Canadian custom installer Station Earth in Fergus, Ontario, recently completed an installation at a 18,000 square foot house that required more than 18 miles of low voltage wiring; all systems and subsystems are under the control of the ELAN g! package.
“On a project of this scale, the homeowners always want to be sure they work with the best integration firm possible,” said John Stumpf, sales manager at Station Earth. “We interviewed with the owners, gave them tours of other large, extravagant homes we’ve completed, and arranged for them to speak with several past clients to confirm our professionalism, execution abilities and post-installation support. They expected everything in their home to be integrated, from distributed audio and video to their massive 300kW diesel backup generator. We told them that not only could we do that, but we could make it dead simple to use with ELAN g!”
Structuring a system with so much wiring and complicated behind-the-scenes technical wizardry is no small feat, but Station Earth was detailed and exacting in its plans to ensure there were no major issues or setbacks throughout the entire course of the multi-year project. The single ELAN g! system lets the owners use their smartphones and tablets to control 231 Lutron lighting, fan and motor loads, 51 motorised window treatments, 24 HD surveillance cameras, a 50-zone security system, more than a dozen climate zones, the driveway gate, eight garage doors, eight fireplaces, 23 zones of HD video, 25 zones of multi-room audio, an indoor pool, outdoor landscape audio zones with 158 speakers and 30 underground subwoofers, the home’s backup generator and a full anamorphic home theatre room.
“The owners trusted us with this massive undertaking because they saw our previous work and were confident in our abilities,” Stumpf continued. “But they also believed in our passion for technology and our ability to clearly explain how the ELAN system would let them use all of their technology in a simple way. They travel a lot and required remote access, so one of the big selling points was the mobile app, and ELAN nailed it with the g! Mobile app. When we showed them that the user interface is identical on their in-wall touch panels and their tablets they were thrilled. ELAN effectively made this project easier to sell because the ELAN g! system eliminates the learning curve that often comes with new technologies.”
In addition to the in-wall ELAN touchpanels, the family can control the home’s lighting through Lutron keypads located throughout the house. To make the system even more robust, Station Earth custom-programmed several non-standard features, such as alerts for the generator that alert the owners when fuel is low, there are any general troubles, or when the generator is not in Auto Mode. The custom work continued beyond programming into some hidden features, starting with a TV in the bar area that is mounted on a true one-of-a-kind hidden mechanism, so there is no way one would know a TV is in the room before it is activated.
“With ceiling drops, floor raisers and even artwork TV pieces, you can usually tell there is something hidden there,” Stumpf said. “Our system eliminates any visibility, and it was the only way to give the client exactly what they wanted. That’s proof that we go above and beyond, and that no job is too big or too difficult. It’s exciting to work on a project like this because we’re doing things most companies have never done before, like supplying and integrating the three enormous 12-foot by 33-foot window shades that drop from the ceiling to the floor in the indoor pool room.”
The ingenuity continues into the backbone of the system, where a secret button in the theatre room opens a concealed door that’s covered in fabric to match the adjacent walls, revealing three equipment racks that seem to levitate off the floor. They are held in a custom cradle that motorises back and forth to allow easy access when servicing is required. This is one way that Station Earth was able to hide all of the components for the system, another requirement of the project.
The team implemented humidity feedback and control for the entire home to protect the exotic woods used for floors and cabinetry. More speciality systems were designed to automate the master bathroom, in which the towel warmer turns off automatically after 45 minutes of being turned on, and the heated marble shower seat turns on one hour before the owners wake up so it is at the desired temperature the moment they need it.
For added security, the team configured the garage doors so they will not open if the security system is engaged. When the garage door button is pressed in the ELAN g! interface, the user is prompted to enter the security code before the door will open. This also prevents an accidental alarm.
Station Earth says that the ELAN g! system has consistently delivered the simple user experience that their customers demand, even in highly featured projects like this one.