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Advanced Technologies Unveil Home’s Hidden Treasures

Find out how Advanced Technologies decked out a luxury home with a home automation solution integrated with a security system and other household items.

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Thanks to advances in home automation and a rebounding housing market, residential security-based systems have been undergoing a renaissance. To vividly demonstrate the heights of what can be achieved today from both features and aesthetics standpoints, Baton Rouge, La.-based Advanced Technologies decked out the owner of Blair Construction’s luxury home. The sophisticated security solution — which serves as a showcase for both the integrator’s and builder’s companies as well as accommodates the client family’s comfortable lifestyle — is marked by innovative detection, voice alerts, communications, automation and environmental controls.

“The client/builder requested home automation that integrated the security system, gas fireplaces, CCTV, indoor and outdoor electronics, dedicated home theater, distributed audio, thermostats, lighting, powered window treatments, and powered décor,” says Advanced Technologies President Thomas Marino. “Finding systems and controls that could work together smoothly, and impress prospective clients was our chief assignment.”

Fine Attention to Detail

All systems are interconnected at two control panels located in the main control room under the stairs. Color-coordinated Velcro, heat shrink tape and Cat-6 boots were used so all wires are neat. Outdoor intrusion detection includes driveway/doorbell sensors, and the system also integrates control of the thermostats and fireplaces. All statuses are accessible from phones, smartphones, tablets, and remote controls.

The integrator began the project with whole-house surge suppression, an outdoor grounding ring, and a conductive floor in the main control room under the stairs, where all the electronic systems interconnect at two OnQ control panels. Also located in this control room are the home’s four surround-sound system sources, using an HD modulator and distributed audio. Security zone violations, indoors or outdoors, are announced over the speakers. Tripping the outdoor motion detector triggers the announcement: “You have been detected. Leave immediately.”

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Lighting is programmed to come on in halls and stairways when motion or step (flex) sensors are triggered, so there is no stumbling in the dark. The thermostat’s set points are programmed to correspond to various security statuses, as well as specific family preferences when security is disarmed.

Great Room Greatness

The most visible area of the home, its great room, received extra-special treatment from the integrator. Upon initial glance, only furnishings, a fireplace with a large painting above and huge windows overlooking the courtyard are seen. A few clicks on a touchscreen summons roller shades to come down, windows to darken the room and the painting to roll aside, revealing a large flat-screen HD display and surround-sound. Discreet speakers are located in the ceiling and the center channel was installed in the drywall above the mantle.

“The installed equipment doesn’t detract from the aesthetic qualities of the house; the sensors are either hidden in the home’s framework or, if out in open, painted to blend in seamlessly. No visible electronics call for unwelcome attention,” adds Marino. “To any visitor, this home appears a well-appointed and comfortable residence. But while walking through, people quickly notice how the house anticipates their needs and wants. And what is not anticipated is available with a click on a touchscreen.”

Following many days running and securing wires and cabling, Advanced Technologies combed through and categorized them. While the wires were being terminated at the panels, they were cut to length, organized and grouped. Rather than hiding the connections behind solid doors, the integrator put on modern, smoked-glass panel doors so inside the neatly organized panels were visible. Sharing the main control room is an integration wall and the rack of audio equipment, which is also artfully terminated.

The client, Chip Blair, is thrilled with the results: “Aside from [Marino] being one of the only people who can program a system to do more than it is designed to do, he takes great care in making sure the installation is extremely neat. It looks like a work of art when he is finished not a jumbled mess. The house impresses everyone who sees it.”

Article Topics
Business Management · Systems Integration · People & Profiles · Advanced Technologies · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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