A contemporary, architect designed new build residential property in Stellenbosch - an attractive town in the winelands of South Africa - has been kitted out with a Control4 system to provide the ultimate in control and comfort.
Cape Town-based Home Technology Professional, AV Custom Install was contracted for this project and had to meet the brief of creating a comfortable family home for a retired couple. The owners requested that the property could be ‘zoned’ for their use as a couple, whilst also delivering additional, scalable options to accommodate frequent visits from their children and grandchildren. Their original home was demolished and totally rebuilt into a striking three storey home.
The overall brief included the owners need for convenience, particularly focused on their home being somewhere they could safely grow old in, while adding modern technology and upgrading with new requirements as time goes on.
The owners had home automation systems before in a previous property, but were unconvinced due to issues with an unsatisfactory user interface and functionality. The installer had a challenge therefore to convince the customer of the benefits.
They were keen to utilise energy saving options and control certain functions remotely while away from home, as well as having an easy “away function” and “guests visiting function” (which enables them to switch on/off a part of the house while guests are present).
Their entertainment requirements were simple - they are not big TV watchers but do enjoy music and wanted a good quality sound system and they both work on their computers so needed easy and quick internet access.
From a security perspective, the owners required a “keyless entry/exit system” and an alarm system installed with remote monitoring to add to a secure environment. They were also in favour of the idea of lighting automation, but only if it could work with a simple user interface.
When all the client requirements were evaluated, a Control4 automation system with touch interfaces was the obvious solution to deliver their requirements and also had the benefit of being a very flexible system, enabling new features to be easily added. Following a demonstration of the Control4 system, the clients were immediately positive, after experiencing the easy user interface and being able to set up and select different scenes and modes with ease. The owners were already iPad and iPhone users so were familiar with the touch screen and app system – so they were happy to have a standard app on their existing devices to control their house.
The installer worked closely with the architect, interior designer and complete building team to provide the best possible solution for the exacting client. Following a detailed planning and design process, AV Custom Install fitted and automated the following disciplines:
1) High definition Television sets x2 with centralized sources that included two Satellite TV channels, Apple TV, Blu-ray DVD and onscreen Home Controller display via a 4x2 HD matrix.
2) Distributed Audio system into eight listening zones with discretely installed high quality speakers, hidden away and colour matched to disappear in the excellent, high-quality interior of the house. All above video source’s audio streams are available as well as audio only streams from the client’s computer, USB and the Control4 Wireless Music Bridge.
3) Video intercom and access control system with call stations from the pedestrian and vehicle entrances as well as another doorbell at the front door that play a bell tone on the music system.
4) Keyless entry system with either Control4 or keypads at the four important entry points to the
5) Alarm system with inside and perimeter protection that can be armed in ‘away’ and ‘stay’ modes as well as when away from the premises.
6) Data / Internet / Wi-Fi system with wired and Wi-Fi coverage in all required areas.
7) Lighting automation: All inside and outside lights were automated with various scene and mode settings as well as light switching on and off as a result of predetermined requirements or specific events.
8) Inclusion of other technology items included:
9) System Control (user interface) is done by means of two built-in 7” touch screens, Control4 RF handheld remote controls, onscreen display on TV sets, clients tab and smartphone devices, remotely via internet connections to the internet.
10) Air-conditioning control by means of Coolmaster interface of Daiken VRV system.
With flat roofs and limited cable way space available it was a significant challenge to design technology into the house in an “invisible way”. Close coordination and detailed design sessions were required on a regular basis with all relevant parties to achieve this.
Various items were custom designed and built for this project to make it completely bespoke and contributed to the high quality finish. These included: joinery, Zigbee controlled door locks integrated into custom made doors, lighting distribution board, custom DB board, custom painting of speakers & grills, Gooseneck at vehicle entrance and pedestrian and main entrance access control, special vanity and cupboard lighting and switching circuitry.
Every room in the house was designed to have the main light in that room connected to the physical light switch/dimmer in that specific room. This means that if the Control4 System is down for some reason there is always a physical “light switch” in the room that will switch on the main lights for added peace of mind. The wiring has been done in such manner at the lighting DB board, that the primary light in each area can be changed if so required.
The installer also provided a detailed “Operating & Design Manual” for the whole project, for the client to use as a quick reference & maintenance guide, which gave added confidence to the owner.
The delighted client commented: “AV Custom Install has entirely changed our perception of home automation. Our previous experience made us hesitant to invest in home automation again, but the system that AVC delivered is easy to understand, simple to use… and it works!
We have found them to be extremely professional and always available when we need assistance or advice. They listened to everything we said and paid careful attention to our needs and our concerns. Their system is truly integrated and meets all our needs without being obtrusive or unsightly. We are more than happy with the result and would recommend them unconditionally.”
AV Custom Install
Satellite & TV System:
Satellite TV 85cm Aluminium Dish kit with HD LNB
RF Cabling splitters, amplifier and IR channel control
HD TV Distribution to 2 TV sets
HD PVR decoder DSTV Multichoice x2
Blu-ray/DVD player Samsung x3
HD TV Distribution HDMI Matrix - Octava 4x2 matrix
HDMI Balun to both TV sets - HDbaseT light - Atlona
TV Wall mount bracket Omnimount x2
Automation By means of Control4: Main equipment incl controllers & Audio amplifiers
Control4 Home controller HC 800 x2
Control4 Home controller HC 250 x2
HR250 Control4 Remotes x2
HR 250 Remote charging station x1
HR 250 rechargeable batteries pack x1
Repeaters Zigbee Card access Module x2
Control4 Wireless Music bridge Streamer
Control4 Multi Zone 8 zone Audio Amplifier
Wi-Fi Router/Access Points Ubiquity x3
Speakers cabling and audio distribution
Bulkhead mounted speakers 8" square Monitor Audio WT280IDC 8" in-wall
Stereo speaker for bathroom - Monitor audio 8"
Precast Wooden speaker boxes
Boston Voyager Outdoor 40 speakers
Control4 Lighting automation
19" Server Rack with ventilation and glass door
Rack mount kits
Control4 new gen Wireless Dimmers Lighting unit x 10
Control4 New Gen Wireless Configurable keypads Lighting unit x6
Control4 New gen Wireless Switches Lighting unit x7
Control4 New gen Wireless Keypad dimmers Lighting unit x 17
Black key caps for matching colour finishes
Lumen8 Double gang mounting plate for all wall switches
Control4 Din Rail RS232 Interface Unit x1
Control4 Din Rail Dimmer Lighting Module 8 x 2A Unit x4
Control4 Din Rail 4 Channel Lighting Relay Module x2
Additional Control4 Automation Items
Blind Control Zigbee External Blind Somfy Full feedback unit
Under floor heating Zigbee modules
Pool pump (2 relay modules)
Air Conditioners - Coolmaster 1000D controller
Air conditioner Software license for Coolmaster VRV system from Extra Vegatables
UPS 2000VA Line interactive Uninterupted Power Supply for main equipment
Power conditioner & surge protection unit Furman
Control4 I/O extender for Door lock function control
Relays and control programming for keyless entry system
Apple TV x1
Digital to analogue audio converter for Apple TV