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How They Did It: Low-Maintenance Lodge

CEDIA
Feb 24, 2014

After phase 1 of this rural countryside project finished in 2011, these clients approached St. Louis-based CEDIA member Integration Controls to begin Phase 2 in 2012. This time, the project included two identical cabins with full technological amenities.

Integration Controls overcame the challenges with project management and network infrastructure presented by the remote location, successfully delivering a sophisticated yet easy-to-use system. Their work earned them the Level II Silver Technical Design Award for Integrated Home in CEDIA’s 2013 Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition.


 

Client’s Needs:


The clients were a pair of brothers and their families, and the project included two identical cabins – one for each family. Similar to the first development, which consisted of a 5,000-sq.-ft. lodge, the clients wanted their retreat to be complete with the latest technology.

 



The clients’ initial expectations included music and television throughout, yet quickly grew to include an alarm and camera system – all resting on the networked backbone provided by the lodge. The homeowners were accustomed to ease of use, remote accessibility, and high-speed Internet in and around the lodge, so the same had to be true with the cabins.




The System:


Originally, the main objective was to have the ability to watch television and stream Pandora throughout each cabin. AMX handheld MIO R4 remotes are used in each television area, with one remote shared between a screened porch and a living room. Dedicated satellite receivers feed each viewing area, as well as a dedicated Blu-ray in the master suite and a shared Blu-ray in the living area. All of these sources switch through an HDMI distribution matrix and an audio matrix switcher. 

 



Audio is available in several other areas using a Sonos Connect, one of the satellites, or the shared Blu-ray player. An iPad (using TP Control’s licensing for AMX) allowed for whole-house control of any area, as well as “party modes” for presets to listen in several rooms at once.

 



When the fiber backbone from the lodge became a reality in the cabins, Integration Controls was able to integrate the camera system. Two cameras were placed around each cabin, all of which record on the digital video recorder in the lodge. Each cabin was also outfitted with its own alarm system, keeping each area identifiable and secure from the other surrounding buildings.

The owners are able to access the entire system remotely, allowing them to verify that the security system is armed, adjust the audio/video system, or adjust the pool controls. 

 



Challenges:


This property is located in a rural valley about three hours away from Integration Controls’ location (and the client's main residence). This meant that intensive planning and coordination was needed in order to both arrive at the jobsite at the right phase of the project and to have all materials on hand.

The property’s rural location also meant that tying into the lodge’s network backbone would be essential for providing the desired technological amenities. Although the clients wanted to keep their cabins relatively simple in comparison to the system at the lodge, the original network infrastructure still needed more broadband for each cabin’s requirements. With help from the local wireless Internet service provider, stronger radios were added to the lodge’s tower, enabling the bandwidth needed for the entire project. 

 



Integration/Automation Highlights:


Integration Controls delivered an easy-to-use system that looks clean and streamlined. Simply pressing one button turns on everything as expected in each of the connected television areas. The clients are thrilled to be able to stream Pandora, make VoIP phone calls, and browse the Internet without any noticeable network drops.

Using hot-keys custom-programmed on their iPad, the homeowners can initiate a few common house-wide scenes at the press of a button, or they can easily navigate to music, movies, cameras, or the alarm system for more specific control. Additionally, controls were added to allow the clients to adjust the temperature of the pool at the lodge before they venture over to the main building.

 



Integration Controls worked closely with the interior designer on the placement of in-room source material, as well as the lighting, in order to keep source material hidden and preserve the cabins’ rustic aesthetics.

 



Project Partners:


Interior Designer
Holden Design Group
O'Fallon, IL
(618) 530-1046

Builder
Jordan Construction
Houston, MO

Specialty Consultant
Intellipower
St. Louis, MO
(314) 966-8063

Specialty Consultant
Lawrence Media
Osage Beach, MO

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CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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