“This is the largest residential installation we’ve ever done,” said Dan Cochenour, of AudioVideo Specialists. “With a system as extensive as this, it’s important that it be easy for the homeowner to operate and adjust.”
When completed, the project wound up being the largest ELAN g! installation to date. Every subsystem in the house is integrated with ELAN g! — whole-house audio, video, lighting, HVAC, security, surveillance, motorized window curtains and sheers, irrigation, and pool and spa controls. It even includes custom-programmed “Away” and “Home” modes that set every system in the house to a pre-determined configuration. The ELAN g! system can be accessed through the owner’s three iPhones and two iPads, as well as a multitude of ELAN control interfaces including 12 HR2 remotes, seven TS2 2-inch in-wall touchpads, two TS7 7-inch in-wall touch screens and a WT84 8.4-inch Wireless Tablet with table top cradle.
The house features 11 LG flat panel HDTVs ranging from 32-inch to 60-inch, two of which are 3D TVs with LG 3D Blu-ray players and four pairs of 3D glasses each. Many of the TVs are custom-mounted less than an inch off the wall. And when they need some fresh air, the family can watch TV year-round in their backyard on a 46-inch SunBright Outdoor LCD TV, viewable from the pool and spa. Through the ELAN g! system, every TV can access four DirecTV feeds with two DVRs, two networked Sony 400-disc Blu-ray changers and can view eight surveillance cameras located throughout the property.
To complement the video system, the house features a total of 54 speakers and seven subwoofers throughout 32 audio zones, including two surround systems, 12 outdoor speakers, and two outdoor subwoofers. Each zone can play audio from a dual am/fm tuner, a three terabyte hard drive, two iPort table-top iPod docking stations located in the kitchen and bar, Pandora internet radio, XM satellite radio, all of the video feeds, and the home’s intercom system.
According to builder Rich Bondarowicz, the house requires less energy to maintain a comfortable climate than the owners’ former home that was half the size, thanks to ELAN g!’s smart energy monitoring, Energy Star HVAC systems and the inclusion of super-efficient foam insulation in every wall. The house has 18 climate zones controlled with Aprilaire and Tekmar thermostats, which are automated through the g! Home Control System. Cochenour centralized all the system components in a custom-built temperature-controlled four-rack cabinet. The cabinet features custom TZ locks that are controlled electronically by the g! system, as well as programming that turns on the fans when the cabinet rises above 85 degree Fahrenheit.
The system also includes several custom-programmed features: When the doorbell rings, every TV and speaker in use throughout the house pauses and displays the front door camera and intercom. The outdoor and landscape lighting turns on at dusk and off at dawn, based on the astronomical clock. If any of the home’s sump pumps or ejector pumps should fail, the ELAN g! Control System sends a text message to the homeowner and builder, allowing them to fix the problem before any damage is caused. If any of the equipment racks exceeds a set temperature limit, it will send a text message alert and shut down the AV system for protection. If the security alarm is triggered, the coach and porch lights will flash and the pathway lights will turn on until the system is disarmed. With an “Away” button, the owners can turn off all lights and AV zones with one touch as they walk out the door, and use the “Home” button to turn on pre-configured zones when they return.
Bondarowicz knows that he needs to keep up with building and technology trends to succeed in today’s homebuilding market, so he discusses home automation systems with all of his customers.
“Some of my customers do ask about home automation systems, but I make sure to mention it to everyone, especially if they are unfamiliar with the technology,” he said. “And compared with the other home control systems out there, the ELAN g! system has become a favorite because it offers the best mix of a simple-to-use interface, all-encompassing capabilities and overall affordability.”