At the start of the project we were asked to be part of the building of a super yacht quality home in northland New Zealand.
The initial brief was that the system had to be very reliable, and most importantly it had to be intuitive and easy to use for the owners and their guests. Due to the scale of the project, automating many of the processes was a must, however the client wanted a non-automated feel to the general day to day operation. Touch screen user interfaces were to be kept simple to use but cover the control of the entire property.
Due to the remoteness of their site, the clients expected a system that could be monitored and managed remotely.
Halfway through the project, the spec changed as the property was now going to become a commercial luxury lodge. This change meant a substantial redesign of some aspects of the system.
Due to a lengthy time frame for the build “future proofing” was high priority. The approach to this was no better demonstrated than in the design of the system infrastructure, working with the electrical contractor we were able to design and build an underground network of ducts and pulling pits as well as ensuring cable paths were allowed for in the design of the basement areas prior to construction. Careful consideration was given also to providing additional cabling to ensure future growth and capacity.
With ever changing requirements and demands we needed to be flexible and adapt with emerging technologies. As wireless and IP requirements are growing rapidly we wanted to ensure these demands could be meet with an even coverage and large capacity for both the building demands and users alike. Due to the building construction being predominately concrete and Hebel, not ideal for wireless, this objective was met by designing and installing a Ruckus wireless network.
A key component of any project is the user interface for the control systems as this is what the user’s experience. For the many short term guests at the lodge, user interfaces needed to be simple and intuitive, capable of being picked up and used without tuition. User interfaces for staff needed to be powerful enough to control the whole property, while still being easy to navigate for new staff members.
Another key part of our design is the remote monitoring and support, our monitoring software can alert us to issue’s prior to site being aware of the potential problem. Via a remote connection we can then log in to perform trouble shooting, make client requested changes and utilising IP power boards carry out power resets to equipment.
Given the topographical challenges of this site as well as the fact that the client did not wish to have satellite dishes visible on the property, we elected to install a Satellite hut on top of one of the hills. This satellite hut allowed us to receive satellite TV signals, as well as receive a high speed wireless internet link for the site.
Once the Project changed from a home to a luxury lodge we deployed an IPTV system called Triple Play this provided movies on demand free to air television and Sky television.
The in room televisions and audio are controlled utilising Crestron touch panel remotes and RF gateways.
A Lutron Homeworks QS system was used to provide control to over 360 circuits of controlled lighting. Lighting control included 0-10V dimming, phase dimming, switched outputs as well as DMX control for the sauna, steam room and swimming pool. The lighting control system also controlled exhaust fans, mirror demisters, heated towel rails and auxiliary devices such as water pumps. As the client requested a “non-automated look” we elected to use a standard Arteor press (momentary) switch mechanism with a Lutron contact closure interface for general operating. Lighting is also controlled via discreetly located wall mounted Crestron touch panels and staff IPads. This allows for more individual control of circuits and scene control.
There were 46 zones of audio throughout the property, as well as 126 channels of audio inputs. For this system we utilised a BSS Soundweb solution and Crown DCI amplifiers with native BLU Link inputs. The speakers that we have used are predominantly B&W in-ceiling speakers, Bose outdoor speakers and Sonance soundbars under some TVs.
We deployed a Panasonic PABX system with incoming VOIP lines by way of our wireless link from the Satellite hut. A call group was made to allow operation of the main gates via the phone system.
The integration on this project tied many of the systems together to provide advanced functionality.
The Crestron system integrated with the Building Management System to provide control and real-time status of pumps and fountains, including water features in the landscaping and pool.
The lighting system was integrated to enable detailed scene control and individual circuit control from the Crestron touch panels. Astronomical time clocks were utilized to turn on exterior lighting and pool lights with non-essential lighting turning off during the evening and essential lighting turning off at sunrise. We also programmed “party mode” timeclocks which would ensure that no lights would automatically turn off during a function, but would still ensure that anything left on all night would turn off at sunrise. From the staff touch panels, our different timeclocks were explained with the ability to enable and disable them as required.
A “Goodnight” mode was made for the staff to set the property to a sleep state once the last of the guests had retired for the night. This would turn off all non-essential exterior lights, turn all interior and exterior way-finding lights to their designated level, and reset the background audio to its pre-set level.
The automation system controls a multitude of functions too numerous to mention to make day to day operation simpler with the touch of a button, automatically with the ability to manually override.