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How They Did It: From All Directions

CEDIA
Jun 01, 2015

Integration Controls paired two companies on this project: one to guide the overall design, management, integration, and programming; and the other to supply wiring services and general electronic provisions and installation. As such, the home was integrated in nearly every way: electronics, aesthetics, and with two company ideals, creating a unique offering for the homeowner. Integration Controls' work earned them the Level IV Bronze award for Integrated Home in CEDIA’s 2014 Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition.




Client’s Needs:


With home integration as a must-have feature of this home, the homeowners expected an intuitive user-experience so they could easily access their home’s electronic systems, all while maintaining a budget in a home of more than 25,000 square feet. A combination of top control systems were brought together, along with creative programming, to provide such an experience. The homeowners wanted to easily access lighting, audio/visual systems, pool controls, security, cameras, and thermostats all from their personal or dedicated home iPads – while at home or on vacation.





The System:


Knowing this home would be larger than their last, the homeowners became interested in home automation to save time and offer convenience. Having researched many control system platforms, they were interested in one that would commission quickly, be operable from simple remotes, and have an intuitive interface for easy access.

Because of these requirements, a combination of Savant and AMX were used: Savant to run the whole-house integrated system, with AMX MIO R4 remotes providing handheld, two-way integration. These control platforms interface with the home’s Lutron HomeWorks lighting control system, DSC security system, Savant thermostats, whole-house audio/visual system, and pool controls. Handheld AMX R4 remotes control connected television areas in the Master Bedroom and Bathroom, Study, Kitchen/Hearth, Family Room, Great Room, Theater, Screened Porch, and Exercise Room. 





As part of an HDMI matrix solution, these rooms have access to up to four satellites, one Apple TV, main floor Blu-ray, lower-level Blu-ray, and 16 cameras. Simply pressing "Watch" and the source turns on everything as needed. Or, for one-touch access, simply pressing the power button turns that room to the source watched most often, in this case satellite. When video is accessed by the AMX remote, Savant maintains two-way communication, indicating proper feedback on the iPad apps so that if it is then accessed by the Savant app, every system is in sync. 





Lutron’s HomeWorks centralized the lighting system and enabled a nice aesthetic in areas where an open floorplan created difficulty when placing lighting control points. The main floor lighting is mostly controlled through Lutron, with plans for wireless additions in the future. 





The security and surveillance system, designed and supplied by the subcontractor, is also integrated into the Savant system so that it’s accessible (and cameras are viewable) from any iPad on the system. With Savant thermostats onboard, scheduling heating/cooling systems are a breeze from anywhere the homeowner wishes to adjust them. Pool controls are integrated, and in the future, gate controls will be tied into the system as well. 

A total of three iPads run this connected home, in addition to the homeowner’s own iPhones and iPads. Two iPads are mounted with a Launchport solution and another is fixed, in-wall, near the most widely used door in the home. These three iPads, in addition to the other remotes and mobile applications, provide access to this system’s unique design.





Challenges: 


One of the biggest challenges was maintaining a budget while designing with high performance in mind. The project was designed to streamline current needs, but with the capability to add in the future.

At the same time, the project was split between two companies to allow a local wiring/electronics provision/installation team to be at the ready when needed, with Integration Controls' guidance. Designing with another company’s electronics – and combining philosophies – proved difficult at times.





Integration & Automation Highlights:


This project showcases what’s possible when a system integrator thinks outside of the manufacturer’s box. Bridging the quickness of programming and commissioning of the Savant system with the pleasing aesthetic of AMX’s R4 handheld remote, the homeowners got exactly what they wanted without compromising time, ergonomics, or aesthetics. Ensuring these two control platforms communicated to one another was no easy feat, however, and involved more time and effort than originally accounted for (in both scheduling and budgeting). While there were a few hiccups along the way, everyone worked together for the benefit of the homeowner.





Project Partners


Niccol Development
Gillespie, IL

Auto Sound & Security
Staunton, IL


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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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