Motorized and Automated: The Smartest Smart House on the Block
Hidden TVs, 2 dozen surveillance cameras, 158 speakers and more equal a smart house of epic proportions.
July 11, 2014 by Lisa Montgomery

It takes a lot of planning, a lot of manpower and, in this case, 18 miles of low-voltage cabling to create a home that’s automated from the smallest towel warmer to the largest 12-by-33-foot motorized window shade. The custom electronics (CE) professionals at Station Earth, Fergus, Ontario, were able to pull off a massive smart home integration project where hundreds of devices can be monitored, managed, and controlled via a single Elan g! automation system. The owners can access every piece of technology easily—and from anywhere in the world—from the mobile Elan g! app on their smartphones and tablets. To provide a sense of the enormity of the project, we’ve broken it down by room, subsystem and sheer numbers, highlighting the most unique aspects.

The Numbers: Managed by the Elan g! system are 231 Lutron lighting, fan and motor loads; 51 motorized window treatments, including three 12-by-33-foor window shades in a room with an indoor swimming pool; 24 high-def surveillance cameras; 50 zones of security; 12+ thermostats; 8 garage doors; 8 gas fireplaces; 23 zones of high-def video; 25 zones of audio, 158 speakers and 30 underground subwoofers; plus a driveway gate, swimming pool, 300kW diesel backup generator, and home theater equipment.

The Theater
In addition to an anamorphic screen and complementary projector and surround-sound system, the theater features a secret button that when pressed opens a set of motorized fabric-covered doors to reveal three racks chockfull of A/V gear, automation processors and other equipment. The racks are motorized, too, to slide back and forth to provide the techs at Station Earth easy access to the connections on the backs of the equipment.

The Bathroom
The bathroom towel warmer turns off automatically after being on for 45 minutes and the heated marble shower seat turns on one hour before the owners wake up so it’s at the desired temperature the moment they need it.

Garage
For added security the garage doors won’t open if the security system is engaged. When the garage door button on an Elan g! interface (touchpanels or mobile app on smartphones and tablets) is pressed, the user is prompted to enter a security code before the door will open.

Bar Area
Sometimes the best location for a flat-panel TV happens to be the worst location. In this project, the natural spot happened to in front of a window. Rather than let the screen block the view, Station Earth placed it on a motorized assembly that when activated swivels the TV and slides it into a pocket door vertically so that it’s completely hidden.


A motor lifts a hidden TV out of the wall.

Alerts
Beneficial to the family besides automated and push-button based control, are alerts they receive from the Elan g! system about certain electronic devices. For example, they receive an alert on their phones, touchpanels and tablets when the fuel level of the backup generator is low, when it requires maintenance and when it’s not in Auto Mode. They are also informed of the home’s humidity level—important information for protecting the exotic woods used for the home’s floors and cabinetry.

Home tech and home automation ideas:
High-Tech Home Control Additions to Your Master Bedroom
Integrated Control vs. Multiple Apps for Home Automation
How to Add Lighting Control to Your Home

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

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