Functionality Reigns in Networked Home

The project's main objective was to create a top-of-the-line home entertainment system. 9/05/2006 8:00 AM Eastern

Functionality Reigns in Networked Home

Sep 5, 2006 12:00 PM

The following information is courtesy of the 2005 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Designers' Choice Awards. For more information on how to become a member of CEDIA, or information on its awards program please visit or call (800) 669-5329.

2005 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Winner
Designers Choice Awards: Best Integrated Home
Level VIII ($1,900,000-2,750,000)

Ambiance Systems

The project's main objective was to create a top-of-the-line home entertainment system. The client, an entrepreneur with multiple patents, requested that the systems were easy to use and that the installations were hidden and built with high-quality components.

With a total of 39 zones of entertainment, including 15 areas designated for televisions and 13 for surround sound, the abilities of the Crestron control system became more apparent to the homebuilder and client. The network of touchscreens was pulled into duty as the primary interface for more and more of the home’s sub-systems. Ultimately, this became the primary interface for several amenities including CCTV, HVAC, snow melt, hot tub, and aquarium. There is a secondary interface for lighting, fireplaces, motorized wooden blinds, storm shutters, and garage doors.

More often than not, these projects take on a life of their own, morphing and growing into what becomes the final project. The final installation is never anywhere near the original design. This project was no different. The initial challenge was the size and scope of the project, but the ultimate challenge, was handling the multitude of changes and additions.

Our philosophy is to remove as much of the equipment from the living spaces as possible. Anything that the client does not have to access is located in designated areas. Our equipment is neatly arranged in large commercial racks minimizing the equipment that the client interfaces with, and it also aids in areas of ventilation.

Many of the plasma displays were mounted in cabinets, ceilings, or floors when not in use and motorized into place for viewing. Consistent interface design is a mandate from touchscreen to touchscreen, so the client’s learning curve is minimized. Often times we would split background control of customized systems between the Lutron and Crestron control system; this allowed us to have two separate programmers working on the same subsystem at one time.

We also made arrangements with Lutron to send us unassembled and unfinished plates for the lighting controls and receptacles so that the hardware company could match the exact finish used throughout the house.

There are several functions of the system that prove extremely beneficial to the client. Lighting control and heating management is used everyday in the approximately 20,000-square-foot house. The media room in the den and the plasma in the living room are engaged for every Boston Red Sox game. The system also features a hot tub control, while a snow melt control uses tubes flowing with heated anti-freeze under the driveway installed by a mechanical contractor before the pavement was laid. Our program controls the flow through programmed or manual operation. Since the home is not the client’s primary residence, Ambiance Systems created a program to control the client’s unique fish-feeding system so that the fish never miss a meal.

