Architecturally designed, a new modern-style home was fitted with high-end finishes inside and out. Specialising in home automation and AV integration, Melbournebased Smart Systems was called in to provide a comprehensive electronic architecture system, working closely with the architect, the interior designer and the client. Installing an integrated home automation system that complied with Jewish religious requirements for the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays was the biggest challenge for Smart Systems.
Sabbath and certain Jewish holiday laws demand that no work can be performed from dusk the day before to dusk of the following day, which includes not activating any electrical devices. Since electrical devices include everything from lighting and electric blinds through to security, this is a perfect application for an intelligent home automation system. Smart Systems designed and installed what is known as electronic architecture. It encompasses both the underlying cabling infrastructure and the functional sub-systems that support intelligent lighting, motorised blinds and drapes, security, access control, RF distribution, cameras, phone system and intercom, data and other controls. “From here we integrate these otherwise independent functions under the supervision and control of a higher level, and in this case it was the world’s leading control system, Crestron,” says managing director of Smart Systems, Michael Staindl. This control system is the most vital component of the entire project. “It is the Crestron that has the ‘knowledge’ of the holy days and the various control sequence options to suit,” Michael adds. “Crestron is the over-arching integration solution for all the sub-functions, which includes the lighting and blinds control, access control and security, irrigation and HVAC, music and AV.” The simple-to-use touchscreen user interface means no fuss. The control is via the touchscreens, in two tiers of power and flexibility. Two CBus touchscreens — one located near the entry and the other in the master bedroom — allow basic control and selection of lighting circuits and scenes, and the same goes for the many motorised blinds used to adjust for privacy and the ample light streaming through large glassed areas. In the kitchen, however, a 15-inch Crestron touch panel offers control of the entire house. It is this much smarter and more powerful interface that allows accessing and selecting the full range of predefined scenes, as well as configuring new options.
From this screen the client can simply check gate or pool cameras, check the weather on the Internet, or just as simply select or adjust scenes such as “at home” or “entertaining”, choose in advance the different functions and timing required for coming Sabbath or other holy days, as well as create new scenes or set sequences for multiple holy days. “A noteworthy point here is that the clients initially chose a PC-based system for this function but realised part way through the project that this type of system would not have the power, flexibility or most importantly the stability of a Crestron system,” relates Michael. “Crestron is the system that talks to all the other functional subsystems and infrastructure layers to control and coordinate the behaviour of each.”