VanReit Adds Automation to Cold Lake Residence

In residential installations, flexible, easy-to-use, and visually pleasing control solutions are tantamount to success, especially during projects where design aesthetics are a high priority.
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RTI’s RK3-V in-wall touchpanel keypads further the user’s automated capabilities by controlling everything from indoor or outdoor music via the AD-8 distributed audio system to activating color-changing RGB LED strips that are installed throughout the house to complement the region’s changing seasons. In residential installations, flexible, easy-to-use, and visually pleasing control solutions are tantamount to success, especially during projects where design aesthetics are a high priority. Within a 10,000-square-foot home in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, integrator VanReit Automation implemented a comprehensive control system to bring seamless automation to the home’s lighting, audio/video components, climate control systems, and more. While maintaining the cohesive look and feel of the customer’s contemporary home, the integrator was able to adapt the solution to satisfy the clients’ demand for a sleek and seamless solution without adding any undue complexity to the system’s overall functionality.

“Our client’s main priority was to implement a whole-home control system that was extremely easy to use, clear of any clutter or chaotic wall components, and didn’t require juggling between multiple apps or remotes,” said Jeremy Reitsma, director, VanReit Automation. “We were able to provide the customer with simple touchscreen access across the entire home to control elements such as TVs, distributed audio, and direct iPhone or iPad operation via the RTiPanel app. When planning the project, we knew that only RTI’s control systems could provide such a high level of simplicity for the user, flexibility for the installer, and beautiful overall design.”

The client’s Cold Lake home is controlled via RTI’s XP-8s control processor, which brings advanced control interface options including two-way RS-232, relay, routable IR, and Ethernet. Connected to RTI remote controls and in-wall touchpanels, the solution provides the backbone of a high-performance home automation system that includes innovative capabilities such as seamless integration with the house’s C-Bus network (see sidebox). The system allows options such as the automated opening and closing of blinds based on a combination of time-of-day, sunrise, and sunset settings to accommodate Cold Lake’s late summer lighting. It also automatically activates ice melt tape based on outdoor weather conditions and winter temperatures. In addition, the client can conveniently set the control system to “goodnight” or “all off” by pressing a single button on the C-Bus Saturn wall switch located bedside to adjust ambient nighttime settings easily, regulating temperature and turning off any TVs, music, or lights throughout the home.

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By using a combination of RTI and C-Bus control solutions, the integrator was able to minimize wall-mounted hardware to C-Bus Saturn wall switches, an RK10 touchpanel, and two RK3-V touchpanel keypads. By using a combination of RTI and C-Bus control solutions, the integrator was able to minimize wall-mounted hardware to C-Bus Saturn wall switches, an RK10 touchpanel, and two RK3-V touchpanel keypads. This was accomplished by using remote temperature sensors for HVAC control, which eliminated the need for local thermostats throughout the house for a much cleaner look. The home’s décor was further preserved thanks to the ability to change custom backgrounds on any of RTI’s various control units to match the residence’s interior design.

The client uses RTI’s centrally located RK10 to adjust lighting scenes, TV programs, and floor and air temperature when spending time in the kitchen or living area, while the T3- V+ remote control is used for dedicated control on the basement level. Members of the household can also use their iPhones or iPads to move fluidly throughout the home and take control of media being played in any zone. RTI’s RK3-V in-wall touchpanel keypads further the user’s automated capabilities by controlling everything from indoor or outdoor music via the AD-8 distributed audio system to activating color-changing RGB LED strips that are installed throughout the house to complement the region’s changing seasons.

Additional innovations include the ability to trigger the RTI system in case of septic pump failures. By sending an alert to every main system device within the home in addition to a warning to the client’s email address, the homeowner can take action on the failure from any location, local or remote.

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The client uses RTI’s centrally located RK10 to adjust lighting scenes, TV programs, and floor and air temperature when spending time in the kitchen or living area, while the T3- V+ remote control is used for dedicated control on the basement level. “The ability to have RTI control anything on the C-Bus network, activate events, and control equipment using a single button makes the installation incredibly flexible,” Reitsma stated. “The homeowners’ fears about the complexity of such a large-scale system were quickly eliminated once they began working with the various RTI user interfaces, which intuitively guide users through any control capability. Since the house was a new build, the client also had frequently evolving requirements that we were able to satisfy easily. RTI allowed us to make alterations such as adding, changing, or adjusting settings practically on the fly via the system’s robust customization capabilities, including adding cameras, which were requested toward the final stages of the project. Both our company and the client are extremely satisfied with the project’s progress and results.”

Explaining C-Bus

According to Wikipedia, C-Bus is a communications protocol based on a seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model for home and building automation that can handle cable lengths up to 1,000 meters using Cat-5 cable. It is used in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, Russia, U.S., South Africa, the UK and other parts of Europe including Greece and Romania. C-Bus was created by Clipsal Australia’s Clipsal Integrated Systems division (now part of Schneider Electric) for use with its brand of home automation and building lighting control system. C-Bus only recently became available in the U.S. under the “SquareD Clipsal” brand name.

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