Ingredients for Success - ResidentialSystems.com

Ingredients for Success

Great integrated AV designs rarely happen by chance.
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D-Tools Honors Three Projects for Design Acumen

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Mauricio Barriento’s proposals, wire pull charts, line diagrams, schematics, scheduling, and rack elevations (pictured) demonstrated to his client that he was several steps ahead of his competition, according to contest judges.

Great integrated AV designs rarely happen by chance. A lot of planning goes into the most successful designs, and from that process usually comes a set of drawings, a list of technical specifications, and a thorough gear list.

Not every integrator uses D-Tools design software to achieve these goals, but those that do, appreciate the way it streamlines the complicated design, engineering, documentation, and estimating processes that accompany the integration and installation of lowvoltage systems. D-Tools’ flagship System Integrator 5 (SI5) software links product information from its database to documentation and drawings, creating a single, coordinated, and updatable electronic project file. SI5 utilizes industry standards such as AutoCAD and Microsoft Visio to create detailed designs that are dynamically linked to equipment lists for fast, accurate documentation of system integration projects.

D-Tools’ recently completed its PROJECT:Success, which was created as a way to find out SI5.5 users’ greatest success stories and designs about how the software has positively affected their business and made a significant ROI. Some of the most distinguished system integrators within the D-Tools user base submitted designs, and the contest was sponsored by D-Tools MVP Partners Atlantic Technology, URC, and Atlona Technologies. Each sponsor, in turn, supplied prizes to the winners. First place received an Atlantic Technology FS-5000 soundbar, second place was awarded a URC MX 5000 remote control, and third place earned an Atlona Technologies’ DIS7- PROHD connectivity test kit.

Here are the winners and descriptions of their winning designs:

First Place: Mauricio Barrientos, Independent Designer

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Elite Media Solutions’ theater elevation design displayed effective use of D-Tools scaled shapes.

A long-time D-Tools user, Mauricio Barriento was honored for a contest entry featuring extensive project designs and details for a Manhattan-based stock trading firm that required a more effective communication method with its offices in Dallas and Los Angeles. Barriento designed an integrated audio/video distribution system throughout the facility with a combination of Crestron for the control system, Lutron for the lighting and shades, Sonance speakers, and a Polycom phone system equipped with cameras. According to contest judges, Barriento’s proposals, wire pull charts, line diagrams, schematics, scheduling, and rack elevations demonstrated to his client that he was several steps ahead of his competition. D-Tools, along with Visio, allowed him to be more creative, which impressed his clients so much that they have hired Barrientos to design their Dallas system as well. Barriento’s expertise and knowledge of D-Tools SI software allowed him to simplify a very complex system.

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Service TECH’s Andy Nerdahl appreciates many features that D-Tools software offers, including the ability to create various drawings, proposals, and change orders in one central location.

Second Place: Bill Cole, Elite Media Solutions

Elite Media Solutions’ project was created for a local builder that constructed a $9-million spec house. He wanted Elite Media Solutions to merely pre-wire the house, but Cole needed a plan to follow nonetheless. After discussion, Cole created a proposal in D-Tools, including audio distribution, video distribution, a home theater, and home automation. The builder was extremely impressed with the amount of detail of the proposal and now shows Cole’s project to all clients interested in building a luxury home. Cole’s theater elevation design displayed effective use of D-Tools scaled shapes, providing potential clients endresult visibility.

Third Place: Andy Nerdahl, Service TECH Inc.

Andy Nerdahl says that he appreciates many features that D-Tools software offers, including the ability to create various drawings, proposals, and change orders in one central location. Service TECH’s 10,500-square-foot residential theater project boasts Crestron interfaces that allow control of house audio, distributed video, HVAC, pool, lighting, security, CCTV and intercom, seven zones of distributed video, 16 zones of house audio, seven Crestron MTX-3 remotes, a 12-inch Crestron touchpanel, three iPads, and two equipment racks. Since Service TECH implemented D-Tools, the integrator has doubled business each year. It continues to set new benchmarks of efficiency and profitability each year and, according to Nerdahl, because of the easy-to-use and customizable tool.

“The creativity displayed by this year’s winning entries demonstrated how integrators can effectively apply D-Tools software platform to bring professionalism, visually stunning aesthetics, and project organization into their client’s proposals, noted Steve Feinstein, director of marketing and product design for Atlantic Technology. “As a long-time partner, we take pride in interacting with D-Tools users and this sponsorship was no exception. We congratulate all of the winners on their accomplishments and look forward to next year’s contest.”

Jeremy J. Glowacki (jglowacki@nbmedia.com) is editorial director of Residential Systems.

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