The ‘intelligent flat’

Essex UTC launches tech facility that replicates a future home environment

Sir Charles Kao UTC has launched its ‘Intelligent Flat,’ a first for schools in the UK. This unique facility provides a replica future home environment where students can explore, configure and test the benefits of the latest smart technologies.

As part of their cutting-edge curriculum, students get to learn about smart home systems and how they can provide a central control for lighting, heating and cooling, and audio and video. The students also learn how to programme the systems for ‘intelligent automation’ where they respond to changes and events such as arriving home, security breaches or burst pipes and notify the homeowner by text or email.

The launch was attended by staff, students and partners of Sir Charles Kao UTC, as well as representatives from the organisations who planned, built and installed the state of the art learning facility. These included CEDIA, an education provider in home technologies, MASS, which specialises in providing high-tech resources in cyber security and ICT, Loxone UK and Finaro UK, which manufacture the latest home intelligence and automation systems.

Principal Michael McKeaveney is pleased with the UTC’s latest development. He said: “The two specialist learning areas within the UTC, which also includes our Smart Box provides unique learning opportunities for students and enables students to see their work come to life. Through using this software, our students will be well-equipped to fill new and exciting jobs in a growing industry. 

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work that has gone in over the last few months and launching the flat gave us a real chance to showcase the great work that our students and partners have done in pushing this project forward.” 

Ashley Lane, Managing Director of MASS, added: “Being involved with this opportunity meant understanding the UTC’s requirement and then presenting a solution that truly matched their needs and was true to the ethos of the school. Our heritage of providing unique solutions to challenging technology problems meant we were able to design and deliver a system that will grow with the school and allow for the rapid and continual changes in technology that are now part of everyday life.”