A Pooling of Talents
From the start, the construction on this Missouri home was informed by the owner’s overarching desire to have a house “built around the pool,” said Elevated Electronics’ Mark Cygan, service manager for the Overland Park, Kans.-based integration firm. The owner, a retired engineer, was intimately familiar with construction processes and techniques and was very pro-active in the home’s planning.
“He wanted a lot of home automation events – the latest and greatest. He was on board with it all,” he explained. This wish had to be fulfilled while balancing the owner’s desires with needing to keep the system simple enough to operate for a non-tech-savvy wife. Enter Alexa, which was incorporated so that connectivity functions could easily be accessed through a smartphone or tablet.
The gear installed makes for an impressive list: Seven sources distributed to 10 TVs, with 10 zones of audio, a three-TV media room and a dedicated 4K Dolby Atmos theater with a 133-inch screen as the foundation of the design. Whole-house Lutron lighting control, 25 motorized shades, and connected thermostats create a comfortable environment, and everything is brought together with Elan Home Systems control that can be accessed from home or away. Handheld remotes, iPhones, iPads, Amazon Alexa and the three in-wall 7-inch touchscreens can all be used to perform any function in the system. Using Luxul networking equipment, five AC high-power access points provide speedy Internet service and secure, uninterrupted access while an eight-channel high-definition surveillance system and motorized deadbolts keep everything protected.
One especially nice feature is the way that arming the security system shuts down the house’s lights, shades, TVs, audio, thermostats, and pool, putting it into “mockupancy” mode. And all of the home’s accent lighting, task lighting, and art lighting slowly rises to illuminate it after sunset.
The biggest workaround that Elevated had to sort out had to do with the fact that the pool was driving the home’s design – not the other way around. “The house was literally built around the pool,” according to Cygan. “This presented integration challenges on several fronts. The ‘U’ shape of the house required longer wire runs, more Wi-Fi and more…everything.” But the Elevated team was up to the task, coming up with ingenious solutions for 4K video distribution issues that arose because of the pool’s central placement.
A further challenge presented itself in creating an outdoor audio system that lived up to Elevated’s exacting audio standards. Because of the design of the pool and the house, the speaker placement options were severely limited – lots of concrete and little in the way of landscaping areas where speakers can normally be stealthily placed. Despite the logistical obstacles, the sound quality made Elevated’s grade, Cygan said. “We place a high emphasis on high fidelity,” he said.
Cygan had high praise for the home’s builder, Lavoy, as a collaborator, crediting Elevated’s close, longstanding relationship with the firm as a principal reason the unusual project was brought to completion so satisfactorily. “They’re very organized, detail-oriented and very hands-on. Their foreman is an owner, and he was on site virtually every day, making sure the project went smoothly – and that makes a huge difference.”
- Equipment List
- Atlona PRO-1616M 4K HDMI Matrix
- Autonomic Music Server
- Elan 1616A Multi-Room Audio Matrix Amplifier
- Elan GSC10 Home Controller
- Elan TP7 7” Touchscreens
- Epson PowerLite ProCinema Projector
- Furman/Panamax Power Filtering and Protection
- Integra DTR-70.6 Dolby Atmos Receiver
- Luma 9-Channel HD Surveillance
- Lutron Motorized Shades
- Lutron RadioRa2 Lighting Control
- Lutron Thermostats
- Luxul Epic-5 Router and Managed Switches
- Mobotix Video Door Station
- Paradigm In-Wall Subwoofers and Amplifiers
- Paradigm Whole House 8” Speakers
- Sanus 44U Enclosed Rack with EcoSystem
- Screen Innovations 5-Series Zero Edge 133” Screen