Cypriot Beachfront Residence Fitted with Intelligent Home Automation
Briefed to design and install an integrated control system in a luxury property in the Southern coastal city of Limassol, Cyprus, integration firm Lifestyle Technologies, based in Nicosia, Cyprus, set about addressing four elements of the project: extensive entertainment facilities, environmental control incorporating energy saving features, security system with remote monitoring, and a secure wireless network infrastructure. The client's overriding request? A complete, intuitive, easy operation combined with accessibility from any location.
To achieve the client's dream of a luxurious, hi-tech lifestyle, Lifestyle Technologies specified a full Crestron home automation system, which enabled complete integration of all the required systems including lighting, shutters, AV, security, HVAC and irrigation.
“For lighting and climate control, Crestron's seamless system integration means rooms look their best, while maximising the comfort and enjoyment of the occupants,” says Takis Sarikas, business development manager, Lifestyle Technologies. “The electric windows, for example, are programmed to work in conjunction with the roller blinds. If, for example, the window is open, the shade will not roll down until the window is closed. Furthermore, if the window is ajar, the air conditioning will automatically be disabled; enabling energy savings.”
The client can access pre-programmed light levels and scenes, or create their own 'atmosphere' according to their mood or chosen activity. The swimming pool has been turned into a night-time feature of the garden with the addition of colour changing light effects. As an energy saving feature, Crestron Green Light occupancy sensors automatically adjust the lighting according to room usage.
The Mitsubishi VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air conditioning is integrated with the home automation system, using a CoolMaster control adapter, along with the hot water pumps and heating. As a result, the house now benefits from an intelligent HVAC system, something that is important in the hot Mediterranean climate. Using smart temperature control, and monitoring of the heating and air conditioning, throughout the residence, energy consumption is kept to a minimum.
A Crestron Sonnex digital audio distribution system fills 24 pre-defined interior and exterior zones with music, played through elegantly discreet ELAN in-ceiling speakers and Bose weatherproof speakers. To accommodate individual tastes, seven iPod docks with six CD/MP3 changers have been installed locally and an AirPlay enabled Wi-Fi router, along with a CD/MP3 changer and FM Tuners, have been fitted centrally. The occupants have the option of listening to a specific source or for multiple zones to be linked together.
Similarly, the house boasts a range of video sources, including two HD satellite receivers and a networked LG Blu-ray 3D media player, distributed through the house in high definition using a 16 zone Crestron DigitalMedia system.
“The residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to viewing options with four media rooms, living room, playroom, basement 'cigar' room and master bedroom,” says Sarikas. “Each features a 60-inch or 55-inch LED display, and delivers crystal clear surround sound through stylish Cabbase Eole speakers matched with Marantz AV receivers. On the veranda, a 42-inch TV sits on a Unitech motorized lift, for convenient and discreet storage. The Jacuzzi room and the en suite to the master bedroom also have Agath mirror TVs embedded into the walls.”
All the house services, integrated by Crestron, can be operated through a single device, a handheld remote, touch panel or smart device. Across the residence, The Lifestyle Technologies team fixed a range of wireless remotes and 4-inch, 7-inch and 10-inch wall-mounted touch screens, iPad Minis with tabletop docks and an iRoom in-wall dock for an iPad Air, all situated for easy access. The client can also access the system remotely from a smart tablet.
Although the client wanted control to be effortless, even by someone with little or no technology experience, he didn't want to sacrifice functionality, according to Sarikas. To resolve this, the integration team created a bespoke Graphical User Interface (GUI) with a simple appearance, which intelligently guides the user through the control process. However, advance features can still be accessed as required. For example, the most commonly used media sources appear on the everyday GUI but any of the 24 audio sources can still be accessed.
One of the features of the GUI is simple scheduling by time, day, week and month. This allows the owner to pre-define timing for services, such as heating, hot water pumps, and irrigation for the garden, according to the weather and occupancy. The 'smart' GUI also provides feedback on the system so that if one of the elements isn't working, within the specified parameters, it will not start. The client can check what the problem is and, if possible, fix it through the interface.
For peace of mind, the CCTV system is integrated within the Crestron control system so that high definition images can be viewed instantaneously from anywhere in the house, or monitored remotely. If an alarm is triggered, the lights turn on in all the communal areas, the outdoor lights flash repeatedly and the CCTV video feed appears on all the TVs.
Additional security is provided by PIR sensors, situated throughout the property, which enable a real-time overview of all 'people movement', which can then be viewed on an electronic floor-plan accessed through the GUI.
A secure wireless network infrastructure has been built using Apple AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi routers, and a Cisco PoE router, providing optimised secure coverage, across all floors and outdoor areas.
“The overall project cost was approximately 250,000 Euro including installation and the cost of equipment,” says Sarikas. “This project brings together the diverse technology in this home and makes it easily accessible through a user-friendly interface. The client commented that he feels ‘very secure and powerful when he is in total and absolute control of everything, from anywhere, at any time.’"
- 1 CRE-SWAMPI‐24X8 Crestron Sonnex Multiroom System 8-Zones, 140Watts per channel 8Ohm, 24 inputs
- 2 CRE-SWAMPIE 8 Crestron Sonnex SWAMPIE 8
- 1DM MD16X16 Crestron 6x16 DigitalMediaTM Switcher
- 1 KRAMER VP-4X4 Kramer VGA matrix switcher 4in 4 out
- 1 CR-DMC-VGA Cresreon VGA input card
- 6 DMC HD DSP Crestron HDMI Input Card w/DSP for DM Switchers
- 13 DM RMC 100 C Crestron DigitalMedia CAT Receiver & Room Controller
- 2 DMCO 5555 KIT Crestron 8 DM 8G STP w/4 HDMI Output Card for DM MD16X16
- 22 ELA-E72C ELAN 7-inch In-Ceiling Speaker, stationary woofer, pivoting tweeter (Pair)
- 2 ELA-ES71C ELAN 7-inch In-Ceiling Speaker, stationary woofer, pivoting tweeter (Pair)
- 4 ELA-E72D ELAN 7-inch In-Ceiling Speaker, stationary woofer, pivoting tweeter PC
- 10 Bose Environmental outdoor speakers