Integration Controls added technology in a thoughtful way, provided wiring infrastructure to plan for the future, and created an aesthetically pleasing integration that provides convenience for this busy executive. Their work earned them the Level II Gold Technical Design award for Integrated Home in CEDIA’s 2014 Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition.
For this technology upgrade, the client wanted to add many new amenities that she had bypassed on previous remodels. This included hidden wires and boxes, quick access to music, streamlined light switch locations, and an easy-to-use system that worked for her busy, traveling lifestyle. As the project went on, the scope expanded to include lighting in more rooms and distributing a DVD changer while planning for digital distribution in the future.
The three main objectives for the design and implementation of this system were:
- Include current technology where it makes sense.
- Plan for future changes by adding a good wired infrastructure.
- Create an enjoyable, integrated electronic system that is pleasing to the eye and provides time and convenience for this busy executive.
Control4 was selected as the integration platform through which other systems would be integrated: Lutron HomeWorks for lighting control, GE Concord security system, Control4 thermostats for heating and cooling, and a whole-house audio/visual system. Handheld Control4 remotes control connected television areas in the living room, office, and master bedroom – all of which have the ability to watch HD cable, Apple TV, in-room Blu-ray or DVD players, or a distributed Sony DVD Megachanger.
A total of seven rooms receive music from the headend, using a Zector audio switcher, AudioControl amplifier, and an Integra receiver for the living room surround-sound location.
Knowing the homeowner wanted a streamlined installation wherever possible, keeping the end result in mind was paramount in product selection and placement of user interfaces. Outlet locations and hiding wiring mattered in all rooms where a television was located, even those rooms not connected to the Control4 system (such as the laundry room TV).
The living room houses the most-used television, complete with a must-have surround system – again, with “hidden” in mind. Sonance Architectural series in-ceiling speakers and Cinema series in-wall subwoofer accomplished this goal by nearly disappearing into the ceiling and wall, without compromising on audio quality.
Keeping with the streamlined vision and knowing the home would now have more switches due to installed recessed lighting (no more knob-and-tube wiring!), the homeowner was intrigued by centralized dimming. Using the Lutron HomeWorks lighting control platform, the home features low-voltage keypads throughout for easy access and simplified aesthetics. The same concept applied to thermostats and, thus, remote temperature sensors in conjunction with Control4 thermostats were used instead of traditional thermostats.
Control4 iPad apps run on two iPads located throughout the house, using the Launchport iPad mounting system. Control is also available via iPad in the kitchen and master bedroom. In the homeowner’s office, another docking station is located where her personal iPad is placed for charging and quick access to her system.
Integration & Automation Highlights:
Having had a relationship with the client for some time, Integration Controls were able to discern how best to meet her needs. For example, the home is capable of HD video distribution when the time is right, yet provides access to equipment she’s used to and already owns (such as the Sony Megachanger).
Working closely with the electrical contractor, lighting panels were placed in two locations for ease of installation and decreased cost to the client. Careful speaker selection, along with a vigilant attention to placement, created an audio experience that is nearly invisible in the living room.
The homeowner has access to an easy “away” button, including both an everyday setting and a work/vacation one. Both settings dim/turn off lights, turn off AV, arm the security system, adjust thermostats, and ensure the garage door is closed. The vacation scene also leaves music on in certain rooms and deactivates motion detectors so the dog of the house can roam freely.
Aesthetics were a part of nearly every decision in this project, leaving intact what the homeowner wanted to see and hiding wires and black boxes where possible. For example, careful consideration was given to the living room TV as it was surrounded by moldings and trim and needed to look as if it was a part of the design. Working with the onsite carpenters ensured a nice finished look for the client while providing the support needed for the TV.
In addition, the client did not see the need for an HDMI-matrix solution when she had a working system in place, but she did not want to skimp on the wiring needed for this feature in the future, so additional wiring was included throughout for this future consideration.
Home Technology Professional
Ann Begemann Architects
Webster Groves, MO
For more on this and other award-winning projects completed by CEDIA members, order your copies of the winter 2015 issue of CEDIA’s Electronic Lifestyles® magazine or view the digital edition today.