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Crestron Cools Off Miami Luxury Condo

Hot-hot Miami Beach high-rise condo stays cool and comfortable thanks to Crestron automation.

“The sun in Miami Beach is beautiful, but it’s brutal. Before we installed the Crestron shading, the place was unbearable. The air conditioning was simply unable to keep up,” shared Dave Raines, president of New York City-based integration firm Osbee Industries. The firm is responsible for designing and installing the Crestron home automation system at a Bal Harbour Residence in Miami Beach, FL.

 The luxury home with Crestron shades up and drawn.

The high-rise condominium is located in the exclusive Bal Harbour neighborhood on the Atlantic coast, just fifteen minutes north of South Beach. “The residence is beautiful and the location is absolutely magnificent, but Miami has a tropical climate. You really depend on technology to stay comfortable,” Raines added. 

He and his design team depended on Crestron for all of the major components of the system, including shading, lighting, air conditioning, heating, and humidity control, plus the entertainment systems.

A “Hot” Location
The home is located in a resort that combines a luxury hotel with condominium residences. Amenities include exclusive restaurants and shops plus pristine beaches, gardens, and easy access to the harbor. This particular luxury residence is on one of the upper floors of the building, with balcony views of the ocean from three sides including the inner harbor and the city. At 5,000 square feet, it’s large enough for a master bedroom suite, two large guest rooms, a great room, media room, kitchen, breakfast area, laundry, and three-and-a-half baths.

Raines says working on this residence was easier than many projects of this size because the homeowner was already very familiar with the technology and what it can do. “This was our third project for them,” he explained.

Consequently, the homeowners brought the Osbee design team into the process soon after they purchased the property, putting them together with interior designer Aman & Carson. The two firms collaborated on many aspects of the project such as design of the soffits where the brackets and motors would go for the shading and draperies, making them almost completely invisible and, at the same time, simplifying installation.

“The apartment is very chic and clean, almost minimalist in its décor,” Raines shared. “As we added electronics, we wanted to preserve that clean, open look. Other than the TVs, you really don’t see any technology.”

All in the Timing
The Osbee team used a Crestron Adagio Entertainment System to provide digital music plus AM, FM, and SiriusXM satellite radio, and they installed virtually invisible architectural speakers in every room, plus outdoor speakers on the balconies. Crestron DigitalMedia technology distributes video to large-screen televisions in a media room, each of the three bedrooms, and a breakfast area via the building’s cable system. The system also routes content from an Internet media hub and Blu-ray players.

The family can control the music and video systems from the iPad or iPhone, as well as “his and hers” 10″ Crestron TSW touch screens in the master bedroom. Using these same devices, they also have simplified control of 22 Crestron motorized shades, 4 motorized drapery tracks, 56 loads of Crestron lighting, and the heating and air conditioning system (which uses Crestron temperature/humidity sensors).

Osbee partner and vice president Jared Ross also directed his programming team to tie the lighting, HVAC, security, and shading systems into the Crestron control system. One of the more interesting features of his design is his use of the astronomical clock built into every Crestron control system. The system adjusts the motorized shades according to the day, season, time and room occupancy. Shades on the west windows, for example, lower automatically in the late afternoon, and then rise again for an evening view of the waterfront. When the sun is the hottest, solar shades automatically cover the windows that catch direct sun or reflections from the water, and then rise again when the sun is less intense. “It was amazing,” Ross said, recalling the installation process. “When we installed the Crestron solar shades, the inside temperature dropped 15 degrees.”

Ross’s team also created an “away” mode for when the family is traveling, which they do frequently. Depending on the season, the system turns down the heating or cooling, turns off the lights, and, during hot weather, closes all of the shades to eliminate solar gain. Because the family can always communicate with the system via computer and iPhone, they can tell it when they plan to return so the system gets the residence ready for them, further cooling (or warming) it as needed. They can always check on the status of the home and its security systems when they’re away and, if they forgot to put the system into ‘away’ mode, they can do that at any time.

Cool Living
In this project, Raines recommended the use of Crestron dimming systems and lighting controls for a number of reasons, and the interior designer really liked the Cameo keypads from Crestron. “The buttons are just a little larger, they’re more ergonomic, and they look better. Crestron gets the details right.”

Details are crucial in a project of this caliber. Raines says the homeowner is very pleased with the cool look, cool technology, very cool functionality and, most important, how literally cool it keeps this beautiful tropical home.