State of the Art
In our initial meeting with the client there was some resistance to the implementation of any integrated electronic system approach. Not completely understanding how integrated technology worked, they thought this meant complication and was very apprehensive in adhering to our initial advice. As further meetings progressed their understanding of the technology increased and they could see that this multi level home needed a comprehensive cabling and technology infrastructure to connect different systems making simpler to use.
Key Design Objectives:
- Extensive cabling infrastructure (future ready)
- Media room
- Multi room Audio Visual
- Security and access control
- Intercom and integration to existing phone system
- Intuitive control system to control all systems that is simple to use
System and design
This home has been designed and built to impress and we needed to compliment this with high quality equipment and design.
A smart cabling infrastructure was necessary to connect all levels of the home without having to duplicate equipment on each level. 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.
The audio visual systems needed to compliment the grand decor of the home yet the client did not want it to detract from the interior design.
For the media room the client wanted a space in the home they could share with their grand children. They did not want a dark & in their words “anti social room”. The space needed to be light & airy as it also serves as a library. In addition the room needed to facilitate a large screen & concealed projection system to utilise the numerous sources commonly used by the grandchildren such as Playstation, Foxtel & other related media streams.
Local sources for the Media room were separated from the homes communications room & located locally in the custom designed joinery for convenience, rear access is also provided from an adjoining room allowing easy access & ample ventilation for local component sources. The system still has access to third party sources from the communications room. Foxtel IQ x 2, Apple TV, TVIX & security cameras are just some of the sources that can be shared from this area.
The custom designed joinery conceals all speakers including the subwoofer whilst providing an attractive feature to house the Stewart 92” fixed frame screen.
As per the clients request the projection system is completely concealed & ventilated to the adjoining ceiling void, a service hatch is also provided for future preventative maintenance. This bulkhead also facilitates the 4 flush mount surround speakers which are the same profile & diameter as the light fitting thus minimising the visual impact of the ceiling.
Due to the vast and spread out nature of the home it was decided to incorporate a centrally located communications room to house all the necessary electronic components. In addition to the media room, the home has several other audio visual zones which have local shared/unshared sources that are concealed within joinery detail. The multi-zone aspect of the system allows occupants to enjoy different sources in different areas of the home simultaneously or the same source in all areas for entertaining purposes.
The custom made equipment rack was designed to sit on rolling castors to allow the rack to be pulled into the service hallway for preventative maintenance, it also allowed ample clearance from the floor in case of any unexpected water leaks from nearby plumbing and draining services. Ample ventilation and thermostat controlled extraction was integrated into the room to keep equipment continually cooled.
The control system offers a combination of in-wall and hand-held wireless touch-screen controllers programmed to simplify the operation of all systems ( audio visual, security, access control and lighting). The clever integration of Crestron and RTI control devices for this project maintained an intelligent cost effective solution allowing us to keep within the modest project budget. It also allowed future provision for control integration with iPhone/iPad devices. The control system also display's cameras for complete security allowing the client to see who is at the front gate on the ground level and enabling access whilst on any other level. The security system also provides peace of mind for the client when away from home with remote dial in access. A Dynalite interface was also incorporated to allow full control of lighting & window fittings from the comfort of the owners armchair.
Having a simple to use touch screen control allows family and guests to easily operate multiple systems through one remote.
This home certainly had it's challenges as it was a working progress over many years with different stages. This meant the system needed to be designed with individual areas that would be able to function separately yet have the ability to connect to overall system in the future. One of the other challenges was the continual collaboration with so many trades over this length of time. Each party had to be organised and communicate with each other to meet time frames of each stage of project. In particular the cabinet maker had a big job as all audio visual zones had extensive joinery detail. This meant the collaboration between us and the cabinet maker had to be seamless to meet the high expectation of the client.
Without question the crowning achievement of this project is the complete change in the owners appreciation of the electronic systems provided. They initially considered the work of an integrator to be a roadblock in relation to interior design and they were terrified of technology and the complication generally associated with it. The end result is a system that compliments the decor of the home and creates hours of enjoyment with simplistic operation.