Urban Sanctuary

CEDIA Award Winner - Best Integrated Home

Step inside an edgy warehouse conversion, an elegent family home, a classic cottage reno and an award winning waterfront stunner - Queensland style at its finest.

Key Design Objectives

  • Extensive cabling infrastructure (future ready)
  • Smart Wiring / Structured Cabling
  • Home Entertainment
  • Audio & Visual Distribution to multiple rooms independently
  • Multi room Audio Visual
  • Security throughout the property
  • Lighting Control & Automation
  • Outdoor Entertainment
  • Intercom and integration to phone system / Access Control
  • Intuitive and easy to use touchscreen control system
  • Integration of above systems to automate regular activities and simplify control
  • Equipment that will seamlessly blend with & compliment the décor of the home

System & Design

Having no experience with smart integrated technology in a home prior to this project, the owners really had no idea of want they wanted prior to our initial scope meeting. Once the initial meeting was conducted, it was determined that this project was going to be very unique in its urban industrial design. The fact that the system has easy control of any level from any level, product selection would be not only based on performance but also it's ability to blend or be virtually invisible within the homes edgy urban interior look & feel. Although television was not a priority, the owner still wanted a large LED television for the main living area, but wanted it to be invisible when not in use. With this mandate, it was designed to conceal behind a treasured piece of aboriginal artwork & therefore completely invisible when not being used by a simple button press from the control system.

Above all else, operation would need to be easy as there was some initial reservations expressed from the client that indicated of fear of technology & it's perceived complication. This was quickly dissolved once a comprehensive proposal & demonstration was conducted during our follow up consultation.

The Challenges

The existing Industrial building structure made cabling very difficult in some areas and impossible in others. Keypads couldn't be mounted in what would normally be ideal locations so DLT keypads were used for their advanced features and ability for a large number of functions for multiple lighting areas, with advanced scene functions programmed to give the client useability in each area across multiple areas. The lighting was also incorporated with the RTI system in order to allow the client to alter these scenes and save them so that both the RTI and C-Bus system can recall the scenes. Each audio zone was configured differently and required different speaker styles, colours, and cabling configurations in order to fit in with the architectural finish as each room had a unique feel and the new system needed to work in conjunction with some of the clients existing Hi-Fi equipment.

Smart Cabling

A smart cabling infrastructure was necessary to connect all levels of the home without having to duplicate equipment. We adopted a centralised approach to the homes services with the location of the AV rack to be positioned in the basement garage (on display with the owners current motorcycle collection) with meticulous attention paid to labelling & pristine cable management. Thus allowing easy access to all devices for servicing & future preventative maintenance. The cabling system catered for all inbound services to be distributed throughout the home such as Foxtel, Free-To-Air digital TV, phone, internet, access control, including the distribution of a local area network.

Lighting & Blind Control

Due to the 4 level construction of this industrial home all lighting, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, heated towel rails, heated floors, blinds & deck awnings were incorporated into the CBus lighting control & automation system for ease of use & convenience. Dimmers were used extensively for both mood & energy efficiency. Occupancy sensors were incorporated in the front foyer, hallways, stairwells, walk in robes & cupboards to automatically trigger task lighting when required from early evening times onwards. Welcome, Goodnight, Holiday & Entertaining scenes were incorporated for simple whole house control from the touch of a button. In addition, the RTI/CBUS system was programmed in such a way that the client can create their own user defined scenes on the fly by using slider bar control for every room & every circuit on each level via the iPad interface & pressing the “save scene” button on completion. Furthermore, once this setting is adjusted by the homeowner it automatically replicates the new scene command on the light switch. 

Automatic blind control was integrated into the CBus lighting control for the Master Bedroom, Living Room & Kitchen & a motorised awning was also added for the deck on the 3rd level. All blinds & awnings are controlled from local light switches â�� up, down & stop with the addition of advanced control from all iPad devices. A customised scheduler is accessible from the iPads which allows the end user to select scheduled times on when blinds/awnings are to automatically open/close. An example of this is in the living room where there are a number of expensive pieces of artwork & sculptures. It was critical that once the afternoon sun hits the windows that they automatically close to protect the valuable collectables. This is achieved successfully via the home automation schedule & removes a mundane daily task from the home owner.

Audio Visual

Due to the video not being a high priority to this homeowner and given the very little TV watching they do, a 4x4 HDMI solution was to provide the backbone of this audio/visual system.
A Sonance landscape speaker system was designed into the project to provide perfectly even audio coverage with exceptional party level sound quality in what is a relatively large garden space. The subwoofer is buried within the garden bed & all satellite speakers are completely concealed amongst plants & under foliage in all garden beds. This solution is virtually invisible to its native surroundings & provides jaw dropping sonic performance for the rooftop landscape and fire pit space.

Intercom, Security and Access Control

The security system incorporates pet immune sensors, multiple touchscreen keypads, door reeds on main entries, RF remote controls, is integrated with the main control system, and is programmed with various arm settings to suit the client's needs. The pet immune sensors were used due to the client having two small cats, so that the system can be armed while the clients are away from the house. A keypad is located at the main entry for quick arm and disarm when using the front door to enter and exit the property, and another keypad is located in the hall behind the master bed, so that the client can arm one of their 'Stay' functions, which arms the lower entry levels while keeping the upper levels disarmed. Both front and rear main doors as well the garage door have door reeds equipped, so that these doors can be secured during system arm functions, as well as giving feedback to the RTI control system as to which doors are currently open or closed. Security events directly trigger automated lighting events in the event of a fire or intruder alert in addition to other personalised automated event triggers. The main garage door can be opened from remote key fobs from within the house or externally. These key fobs are also able to arm and disarm the security system & offer a panic/duress alarm function, providing ease of use & personal security while entering and exiting by car.

Our first visit to Electronic Living opened our eyes to the possibility of having a smart home. Everything was explained very clearly so we understood all the options available to us, and were able to make decisions and choices that suited our needs, lifestyle and budget. It is wonderful to live in a home where all the thinking has already been done, and everything is integrated and operates seamlessly and reliably.

Working with the Electronic Living team was a great experience, they collaborated with us and our team and created a design that has added such value to our home and lifestyle. The ongoing support has also been brilliant. Whenever we have any minor issues, or want anything changed or updated, it is done quickly and efficiently.

We would highly recommend their services and products to anyone wanting to enhance their home.

Lesley-Anne Houghton & Andrew Russell, South Brisbane