The challenge to please a client in technology integration is always stepped up whenever that client is technologically knowledgeable. That challenge was met with great expertise by New York-based integrator InnerSpace Electronics. President Barry Reiner describes the client for this installation as “mechanical, a visionary – someone who had a lot of input about the kinds of things he wanted the system to do and be for him.”
And that meant installing an integrated Savant control system operable by smartphones and tablets that could master audio, video, and a host of other functions throughout the property. Thirty-two zones of audio and 10 TVs filled the entertainment bill. A full-scale Lutron QS lighting control system and 41 Lutron Sivoia roller shades were installed, as well as an advanced HVAC system.
The home includes an extensive area of manicured property including two ponds, and it backs up against a wildlife preserve. So a special request of the owner, according to Reiner, was to apportion some of the numerous IC Realtime surveillance cameras to “strategic locations around the property so that he could view wildlife.
“He had us design a circuit so that if he was watching TV and an animal such as a deer crossed in front of a camera, the camera would pick up the motion and the TV picture would flip to the wildlife,” Reiner explained. The images are also viewable on the Savant or IC Realtime apps on the residents’ iOS devices. And the IC Realtime DVR also provides the capability of recording those wildlife activities to a computer.
The home’s Savant system is all encompassing in terms of control, and monitors the status of the property’s generator and the driveway snow melt system, alerting the client via text message should their status change. To keep the pond water fresh, there are aerators that can be controlled by iOS devices; if the wind speed goes higher than 10 mph, the system turns the aerators off and when it drops below 10 mph, the aerators are turned back on.
Also viewable and controllable through the Savant interface are the garage doors. If wind speeds outside exceed a set point, the garages will close automatically, and the homeowner can lock all of the external doors through that same interface, either while he is on the property, or remotely – and a text will be sent if a door is open and unable to be locked.
A visual centerpiece of the home is a stone silo, which extends from the living room to the master bedroom. Embedded within the concrete spaces between the stones on the silo’s exterior are fiber-optic LED lights that can change color to display in red, green, blue or white. This type of fiber optic lighting is also a main player the home’s marble countertops, which can be dramatically illuminated in different colors from below.
Fiber optic solutions are also in use for very practical reasons outside, said Reiner. “The entry gates are very far from the house, so there is fiber optic networking from the home to the gates to control them,” he said.
The home’s heating and cooling are handled using geothermal energy with radiant floor heating and cooling, with mechanical control systems integrated through a BMS (building management system) controllable through the Savant system using a BACnet interface.
The client is a music-lover, and his enthusiasm is reflected in the “guitar room,” where nostalgic guitar models from different decades populate the walls and are displayed lovingly in protective cases. That affection for music meant that the home had to include audio access throughout. However, despite being a music aficionado, the client did not want to see speakers everywhere, so Triad invisible speakers and Bowers + Wilkins in-wall subwoofers solved that issue beautifully.
This client was very pro-active in the entire process. “All the plans and everything we needed in auto CAD were handed to us by the client. He was very hands-on; we communicated with him a lot and he was someone who wanted to roll up his sleeves and get involved. But he was doing this for his enjoyment.”
As for the installation process itself, “it was a complex infrastructure,” Reiner said, in retrospect, “but not a challenge, though. There were plenty of moving parts. But historically, and typical for some of the types of projects our company does, we weren’t stumped. He had some requests that were different and unusual – which made it fun.”
First Appeared in Connected Design Fall Issue, 2019