Due to international business commitments the client with this particular project spends a large portion of their time overseas & dearly cherish their time back home in Australia. During initial discussions it was established that the system design would need to incorporate a simplistic approach to control the various sub systems & facilitate the ability to provide access control & monitoring of an extensive video surveillance system allowing access whilst overseas & away from the property.
Key Design Objectives: Integration of the following sub systems
- Smart wiring cable infrastructure with built in redundancy
- C-Bus lighting control & energy management
- Distribution of audio/video & entertainment systems
- CCTV surveillance
- Security & access control
- Telephone & intercom communications
- Intuitive control system
System and design
The design approach with this system revolves entirely around the discrete implementation of all electronic components. The presence of automation within the home is subtle to say the least. The architecture & interior design remain the primary focus at all times.
A smart cabling infrastructure was necessary to connect all areas of the home without having to duplicate equipment. The cabling system catered for all inbound services to be distributed throughout the home such as Foxtel, Free-To-Air analogue and digital TV, phone, internet, access control, including the distribution of a local area network. All services are located within a dedicated and mechanically ventilated equipment rack housed in a comms room.
Due to the importance of discretion the main equipment rack houses all required components which are then distributed to all audio/ video zones in a dedicated communications room cleverly hidden behind a solid timber door located in the central living hallway. Thermostat controlled ventilation ensures all equipment remains at regulated operating temperatures improving longevity & reliability of all electronic equipment. The Hallam equipment racks are provided with heavy duty castors which include extensive rear cable management allowing easy access to all components for servicing & preventive maintenance.
A formal lounge in the home cleverly disguises a hidden home cinema incorporating the use of a motorised projection screen & projector lift allowing the system to be virtually invisible when not in use. It truly creates a lasting impression when experienced for the first time as the whole room transforms at the touch of a button as the blinds close, the lights dim & the screen & projector motorise from the ceiling.
The home is highly secure & includes monitoring of all movements via internal & external surveillance cameras, these cameras are motion recorded & accessed via computer, televisions, iPhones, iPads & Pronto touch screens within the home. In addition the client has full web access via a secure VPN allowing full control of the homes security system from their frequent overseas location.
Access to the premises is keyless on all external entry points with a secondary disarm function. This has proved to be of great benefit to the client when accessing the roof top & lift well as there is no need to carry bulky keys.
A Clipsal C-Bus system controls energy management of lighting & motorised devices in the home including the automation of preset scheduled events such as control of welcome & away scenes. The apartments various sub systems are seamlessly controlled via a combination of both wireless & wired in wall Pronto touch screens providing the owner with an intuitive customised one platform control interface.
The specification of LED energy efficient lamps were an immediate consideration during the planning stage of this project. The use of these fittings enable the C-Bus lighting system to conform with section J of the building code for energy efficient lighting.
The lighting circuits have also been programmed to only reach 90% maximum brightness with occupancy sensors being used in several areas to further aid in the consumption of less energy & reduce the environmental footprint of this Penthouse apartment.
The Pronto touch screens also interface directly with the homes window treatments which have been programmed on timers to automatically open/close at pre selected times of the day to assist in cross ventilation & reduction of heat to further reduce the consumption of power required by the apartments air conditioning systems.
Due to the Penthouse being an existing structure it was going to prove difficult in several locations to provide the appropriate cabling infrastructure required. These locations were discussed in detail with the building contractor & the appropriate modifications & access were provided for our installation team. A close relationship was also required with the electrical contractor as the apartments existing 240V wiring only catered for a standard power & lighting configuration & would require a complete makeover which included a completely new wiring infrastructure involving rerouting of the main sub boards back to the newly designated communications room.
As a direct result of the economic climate the client scaled back the initial system design upon completion of the pre wire stage. This resulted in a complete redesign of the system from the ground up. Fortunately the extensive pre wire had provision for future redundancy & allowed us the opportunity to revise our proposal to align further with the heavily revised client budget & system expectations.
This final fit out of AV equipment was dramatically assisted by pre building the dual rack system at our office enabling full testing of all equipment prior to the delivery to site. By opting for this approach, it allowed our installation team to spend far less time on site fault finding & testing.
Due to restricted access the hiring of a helicopter & pilot were required to aid in the installation of bulky items via the Penthouse roof location as they were too large to fit in the buildings elevator system. Like most integrated projects of this size & nature it is rarely undertaken without its fair share of hurdles along the way. It is our role to accept these challenges, provide the right advice & integrate the most appropriate solution & adopt a whatever it takes mentality.
All aspects of this project have resulted in a seamless integrated solution that has completely exceeded all expectations of our client. So much in fact we have been asked by the client if we would be willing to provide further work for his other home in Canada!!
The final result is a home that is energy efficient, secure & intelligent providing a myriad of entertainment options for the entire family to enjoy. The complete discretion of hardware & the sheer simplicity of operation make this project one our company is truly proud to provide for our valued client.