Best Integrated Home (over £250,000)
Winner: SMC for Park House
Praised by the judges for it's delivery of clean, clever interiors
The challenging project by SMC to design and deliver an 'ultra-smart' family home triumphed in the Best Integrated Home over £250,000 category, impressing the judges with the delivery of "clean, clever interiors."
The wealthy client owns a portfolio of properties across the globe, each with home automation. For his London residence, he wanted to push the level of control to the highest limit. As this was a home for his growing family, he requested SMC to design a system which could enhance their lifestyle through improved convenience, greater comfort, advanced security and superior audio visual. He also wanted to unify entertainment content across all his houses.
Along with six bedrooms, a TV room, music room and three living rooms, the property contains a large spa featuring an abundance of relaxation facilities including a gym, yoga/Pilates room, sauna, steam room, massage area and even a juice bar. The intention was to use this suite to run courses and workshops.
To achieve the high level of integration that the client aspired to, SMC chose a Crestron 3-Series control system to form the core of the smart home. The system manages and integrates all the disparate technologies to enable them to work intelligently and in harmony. The Crestron interfaces with a Lutron Homeworks QS system which provides the primary control of lighting and blinds/curtains throughout the property, as well as management of six water features in the garden.
In total there are 180 circuits of light and over 84 window treatments to control. As an indication of the depth of integration the installer has achieved, each window and door features five automated levels including curtains, blinds, door/windows, shutters and awnings. With so many options, the client has the ability to completely change the look and feel of a room, all at the touch of a button. In the Yoga room, for example, coloured lighting has been fitted to alter the mood in the area in a matter of seconds.
SMC has ensured that the family can enjoy music and TV/video in high definition across the property. In addition to Sky HD and Apple TV , the owner's Blu-ray, DVD and music library is securely stored on a Kaleidescape movie server. The house luxuriates in 24 zones of audio and 8 zones of video managed by a Crestron DigitalMedia Matrix working with an Extron matrix. The Garden alone has a total of 6 zones playing out through 32 speakers.
Crystal clear, high quality images are displayed on seven 3D Samsung LED screens mounted around the home including a striking 75" unit in the main living area and 55" displays in the master bedroom and study. Stunningly lifelike, three-dimensional, sound is produced through Bowers & Wilkins speakers in conjunction with Rotel Power amplifiers with a surround sound set-up in key locations.
Aesthetics are of the essence in this gorgeous contemporary property, so SMC worked hard to ensure all equipment was as unobtrusive as possible. The main TVs are housed within Future Automation pop-up lift mechanisms or sliding panels so they are completely hidden when not in use. The B&W in-ceiling speakers and in-wall subwoofer blend perfectly with the decor and the Sonance IS4 speakers are virtually invisible. Another impressive feature is an Ad Notam Mirror TV in the gym behind one completely mirrored wall.
To create an audio library which can be accessed worldwide, the installer used iTunes, as the primary database, with iMatch synchronising the music across multiple devices in different countries. The music is played through Sonos, integrated within the Crestron control system using Sire, and selected using the Crestron touch screens and iPads/iPhones.
The security system includes an NSI Grade 3 intruder alarm providing full perimeter protection around the property and motion detection within. 16 HD CCTV cameras monitor the exterior of the property and 5 covert cameras are strategically located inside the house. BPT video entry panels, at the main gates and doors into the property, incorporate access control keypads which allow entry via personal codes. For guests to the spa, the client has the ability to issue temporary access codes which are valid for a set time period.
It was a particular challenge to develop a user interface, for such a complex system, which was both simple and intuitive. SMC's solution allows the occupants to select a floor plan, of any room, view the state of the equipment in that room and adjust the control as needed. For example, it's possible to see which blinds are open, which doors are shut or which lights are on in any part of the property. This level of control is also available when the client is away abroad staying at one of his other properties, using iPads running the Crestron app. This is particularly useful for: the security aspects of the system, for viewing CCTV images, enabling energy efficiency when the house is unoccupied and making the house welcoming after it has been empty.
The integrated home services are all operated from a range of Crestron surface mounted and wireless touch screens, as well as Lutron SeeTouch keypads. The residents can control the entertainment, climate control, security, lighting, window treatments and other systems through fully customised, easy to use icons which provide real-time status display and live video streaming.
The client was aware of the challenge that his brief presented for a residential environment and believes SMC delivered throughout the project. The comprehensive system uses technical engineering excellence to provide: breathtaking audio visual quality, reassuring security and significant improvements to the overall lifestyle of the occupants of this stunning home.