Home automation underscores luxury of “Mini Hollywood” complex
Five luxury properties in an exclusive postcode on the outskirts of London has the technology to match its sleek design and first-class amenities. HiddenWires goes behind the gates of the homes.
You know the market is changing when a house listing on one of the UK’s most popular websites for browsing properties for sale reads as follows: “Key features: Crestron technology system,” ahead of “6 bedrooms,” “6 bathrooms,” “dining room” and “study.” Clearly the modern-day discerning homeowner is not only is becoming familiar with home automation, they may have a brand preference.
This is why London-based home automation specialist ClearSphere secured the contract to provide control, AV, lighting, heating, security and door entry for the future owners of five properties located at a newly built complex at Fulmer Drive in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire in the southeast of England. Nicknamed “Mini Hollywood” by some due the celebrity residents of the greenbelt town, the complex is located in the much sought-after Dukes Wood Estate area.
With individual properties priced at over £2.5 million (€2.8 million), it was integral for installer ClearSphere and the property management team that technology met the high expectations of potential homeowners.
“For us, one of the key focuses for this new development was to adhere to the increasing demand for smart homes,” commented Mav Sandhu, managing director at Landmark Group, the building group behind the project. “More and more clients are adding home automation to their wish list of must-haves in their property search, so ensuring these luxury homes met that demand was of great importance.”
Briefed to introduce one comprehensive home automation system that could bring versatility into each of the five homes, ClearSphere opted for Crestron AV automation, in addition to full lighting control, heating integration and security.
Indoors Crestron TSW-760 touch screens are on hand on each of the three floors to provide easy access to each level, with audio zones also controlled via the Crestron system. Step inside one of the five homes and the discrete nature of the technology installed – allowing the focus to be on the spacious, modern feel design – is arguably one of its most impressive features. In addition to the touch screen found on each level providing control of the entire home environment, homeowners can manage their system via the Crestron App.
With centralised lighting control, DIN rail dimmers and C2NI keypads, the system covers all areas of the house, including the exterior. Lighting scenes can be predetermined by the homeowner to create bespoke lighting settings for different occasions (e.g. entertaining in the kitchen or relaxation in the bathroom).
"More and more clients are adding home automation to their wish list of must-haves, so ensuring these luxury homes met that demand was of great importance.”
Control of the exterior system gives homeowners the added capability to create and manage personalised lighting and AV scenes for outdoor entertaining at the home’s large south facing garden and patio area, which flows out from the family room and kitchen.
Six zones of audio run throughout each property, with pre-wiring completed by ClearSphere for televisions and additional audio zones on hand for any future expansions or upgrades a homeowner may desire. With Bowers & Wilkins on hand for in-ceiling and outdoor audio, homeowners are also able to set pre-determined preferences and playlists through the wider automation system.
Heating and security have also been installed with the utmost discretion whilst offering optimum performance. Underfloor heating is deployed throughout, and along with including mirror heaters and bathroom fans, can be managed through the Crestron via the wall-mount touch screen or remotely on an iPhone or iPad.
Four CCTV cameras can be viewed at any time of the day via any of the touch screens or the app. It also allows homeowners to see and control video entry and electric gates to the property.
Speaking on the installation, director of ClearSphere, Alistair Ingram, said: “This was a fantastic project to be involved in.” He added: “Landmark Group tasked us with delivering the highest level of home automation to adhere to the overall standard of these properties, and for us Crestron was our number one choice.”
All five houses have been completed, with four sold to date.
Bowers & Wilkins CCM665 & CCM664SR ceiling speakers and AM-1 weatherproof speakers
Crestron: processors, 4 channel universal dimmers, 8-channel relay modules, Cresnet Hubs, 8-input versiport modules, 6X100W amplifiers, Network Stream Players, 7-in wall-mount touch-screens and C2NI keypads
Draytek network hardware
Sontay temperature sensors
Texecom alarm gateways