Sunday, September 20, 2020
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 Tech in an Island Retreat 

Wilmington, N.C.-based custom integrator Port City Sound and Security was commissioned by the owners of a new custom home build on nearby Figure Eight Island to outfit the 10,000-square-foot property with everything that would answer their technology needs. Their choice of Port City Sound and Security, explains Lyle Williams, who manages technical sales and design for the integration firm, was founded in the family’s delight in the results the firm achieved in their Atlanta abode – also a fully integrated Crestron automated home.

“The whole family is very tech-savvy,” says Williams. “They’re very aware of technology and how to use it.” In fact, the owner was integral in the design phase of this second project. “He had specific things he wanted, and was aware of how to ask for them. But he did have a few things that he left up to our creative control – like the outdoor living space, and how to design its surround-sound system.

But for the most part, he came to us and said, ‘I want this, this and this.’ And we made it happen for him.”

The property features a total of 22 zones of distributed audio, more than one surround-sound system, 16 standard TV locations, 41 motorized shades, 78 lighting loads and five CCTV cameras – all driven by a Crestron CP3 loaded with custom programming. The cameras offer more than security: the client is able to enjoy 360-degree views from two PTZ [pan-tilt-zoom] cameras above the crows nest to look around the private island this family calls home.

“He was really interested in simplicity, and having things be aesthetically blended in,” says Williams. To that point, none of the three surround-sound systems – in the living room, sitting room and in the seating area outside the home on the ground floor – is a dedicated theater room.

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 Blending Electronics

with the Outdoors 

Since this outdoor area was a new twist on the earlier installation, the Port City team used its design expertise to suggest a blended look to the electronics, in sync with the owner’s desire for stealthy technology. Outdoors, “we ended up doing a center-channel soundbar beneath the TV and did the subwoofer, the left and right channels and the rears all in a ceiling above the listening area, to have everything blend in,” he explains.

One aspect of the installation that Williams cites as a particular source of pride was the motorized shade systems. “Those came out absolutely beautiful,” he states. “The shades were all Crestron – and the design included incorporating angled couplers and reverse-roll shades in some locations, making it all fit the spaces we had to work with.” He added that some of the unusual motorized shade locations presented challenges because of corner conditions and glass, which entailed a good amount of customization and adaptation to maintain the clean aesthetic while providing the necessary coverage. Special attention, as well, was paid to the look of ceiling and trim details. “These were 100 percent custom solutions.”

Also noteworthy is the lighting control solution – a whole-house control system. “It’s pretty impressive – not a hybrid, with conventional switching in some rooms and lighting control in other rooms. Every single load in the entire house, inside and outside, is on Crestron lighting control. And we programmed it to make it especially easy for the homeowners to use.” An iPhone can not only control the lighting, but also the entire house, including shades, TV, music, security, cameras – via a single Crestron app.

Williams relates that the end result was so pleasing to the owners, and to their friends, that it led to three or four additional projects commissioned both by family members and architects and designers who saw the system, liked it, and reached out. “We did another shade design just for the designer,” he adds, and points to how the project solidified his firm’s relationship with the builder, such that the builder has used Port City Sound and Security as its go-to integrator for an additional five homes since this project was completed.

  • Equipment List
  • Crestron Amps
  • Creston Controls
  • Dahua Cameras
  • Honeywell Security
  • Triad Speakers
  • Integra AV Receivers
  • Sony TVs
  • Araknis Network Appliances