Making complex systems simple is a process of constant refinement for Smart Systems, one of Melbourne’s longest-established integrators.
Ease-of-use has become a trademark of the company’s installations, demonstrated to superb effect on projects such as this three-level home in inner Melbourne. Thanks to an extensive integrated design, the home’s multiple systems work in complete high-tech harmony.
The control centre for this project’s amazing scope of technology is a Crestron wireless touchscreen. From the main living room, this device controls everything from entertainment and audio, to lighting, pool equipment, blinds, awnings and security. A wall-mounted touchscreen in the kitchen allows for a second user interface for these services, with further programmed control provided via the light switches. Automated control of the in-wall hidden blinds ensures privacy while optimising sunlight and views.
Safety was a major priority for the owners, so Smart Systems integrated state-of-the-art security into the home and allowed for remote operation of the system via a GSM module and phone. If an alarm is detected, the owners are automatically alerted via SMS. When guests arrive, a camera at the front gate relays images to the touchscreen inside and from there the external doors can be opened. For convenient access into the home for residents, a stainless-steel keypad, incorporated into the front gate, allows for keyless entry.
Lighting has been carefully designed to complement the architectural detail of the home. Controllable lighting scenes, programmed via the C-Bus, can create any mood desired. The lighting system however is more than simply aesthetic. When the family arrives home at night, even before the security system is disarmed, a welcome home path lights up automatically to lead the way inside. Smoke sensors linked to the security system trigger a wake-up lighting scene in the event of an alert and provide an escape path through a potentially smoke filled house.
As bedrooms are separated from the home’s main living area, a Fermax intercom was installed to allow for easy monitoring of the children. The youngest members of the family also have access to the home’s data network which allows for broadband Internet sharing and PC networking.
Entertainment options don’t stop there. An advanced amplification system provides for numerous TV access points through the home and ensures good signal quality to each set. A modulation system relays the living room Foxtel box, the front gate camera and the DVD player to all televisions around the home. Sound is provided via a Hal audio system, which is integrated into the Crestron touch screen and provides nine separate audio zones through the home. Up to four music sources can be distributed through the main living spaces, outdoor areas, the garage workshop and the sauna. One music source is the home PC which allows the family to create their own customised playlists.
For the dedicated home theatre, the challenge for Smart Systems was to create a high-performance audio system that wouldn’t detract from the room’s architect-designed cabinetry. In place of exposed freestanding speakers, discrete Genelec HT206 speakers with a Genelec HTSB4 subwoofer were installed into the joinery. These speakers were first designed for providing audio in studio environments and are ideal for areas such as this, where speakers need to be hidden but sound great. Equalisation controls enable each speaker to be calibrated to the acoustic response in the room, providing a good customised listening experience. Speakercraft in-ceiling speakers create surround sound effects without the need for freestanding speakers behind the couch, which helps keep the space open.
The real success of this complex home system comes down to the fact that the finished design is supremely functional while remaining easy for the owners to operate. Having worked in the industry for more than 10 years, Smart Systems specialises in integrating its client’s every requirement into a simple, smart-home solution.