Equipment list

  • 26 Aprilaire 8844 thermostats
  • 26 Aprilaire 8042 flush mount sensors
  • 4 Aprilaire 8808 distribution panels
  • 1 Aprilaire 8052outdoor temp sensor
  • 5 Aprilaire 8027power supplies
  • 1 Aprilaire 8811protocol adapter
  • 2 Aprilaire 8846 thermostats
  • 13 Aprilaire CT-1000 3.8in. touchpanels
  • 19 Aprilaire TPS-3000 6.5in. touchpanels
  • 4 Aprilaire ST-Tune AM/FM tuners
  • 13 Crestron STRFGWX two-way gateways
  • 14 Crestron STX1700C two-way handheld touchscreens
  • 24 Crestron ST-RMK rackmount kits
  • 12 Crestron CNTBLOCK termination blocks
  • 4 Crestron CNX-PAD8A 8x8 audio switchers
  • 10 Crestron ST-I/0 relay modules
  • 13 Crestron CNTTVAV television controllers
  • 3 Crestron ST-VC volume controls
  • 100 Xantech 283M blank mini emitters
  • 1 Crestron CNMSXPRO master controller
  • 15 Crestron CNPWS75 75W external power supplies
  • 10 Crestron ST-COM com modules
  • 1 Crestron CNXENET+ Ethernet expansion
  • 8 Lutron HWICCO8 output ports
  • 1 Lantronix UDS-10 device server
  • 32 Lutron HWV1000NS 1000W switchers
  • 4 Lutron HWIPO120 processors
  • 9 Lutron HWID48 interface for Vareo switches
  • 130 Lutron Seetouch keypads
  • 7 Lutron HWIPNL8 eight-module enclosures
  • 1 Lutron HWIPNL5 five-module enclosure
  • 258 Lutron HWV1000D dimmers
  • 9 Lutron HWIMI120 module interfaces
  • 14 Lutron HWRPM4U four-load incandescent modules
  • 2 Lutron HWRPM4R four-output relay modules
  • 14 Lutron HWRPM4M four-load motor modules
  • 1 Crestron CNHBLOCK termination block
  • 4 Crestron CNXHUB network hubs
  • 10 Crestron CNWMLT9 nine-button keypads
  • 5 Crestron CNWP12FW 12-button keypads
  • 28 Monster Cable 364383-01 OnQ 42in. modular enclosures
  • 4 Creston TPSENET Ethernet card for touchscreens
  • 4 Crestron TPSIMW connection block for touchscreens
  • 4 Crestron TPSMEM32MB 32MB memory
  • 4 Crestron TPSVID video card for touchscreens
  • 4 Crestron TPSXVGA XGA input cards
  • 2 Electro-Kinetics pop-up plasma lifts
  • 2 Electro-Kinetics swing-down ceiling mounts
  • 2 Electro-Kinetics pop plasma lifts
  • 3 Viking W2000a telephone interfaces
  • 1 Electro-Kinetics PRL014G90 drop-down projector lift
  • 40 Sound Advance SA2B disappearing speakers
  • 6 Triad in-wall speakers, in-wall silver monitors
  • 5 Triad Gold LCR/10 in-wall speakers
  • 7 Triad in-wall silver surround speakers
  • 1 Triad in-room silver center speaker
  • 14 Sunfire True Sub Architectural subwoofers
  • 8 Sunfire True Sub Signature subwoofers
  • 1 Furman PLPLUS surge suppression
  • 4 Furman PLPRO surge suppressors
  • 16 Furman PWRPORT surge suppressors
  • 8 Furman PWRKIT
  • 10 Middle Atlantic AXS slide-out racks
  • 63 Middle Atlantic RSH4AC custom-rack shelves
  • 72 Middle Atlantic VTF1 fine vents
  • 1 Middle Atlantic BRK20 rack
  • 8 Middle Atlantic MRK4426 free-standing racks
  • 37 Middle Atlantic QFAN rack fans
  • 1 Middle Atlantic ERK27254 rack
  • 1 Middle Atlantic ERK-3525AXS rack
  • 39 Middle Atlantic fan guards
  • 32 Middle Atlantic lace bars
  • 8 Middle Atlantic Leveling Feet LF
  • 2 Runco PLC61CX 60in. plasmas
  • 8 Runco PFP7 video processors
  • 1 Runco PL50C 50in. plasma
  • 2 Sony PFM-32C1 32in. HDTV plasmas
  • 1 Sony VPHG90Q projector
  • 20 Sony SATA65 satellite receivers
  • 14 Sony SLVR1000VCRs
  • 7 Sony DVPS9000ES DVD players
  • 2 Sony SATHD300 high-def. sat.
  • 4 Sony KV27FV17 27in. TVs
  • 6 Sony DVPC670D DVD players
  • 2 Sony CDPCA80ES 6-disc carousels
  • 5 Panasonic TH-42PWD4U 42in. plasmas
  • 22 Panasonic KXTSC14W wired phones
  • 15 Panasonic KXTC1881B wireless phones
  • 3 Crestron CNXPVID8X3 three-layer video switchers
  • 1 Crestron CNXPVID8X4 four-layer video switcher
  • 13 Bryston 2B-LP 2x60W amplifiers
  • 2 Bryston 4B-SST 2x250W amplifiers
  • 2 Bryston 6B-SST 3x250W amplifiers
  • 25 Bryston 2x120W amplifiers
  • 2 Bryston 9B-THX 5x120W amplifiers
  • 5 Lexicon MC1surround processors
  • 7 Integra DTR7.2 7 receivers
  • 22 Rane EQ RPE-28D programmable equalizers
  • 15 Rane ME15B 2-channel 2/3 octaves
  • 1 Lutron HWITEL9 telephone interfaces

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 25
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 300
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 100
    Project Management: 550
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 750
    Trim-out: 750
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 150
    Programming: 1250
    Final Installation and Calibration: 1400
    Client Instruction: 10
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 10
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 100
    Project Management by Others: 200
    Other time: builder's interior designs, drawings done on paper: 0
    Total Hours to Complete: 5595

  • Want to read more stories like this?
    Get our Free Newsletter Here!
    Past Issues
    October 2015

    September 2015

    August 2015

    July 2015

    June 2015

    May 2015

    April 2015

    March 2015