ClearSphere Outfits East End Penthouse with Crestron Control
Penthouse 122 overlooks Old Street's bustling 'Silicon Roundabout' in the East End of London. It is part of the sail-shaped Bezier Apartments, where technology and alfresco living combine in effortless style. The suite, inside and out, has a Crestron system, designed and installed by ClearSphere.
The developer, Tudorvale, was looking to give this apartment the 'wow' factor to set it apart from the rest of the competition in the property market. It knew that only luxury brands would create an interior that would draw attention and catch the potential buyer's eye, and an important part of this strategy was a cutting-edge home automation system.
The brief was for a high-end home automation system that would complement the developer’s goal of creating a cutting-edge, high-spec property with the very latest in home technology. Elegant installation, intuitive operation and high performance were the developer's key requirements.
The apartment was a shell when ClearSphere started so there was no retrofit required. However, the air conditioning (AC), hot water/heating heat exchanger and underfloor heating were already in place, so we had integrate with what was there.
Indeed integrating the penthouse's AC system was a major challenge, as this linked back to the central system that serves the remaining 90 apartments in the development. The AC contractor was nervous about the potential problems that a third-party control device might cause in the other residences. To offer peace of mind, a single Crestron processor was added to the central AC. This unit managed the AC control and was connected to the main Crestron processor, achieving full separation of the central system from that of the apartment, but still delivering full control and feedback of the AC in the apartment.
We contracted direct to Tudorvale Properties, the developer of the entire Bezier complex. We worked with other trades including EMS - the M&E contractor, Power Installation - the electrician, and Wattrus - the Silent Gliss curtain and blind supplier.
The Crestron processor has direct control of all heating, ventilation and AC systems. In order to not interfere with the interior design of the property, discs of wallpaper where placed over the temperature sensors, rendering them virtually invisible, which greatly impressed the client.
Heat recovery ventilation is also incorporated, meaning that the ventilation can be increased when bathrooms are in use and switched off when the apartment is vacant for long periods. Heating and air-conditioning are interlocked to ensure energy-efficient management of climate control systems.
Dimmable mood lights, blinds and curtains, AC and underfloor heating are all controlled from the Crestron building management system. The comprehensive home automation solution at Penthouse 122 can be controlled via four touchscreen remotes, a 7" wall-mounted touchscreen and a waterproof UFO remote for the hot tub in the decking area. The Crestron Smart Graphics iPad/iPhone app was also included to allow occupants to easily add their Apple devices and to control systems in the apartment from a remote location.
The Crestron DigitalMedia matrix sends video from the two Sky boxes, media server and Blu-ray player to all TVs, including the TV outside on the deck.
Music from the iPod dock, audio server and digital radio can be played into eight areas of the home via a Crestron Sonnex amplifier. This results in a high-quality multiroom music experience that caters to all music tastes and situations. Apple AirPlay was also incorporated, allowing residents to play audio from their personal device without the need for a physical connection.
To bring comfort and luxury to the rooftop garden, we extended the technology outdoors, creating a stunning entertainment space from which to enjoy movies, music, and a variety of lighting scenarios. The extensive decking area is enhanced by LED mood lighting, a 40" waterproof TV and a ten-speaker audio system driven by the Sonnex amplifiers.
The outdoor features are easily controlled through an app and the waterproof remote - which is ideal when relaxing in the hot tub. In addition, Crestron's support for radio-based remote controls means that the technology is reliable and works flawlessly, even in bright sunshine.
The project was completed in July 2013 and took three months from start to finish. The budget was around GB£80,000, and the installation lasted four weeks.
Choosing a home automation system that can provide seamless control is so important in a project of this scale. The developers were initially wary of home automation systems due to a bad experience with a previous system in another project where the lack of 'joined up' control made the system difficult to operate. However, we managed to restore confidence after demonstrating intuitive control of lighting, A/V, media servers and heating systems, all from the same intuitive iPad application.
The apartment has been sold, and at the time of writing, the purchaser is considering the addition of a Kaleidescape media server.
This is a truly stunning property in an area that is at the forefront of London's move into the technical future. Using Crestron allowed us to deliver a powerful, discreet and elegant home automation system that met the developer's brief on time and within budget.
As Tudorvale put it, “Working with ClearSphere was like a breath of fresh air. The quality of their installation was superb and they demonstrated their strong technical ability during the course of the project. They worked closely with the other trades on site to ensure the interface between them and others worked seamlessly. Their performance on site has been followed up by an equally impressive aftersales customer service support. I would certainly work with ClearSphere again and have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”
1 x TPS-6L Crestron 6" wall mounted touch-screen.
4 x MTX-3 Crestron 3" wireless touch-screen.
1 x UFO-WPR-3ER-BLU Crestron waterproof remote control.
1 x CEN-HPRFGW Crestron wireless gateway for UFO.
2 x CEN-RFGWEX Crestron wireless access point for MTX-3.
1 x SWAMPI-24X8 Crestron 8 zone Sonnex multiroom amplifier.
1 x DM-MD6X6 Crestron DigitalMedia 6X6 video distribution matrix.
6 x DM-RMC-100-C Crestron DigitalMedia room receiver/controller.
1 x MC3 Crestron control processor.
1 x C2N-IO Crestron control extender.
7 x DIN-1DIMU4 Crestron 4 channel mains voltage dimmer module.
2 x DIN-AP2 Crestron lighting processor.
4 x DIN-PWS50 Crestron keypad/dimmer power supplies.
1 x DIN-HUB Crestron network hub.
1 x DIN-8R Crestron lighting/heating enclosures.
6 x DIN-8SW8 Crestron relay control unit.
1 x DIN-8SW8I Crestron heating central plant I/O modules.
1 x DIN-PWS50 Crestron heating system power supplies.
5 x C2N-RTHS Crestron temperature sensor.
15 x C2NI-CB Crestron keypad.
1 x 42" Aqualite waterproof TV.
B&W speakers used throughout.
Silent Gliss curtains and blinds.
Alistair Ingram is the Director of ClearSphere, a systems integrator, specialising in home-automation and entertainment systems for luxury residential property in London and the South East of the UK.