Knee deep into the construction of their new home, a client came to integrator Angus Murray of New Wave AV for help. These homeowners were working on a six-bedroom home on a large piece of property, complete with a spa, pool, water fountains, gate control and HVAC. While their knowledge of smart home integration was limited, they knew that all of these subsystems needed to be under one overall system, or they would be too complicated to use on a daily basis.
“They were quite quick to understand that a house of this size with all of these subsystems needed to be cohesive,” said Murray, who is based out of Kent, England. “One of our jobs is to educate people to understand that the whole point of whole home automation is to simplify.”
The Ultimate of Lighting Control
With an expansive piece of property and many glass windows looking out on it, lighting and shades turned out to be a large focus of the project. Lutron was specified in all of the rooms, with control types including a mix of DMX & DALI dimmable. Several scenes were programmed into the system, such as “dusk” and “dawn” as well as “welcome home.”
Lighting was also woven into the security system; if the alarm goes off, all of the interior lights will turn on and the external lights will flash. A “mockupancy” is also programmed to mimic the look of an occupied property when the “away” setting is enabled. Three lighting hubs hold all of these circuits, since the company’s late introduction to the project meant a single location for all of the lighting circuits was not built in.
Lutron was also used for the blinds — an extensive collection of roller blinds, roman blinds, pull-up blinds and curtain tracks. According to Murray, the blinds are a surprising favorite of this project because of how well they are controlled.
“In the kitchen, there are 14 blinds in a row with a shade as well,” he explained, pointing out just one of the examples of when the blinds are controlled in a unique fashion. “They come down simultaneously and are perfectly aligned.”
Wherever possible, all roller blind treatments were fitted into the ceiling recesses and housed in headboxes. Visible headboxes were color matched to blend with the window frames, and Palladiom blinds were specified if the roller unit was going to be particularly visible.
An Understated Media Room
For these clients, a huge home theater set up was not necessary. Instead, they were looking for an immersive and carefully designed space where the technology felt simple but intuitive and highly effective.
“We wanted to be as discreet as possible,” said Murray.
This drawing room — outfitted with brick walls and comfortable furniture — has a Dolby Atmos-enabled TV with color-matched Artcoustic front speakers, alongside Amina Mobious speakers for surround and height channels. Two Artisan in-floor subwoofers with color-matched grills were used in keeping with the ironmongery touches in the room.
To ensure that the TV is at the correct viewing angle wherever required, a Future Automation motorized bracket was installed. The integration team used audio calibration using Anthem Arc Genesis software to carry out the best audio performance. In addition, two profile settings were created for the audio: one with the curtains opened and one with them closed. The control system automatically selects the right profile depending on the curtain setting.
Linking It All Together
The lighting and media room were significant highlights for this project, but New Wave AV was primarily hired to also align all of the smaller but just as important pieces of the space. They did this with Control4.
“There was such a broad scope of subsystems in this project,” said Murray. “Control4 worked well for this type of home and is relatively cost effective.”
Along with the lighting and the media room, the clients can control the total of 22 multi-room audio zones across this project, including two external zones of 8.1 audio from Triad landscape loudspeakers. There are six sources feeding six rooms within the property for multi-room video distribution via a Control4 video matrix. Allowance has also been made for future expansion for up to two extra inputs and outputs.
The HVAC system is controlled on the Control4 system, as well as the underfloor heating. The client can regulate the irrigation system as well here, and they can observe the areas being watered and override any actions they’d like. There is also a vehicular and pedestrian cate with Control4 DS2 serving as the main intercom. While a separate security company handles the CCTV system, the video is fed into the Control4 system for the client to view.
Overcoming Challenges for a Better End Goal
According to Murray, the biggest challenge for this project was how late they came into the project. The main issue was that they didn’t have a main server room; instead they resorted to using multiple racks. The two main equipment racks were installed back to back through a wall, and they had to get a route for a cable through the wall to connect those two racks.
In addition, this project was so large in scope that careful and close collaboration with all of the project partners was essential. The integration team, the builder, the architect and the client — who did much of the interior design of the space — would meet every two weeks to go through what was expected and what decisions needed to be made. Fortunately communication went relatively well and decisions were made quickly, which helped bring the integration up to date in the construction timeline and reach the end goal successfully.
New Wave AV
+44 1732 852500
Amina Mobius Speakers
Anthem Arc Genesis
Dolby Atmos TV