Rolling Waves

This project involved working closely with the client and architect to ensure the integrated solution delivered operational needs and blended seamlessly with the luxurious design of the home. The general brief was to simplify and share technology and services throughout a home constructed as two major wings joined by a glass bridge. The client lives in the primary wing whilst the secondary wing provides accommodation for interstate family members. The key requirement was that the end result be very easy to use.

Key Design Objectives:

  • Each wing must act harmoniously as one or as independent identities
  • Home Theatre and integration of existing commercial cinema equipment
  • Sound and vision distributed to multiple rooms independently
  • Automated lighting and motorised blind control
  • Security and surveillance control throughout the property
  • PABX/intercom and access control system
  • Easy to use control of all systems

System and design

The client's brief regarding the intended use of the home's two wings enabled our design team to establish the primary system objective, "Each wing must act harmoniously as one or as independent identities". The team then set about designing the sub-systems to achieve such an objective.

The audio visual distribution shared centrally located source components with eight rooms throughout both wings of the home. These sources comprised of CD player, AM/FM radio, Apple TV, iPod, iTunes library, DVD player, multiple Foxtel IQ decoders, PC, and security cameras. The multi-zone aspect of the system allowed occupants to enjoy different sources in different areas of the home simultaneously or the same source in all areas for entertaining purposes.

The distributed audio visual source components were shared with the home cinema system and a high performance video line scaler was installed and calibrated to improve the image quality of these sources.

The lighting control system automates the day to day usage of lights in and outside the home in addition to motorised blinds which minimise the environmental footprint effectively reducing energy consumption.

The structured cabling 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.

The control system offers a combination of in-wall and hand-held wireless touch-screen controllers programmed to simplify the operation of all systems as well as display security, local surf and traffic cameras. These allow both family and guests to easily operate systems in both wings through one remote.

The PABX phone and intercom system was designed to manage multiple inbound lines also extending on the control systems function by providing additional locations capable of communicating with, and facilitating visitor access to, the premises at multiple entry points.

The security system provides peace of mind for the client and their guests when at, or away from, home. The cameras are linked with a 520GB DVR with motion sensing record initiation. Further to this the cameras can be viewed locally or remotely from anywhere in the world via a secure web based portal.

Installation

The home was designed to capture the spectacular ocean views which conversely resulted in excessive sunlight reflection in television viewing areas. Blinds and shutters were introduced to eliminate the issue and we had the specifications changed to motorised and expanded the lighting control system to cater for this successfully avoiding some form of standalone control.

The client had a specific need to incorporate an existing 35mm film reel projector and professional Dolby Laboratories processor and amplification into the cinema. They also wanted their new home cinema system to incorporate the use of Blu-Ray DVD, Foxtel, Free-to-air television, and Apple TV. A video line scaler was used to improve the quality of all video sources to take full advantage of the projector's capabilities. By controlling the system with the RTI wireless hand-held touch-screen control it meant all family and guests could use the system without in-depth tuition.

Maintaining signal integrity presented a challenge in that the unique design of the home would result in numerous and excessively lengthy cable runs to both wings. This was overcome through careful and detailed planning to establish a dedicated cable path to maximise signal strength. Equipment selection also played a critical role by ensuring source components output the highest signal levels which were then converted and transmitted over Cat-5 to mitigate signal loss and enhance the final result.

As part of the bathroom fixtures the client chose toilets with built-in odour-vac exhaust systems that are designed to remove air from the interior of the bowl itself. This came to light during the installation and it was suggested to the owner to integrate the exhaust systems with a flush-mount ceiling sensor for automatic activation upon entry. Much to the delight of all visitors it has made visiting the throne a more pleasant experience!

Conclusion

The client has expressed their resounding satisfaction with the project and that they are using technology more frequently and with the greatest of ease. The end result is an integrated solution that carefully compliments the homes inner beauty and location.