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At the push of a button on a remote, the deck of a villa in Westmere rolls back neatly under the house and reveals the sparkling swimming pool beneath that it was obscuring. It sounds like the stuff rock star dreams are made of, but in fact it was a clever response to the tight site, an uncompromising vision to include both a pool and a deck and the forward thinking of automation solution company Access Automation.

“It was a seriously cool project,” says Access Automation’s Lloyd Richardson, “The clients are a young professional couple and the novelty of seeing others’ reactions alone gives them a lot of entertainment value!”

Access Automation came to the project at a time when the couple were knee-deep in the renovation process and were looking at strengthening beams under the home. The idea surfaced from an architect relative (Terence Le Geyt of T W L Designs) that if they could add in structural beams under the house, then a deck could slide back underneath it, meaning the front yard outdoor space could house both a deck and pool. But was it mechanically possible?

At the push of a button on a remote, the deck of a villa in Westmere rolls back neatly under the house and reveals the sparkling swimming pool beneath that it was obscuring. It sounds like the stuff rock star dreams are made of, but in fact it was a clever response to the tight site, an uncompromising vision to include both a pool and a deck and the forward thinking of automation solution company Access Automation.

“It was a seriously cool project,” says Access Automation’s Lloyd Richardson, “The clients are a young professional couple and the novelty of seeing others’ reactions alone gives them a lot of entertainment value!”

Access Automation came to the project at a time when the couple were knee-deep in the renovation process and were looking at strengthening beams under the home. The idea surfaced from an architect relative (Terence Le Geyt of T W L Designs) that if they could add in structural beams under the house, then a deck could slide back underneath it, meaning the front yard outdoor space could house both a deck and pool. But was it mechanically possible?

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For Access Automation, it was just the kind of dilemma that it loves to problem solve. The company devised a solution whereby the two-tonne hardwood deck on its steel frame would be put on wheels and automated, with two industrial motors that would mean it could roll back without any movement to the deck’s structure.

“The solution was similar to a sliding gate motor – it had a small pinion gear that drives two motors, each connected to one side of the deck. The key thing here is that they had to rotate at exactly the same speed, so that the deck would stay in alignment for its whole travel,” says Lloyd.

A particular type of industrial technology used in crane automation was adapted to provide that perfect synchronicity between the two sides.

For Access Automation, it was just the kind of dilemma that it loves to problem solve. The company devised a solution whereby the two-tonne hardwood deck on its steel frame would be put on wheels and automated, with two industrial motors that would mean it could roll back without any movement to the deck’s structure.

“The solution was similar to a sliding gate motor – it had a small pinion gear that drives two motors, each connected to one side of the deck. The key thing here is that they had to rotate at exactly the same speed, so that the deck would stay in alignment for its whole travel,” says Lloyd.

A particular type of industrial technology used in crane automation was adapted to provide that perfect synchronicity between the two sides.

“We also made a control system for it so that it could be interfaced with a normal switch and a remote control.”

Lloyd says each project that Access Automation completes interfaces with a PC or a phone and the solution can either be off-the-shelf or they can custom build mini computers to do the job – in this case a remote control was chosen.   

The excitement of pushing that button on the remote hasn’t worn off for the Westmere couple either. “They were just so ecstatic about how it turned out and the novelty of it has stayed with them for a long time,” Lloyd smiles.

The bonus to this solution also means that the council didn’t require pool fencing around the pool area, further enhancing the slick aesthetic of the home.

“We also made a control system for it so that it could be interfaced with a normal switch and a remote control.”

Lloyd says each project that Access Automation completes interfaces with a PC or a phone and the solution can either be off-the-shelf or they can custom build mini computers to do the job – in this case a remote control was chosen.   

The excitement of pushing that button on the remote hasn’t worn off for the Westmere couple either. “They were just so ecstatic about how it turned out and the novelty of it has stayed with them for a long time,” Lloyd smiles.

The bonus to this solution also means that the council didn’t require pool fencing around the pool area, further enhancing the slick aesthetic of the home.

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But while the deck project sits in the realms of the James Bond type ‘wow’ factor, Access Automation doesn’t limit itself only to uncovering pools. In fact, they will confidently automate anything from a small pedestrian gate through to huge industrial cantilevered gate systems and car parking systems.

One recent project, a high-level government security site, required an automated gate solution at the other end of the scale to the Westmere project. The cantilevered gates weigh 1.8 tonne each, are ram-proof and needed to open and close incredibly quickly at 500mm per second.

The gate construction company initially approached Access Automation about the project and there was a lot of discussion around how heavy and how strong the gates could be, against how fast the automation could happen.

“All the proposed designs were strength tested, including the cantilever hardware, so that they could make the right choice,” says Lloyd.

It’s unsurprising that Access Automation was chosen for the project, given its automation hardware has a failure rate of less than 1 per cent compared to some other brands which have an average 20 per cent or more.

Additionally, the Combi hardware range that they use in all their projects, fabricated in northern Italy, is 20 to 25 per cent heavier than the average steel hardware, meaning it has substantially more strength and is ideal for any project where weight or strength is an issue.

The result of the high security gate project is incredibly impressive, with two 1.8 tonne cantilevered gates rushing to meet each other at a breath-taking pace.

Lloyd says it’s an example of the excellent problem-solving abilities of his team, coupled with their superior product.

“Access Automation can move anything: if you need to move a façade, a deck over a pool or spa pool or simply automate a gate or garage door, we can create solutions to every problem.”

 

Want to know more about perimeter automation for your next project? Be sure to visit Access Automation on ArchiPro today or visit their website to learn more and toview the video about the Westmere decking project.

But while the deck project sits in the realms of the James Bond type ‘wow’ factor, Access Automation doesn’t limit itself only to uncovering pools. In fact, they will confidently automate anything from a small pedestrian gate through to huge industrial cantilevered gate systems and car parking systems.

One recent project, a high-level government security site, required an automated gate solution at the other end of the scale to the Westmere project. The cantilevered gates weigh 1.8 tonne each, are ram-proof and needed to open and close incredibly quickly at 500mm per second.

The gate construction company initially approached Access Automation about the project and there was a lot of discussion around how heavy and how strong the gates could be, against how fast the automation could happen.

“All the proposed designs were strength tested, including the cantilever hardware, so that they could make the right choice,” says Lloyd.

It’s unsurprising that Access Automation was chosen for the project, given its automation hardware has a failure rate of less than 1 per cent compared to some other brands which have an average 20 per cent or more.

Additionally, the Combi hardware range that they use in all their projects, fabricated in northern Italy, is 20 to 25 per cent heavier than the average steel hardware, meaning it has substantially more strength and is ideal for any project where weight or strength is an issue.

The result of the high security gate project is incredibly impressive, with two 1.8 tonne cantilevered gates rushing to meet each other at a breath-taking pace.

Lloyd says it’s an example of the excellent problem-solving abilities of his team, coupled with their superior product.

“Access Automation can move anything: if you need to move a façade, a deck over a pool or spa pool or simply automate a gate or garage door, we can create solutions to every problem.”

 

Want to know more about perimeter automation for your next project? Be sure to visit Access Automation on ArchiPro today or visit their website to learn more and toview the video about the Westmere decking project.

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