Exploring 2016's "most innovative use of Control4" at Monte Estoril gardens, Portugal
A space once home to rows of dilapidated homes on the coast of Estoril in Portugal has been transformed into a fully automated sanctuary thanks to inventive integration work recognised as the “Most Innovative Use of Control4” in 2016.
Situated on the hilltop enclave of Monte Estoril, the sprawling garden of the historical Portuguese estate has been completely rebuilt to now serve as a relaxing retreat for the homeowner celebrating all things modern. Its innovation is best epitomised by the newly added automation of the lighting, fountain and audio in the pool, gym and indoor recreational area.
Discussions between Consexto, the architects and homeowner to plan the ambitious project began as early as 2015. First on the agenda was a central control system to manage technology in the garden – spanning 40 light circuits, 12 circuits of water (including waterfalls, fountains), 24 thermal scan cameras, 5 gates with 5 intercom video door systems, 8 audio zones and 2 video zones. Vitoriano notes the ease of use of the Control4 system made the system the integrator’s first port of call. “The homeowner wanted to be able to control specific lights and water circuits in the garden such as the waterfalls and other aquatic décor so we showed him how he could do this with the Control4 app from his iPad,” recalls Joao Vitoriano from Consexto.
Now the homeowner easily controls everything down to the water pumps and waterfalls with Control4 from the comfort of his home or as from the Control4 app on his iPad or Apple Watch as he walks in the garden. In the evening the system is also set up to offer an automated outdoor garden scene with several different outdoor lighting scenarios available, whether involving the walkways of water installations.
“The homeowner wanted to be able to control specific lights and water circuits in the garden such as the waterfalls and other aquatic décor"
“Controlling lights, water systems, cameras, security devices, exterior audio, interior AV, an intercom and an indoor and outdoor WiFi network was no small task but Control4 was able to integrate all of these pieces and provide our client with a simple interface that he could control from anywhere.”
Due to the scale of the project and number of stakeholders involved, close collaboration was necessary between the installation team and the electricians, landscaping and construction companies, hydraulic engineers and other home professionals involved with the project. The team at Consexto were involved at every meeting throughout the project lifecycle to deliver the level of coordination necessary and deliver the project with minimal disruption to the homeowner’s life. Vitoriano highlights that without fail, every system, plan was approved through them to ensure the project was a success.
The size of the large landscaped garden – stretched over two conjoined plots of land – meant privacy was a key focus for the retired homeowner. “The homeowner’s main concern when we began discussion on the project was security,” said Vitoriano. “The home is massive and the garden drives quite a lot of attention, so he wanted a security system that could not only take surveillance video of the garden but also notify him of intrusion so he could feel safe in his home.” Therefore a Control4 system was deployed that could oversee everything from the CCTV security system with thermal scan technology from Mobotix to the outdoor lighting system from Lutron.
To control the entire suite of smart home outdoor audio, lighting, and entertainment products, Joao’s team installed a Control4 EA-5 controller. The EA-5 is the ultimate entertainment and automation controller designed to manage large homes that require connectivity from multiple smart devices. The EA-5 features five independent audio outputs— HDMI, two Digital Coaxial, and two RCA stereo analog outputs with an audiophile-grade signal-to-noise ratio of 118dB, as well as an integrated five-port Ethernet switch, 2.4 and 5 GHz dual-band MIMO WiFi capabilities, plus, eSATA and USB ports for connecting local music and movie storage devices.
Audio in the outdoor spaces in controlled via a Control4 Audio Matrix Switch supporting up to 16 different zones and an 8-Zone matrix amplifier. The rest of the audio system is comprised of Sonos Connect Players and Architettura Sonora Bianco speakers.
Indoors, technology creates another relaxation haven for the homeowner. The centrepiece to his sleek living room space is Bang & Olufsen’s 85-in 4K Avant TV, accompanied by Beolab 18 and 19 speakers, all of which is automated by Control4.
When relaxing is not on agenda, the homeowner has access to a connecting gym area complete with its own AV system featuring a 55-in 4K Sony TV. The TV folds down from the ceiling at the homeowner’s request when he wants to work out, and then is flipped back upwards afterward to maintain his panoramic view of the ocean nearby. Invisible speaker offerings from Stealth Acoustics connect to the audio matrix system allowing the homeowner to easily listen to music via YouTube or locally from his phone. A Control4 “training” scene in the gym is programmed to make the television appear, turn on music and reduce the temperature of the room at the flick of a switch.
The project took over a year and a half to deliver, and the team at Consexto continue to offer support for the homeowner. “One time, the homeowner called us looking to make a change to several of his automation schedules and needed it done right away. Within 10 minutes we were able to make the requested changes remotely,” recalls Vitoriano. “He was so impressed we’re currently working on extending his service contract so that we will continue to provide updates, adjustments, and programming when needed.”
Consexto’s efforts throughout the project were acknowledged with the award for “Most Innovative Use of Control4 in Amsterdam last February during ISE 2017 at the manufacturer’s annual International Dealer-Distributor Awards.
Architettura Sonora Bianco Carrara Spheres and Tall Cylinders
BeoVision 85-in Avant TV
BeoLab 19 subwoofer and BeoLab 18 loudspeakers
Control4 EA-5 controller, IO extender, Audio Matrix switch and 8-zone amplifiers
Draytek 2925 router, G2261 managed switch POE 24P and DrayTek VigorAP 902 Access Points
Future Automation CHT Ceiling Hinge
Lutron Homeworks QS system, QS Processor and SeeTouch keypads
Mobotix M15 thermal sensor cameras
Sonos Connect Zone Players
Sony 4K 55-in TV
Stealth Acoustics SA255 subwoofer amplifiers, B30gs invisible subwoofer and LR8G speakers