In luxury condo communities where high rents are the price tag for superb locations, fantastic views and high-end accoutrements, residents expect the amenities and community areas to be easy to use and up to date. Scottsdale Waterfront Residences in Scottsdale, Ariz., recognized this need, and recently upgraded its common areas with the latest ELAN entertainment and control system to make the audio and video options accessible and easy to use for residents of all ages.

According to the Residences’ chief engineer, Patrick Bernardi, it was a welcome change that also resulted in residents having a better appreciation for control technology and how it can improve home living.

“We have residents ranging in age from 20 to 90,” Bernardi said, “and we work hard to make sure every resident can use the beautiful community facilities in the towers. That’s one reason we decided to upgrade our control systems to ELAN; it’s so easy to use. In our popular Club Rooms and rooftop pools, we used to have another control system that seemed good in theory, but was far too much trouble in practice, both to use and to maintain. With ELAN, we’ve found a solution that anybody – and I really mean anybody – can use, with zero instructions. There’s a touch panel mounted on the wall, and with a few taps on clear, large icons, they can set the TVs or speakers to play their chosen content. There are no remotes to lose, no menus to navigate and no complicated interfaces to learn, and our residents really appreciate the change.”

The Scottsdale Waterfront Residences are comprised of two identical 14-story towers, each featuring a stunning rooftop pool with multiple speakers for music, and a kitchen and bar area with two TVs, plus an indoor Club Room that offers a dining area, prep kitchen, wet bar, comfortable seating areas, an 80-inch TV and a surround sound stereo system.

Keeping it Simple


Catering to high-end residents and busy families, it was necessary to ensure the technology throughout the building was as simple to use as possible. Jon Lunt, owner of JL Automation, the Gilbert, Ariz.-based integration firm responsible for system design, installation and maintenance, sees the upgrades as a big step toward convincing people that home automation and control can make everyday living simpler and more enjoyable.“ Once residents spend time using the new ELAN system in the pool area, the fitness room, the club room, the dining area, the boardroom and even the lobby, it’s easy for them to see the value of home control,” Lunt said. “In that way, the common areas are a great educational selling tool for us. Residents who like the system have been inquiring about how we can improve their condos and add simple multi-room audio, video, climate control and more. We’ve already completed two subsequent installations for people who liked it so much they had to have it in their individual condos, and we expect more to upgrade their homes in the future.”

Each of the towers has a total of seven 7-inch touch panels for residents to control audio and video, while the club rooms each feature a larger 12-inch touch panel. While residents can only control the room they are currently in, staff have their own log-ins they can use to override or manage the system in any room in the building. This means if residents have pushed the music volume too loud at the pool and it needs to be lowered, a staff member doesn’t have to go to the roof to do so.

Each rooftop pool has its own control system, including an ELAN touch panel, Controller, Multi-Room Audio Amplifier, multiple Gefen 4K splitters and extenders to distribute the A/V signals, an Autonomic media server for Sirius/XM, Pandora, Spotify, AirPlay and more, and two televisions.

With so much of the living experience riding on this interactive technology, JL Automation took the necessary precautions to protect the equipment and installed a Panamax M4315 Power Conditioner with BlueBOLT remote energy management functionality in each building’s main equipment rack and pool equipment rack to ensure smooth operation and protection in case of power surge or shortage. The club rooms also feature a BlueBOLT-enabled Panamax SM3-Pro system manager with surge protection. The BlueBOLT functionality in the Panamax units allows Bernardi to get instant text or email alerts of any power issues or problematic components, often solving problem remotely without rolling a truck.


“One of our biggest problems with the previous control system was that when there was an issue, it took forever to get it fixed,” Bernardi added. “We had components fail, and then it took two to three weeks to get replacement equipment and installation completed. We can’t have weeklong periods where our residents are inconvenienced. We just can’t have it. With ELAN and JL Automation as our integrator, I’m confident that any future issues will be corrected quickly and efficiently, and ELAN’s support and customer service was evident throughout this project.”

This project was a welcome upgrade to the residents, who appreciate every effort to simplify their lives and make technology work for them, rather than against them. With rave reviews from residents, staff and Bernardi himself, nobody will be surprised if more residents begin to install ELAN systems in their condos and bring the pleasant, simple control experience to their homes.