exceed using its SimpleHome home automation system.

Door entry at the main gate features a metal Comelit Ikall entrance panel connected to the building over an IP network. The panel has a colour camera and a two-way speaker unit and is modular in design with components such as MIFARE readers and numerical keypads that can easily be added as a site or phased project develops, or the door entry needs at the building change.

Each apartment will be fitted with an Icona Manager monitor that combines Comelit’s ViP door entry functions with the latest in home automation. The slim-line, surface or flush-mounted unit features a 4.3” touchscreen display, with gesture recognition for easy menu navigation.

SimpleHome offers numerous benefits for both residents and managers

A key function for users in supported housing is the setting on the Icona Manager whereby residents can opt temporarily to allow health workers to grant themselves access automatically without interaction at the monitor. Other safety features and benefits of the home automation system include flood detectors and heat sensors that trigger an input on the system, sending an alarm immediately to staff, plus heating and ventilation controls in individual apartments that will help manage electricity consumption. Managers at the complex will also be able to use SimpleHome to remotely disconnect and control power sockets at certain times of the day within individual apartments.


Primarily, family and staff will use the wall-mounted Icona Manager monitors to control the system. However, an important element of the installation is that all residents will have the use of a third-party smart tablet device from which they can control video door entry, call for emergency assistance and manage core home automation functions, such as heating and lighting control.

Mike Campbell, Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, said: “If tenants are wheelchair-users or have mobility issues, then the ability to control door entry, configure home automation and call for warden assistance, all from a tablet on their lap, is invaluable.

“However, the project is a delicate mix. It’s about giving residents control of their living space; but at certain times of day when use of a particular domestic appliance might be inappropriate, power to specific sockets will be switched off.”

He continued: “There will be an emphasis on independence and fine-tuning for individual needs, but managers at the complex can use SimpleHome to exercise control of core features such as central heating and ventilation on behalf of the residents if required.”

Three-year consultation

The project is the result of a three-year process during which Atlas visited Comelit’s headquarters in Italy to watch detailed demonstrations. Comelit was willing to make exceptional efforts to respond to a brief that will give residents at the Lisburn development an independent lifestyle.

The turnkey contractor for the scheme is Donaghmore Construction Ltd, which has registered the project with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. The Old Hillsborough Road facility will include a staff administrative space and many communal facilities for residents, including a common room and laundry.

Triangle Housing Association provides supported accommodation, family housing and specialised care and support services for tenants across Northern Ireland. Atlas Fire and Security (NI) is one of Comelit’s most active integrators in Northern Ireland and has been installing the company’s products since 2010.