As the 2014 Winter Olympics continues to highlight the sporting qualities of snow and ice, home automation company Control4 has outlined three high-tech ski homes worthy of the Sochi treatment with gold, silver and bronze awards.
Gold medal: One Happo, Hakuba, Japan
This world-class smart home, which is located near the Nagano ski slopes, is defined by its James Bond-like style, smarts, and intelligent sustainability, says the company. A Control4 controlled HVAC system operates more than 30 blinds and automated lighting solutions. These adjust automatically depending on settings or time of day, and can also be customised to suit an owners requirements. In the morning, for example, automated blinds gently open, followed by streaming music of the guest's choice before a 3D plasma TV descends from the ceiling to run the morning news. Strategically placed iPad mobile devices also allow visitors to custom-tailor their experience by dimming lights and controlling underfloor radiant heating. The roof, driveway, and ground heating systems are managed through automatic snow sensors, while the eight-person hot tub is automated to fill, heat, and clean itself.
Silver Medal: Truckee Ski House, Northstar, California
Guests at this smart ski home can utilise one of the seven Control4-enabled cameras, conveniently pointed at the ski slopes, to remotely check ski conditions before gearing up for the day ahead. The home's custom Control4 system features eighteen zones of hydronic heating and six zones of forced air heating/cooling, plus remote-start gas fireplaces and automated shading. Moreover, the Control4 4Sight remote access feature allows users to monitor and control the above systems from anywhere in the world. After a day on the slopes, the owners can press a single button named "Party Mode" to kick off a playlist in each of 16 audio zones through the home's Tannoy speakers. Other one-touch functions include control over the home's Marantz electronics, as well as the operation of a motorized lift, which reveals a Panasonic Professional Plasma TV.
Bronze Medal: New York Ski Chalet, Ellicottville, NY
This three-story ski chalet has all of the Control4 automated kit, including controllable security with Kwikset locks and closed circuit cameras, lighting, thermostat, and HVAC systems for maximum energy efficiency. Sensors can detect and notify the owner via email when temperatures inside or outside of the home dip dangerously low - whether for guests' benefits or to protect the home's systems. There are also three separate, automated outdoor heating mats for melting snow, radiant floor heat, heated bathroom tiles, and even heated toilet-seats. The chalet's owner can program "disposable codes" that make it easy for renters to access the house without exchanging keys. The home also features Control4 4Sight remote access service, as they manage temperatures, review the cameras, and monitor the home before arrival.