Automation in Alberta
When a 3,500-square-foot home in Calgary, Alberta needed indoor/outdoor control for entertainment, lighting, and property maintenance systems without adding any complexity, only RTI’s powerful solutions portfolio could provide the flexibility to satisfy any customized client requests. Using tailor-made interface designs, members of the household can activate any indoor entertainment component, lighting element, or the outdoor sprinkler system at the touch of a finger, whether inside the home or from a location thousands of miles away.
Full automation, energy conservation, and power control have become popular demands within today’s new residential construction projects. At a 3,500-square-foot home in Calgary, Alberta, a client was looking to facilitate property maintenance, automate A/V component control, and activate different lighting scenarios using a streamlined control solution that would be as simple as pressing a single button. Since the client was entirely new to the concept of home automation, Three 60 Electrical Systems and Three 60 Smart Home, the company’s integration division, needed to ensure that novel requirements such as a weather-activated sprinkler system and indoor scene-setting capabilities were not overshadowed by any functional complexities within the system. Using a combination of extremely easy to use interfaces and powerful RTI solutions, the residents obtained a fully automated system that can be operated from any user’s fingertips.
“When reviewing the plans for the installation, the client’s primary concern was complexity,” said Andrew Duckett, technical director at Three 60 Smart Home. “Because the client was unfamiliar with any form of home automation system, simple designs and extreme ease of use across the board became our company’s top priorities for the project. By building a comprehensive house-wide system around RTI’s intuitive control interfaces, we were able to install one of the most powerful and uniquely designed systems for both indoor and outdoor control capabilities without adding any complicated processes — eliminating all levels of difficulty from our customer’s learning curve.”
To bring intuitive control and automation to the residence, Three 60 Smart Home designed an RTiPanel user interface that graphically represented Lutron keypads with scene names and LED feedback to provide dynamic user updates based on selected zones — instantly enabling diverse A/V components and lighting elements to accommodate activities such as watching television or entertaining guests. Used in conjunction with an Apple iPad and iPhone, the RTiPanel app provides the house’s users with incredible power and intuitive handheld control anywhere, anytime. Making operation even easier, quick scenes on RTI’s KX7 in-wall touchpanel allow the homeowner to activate pre-programmed settings instantly for areas including the house’s spa, where lights automatically dim down to lower levels before audio components begin playing relaxing spa music. Installed in the master bedroom, the 7-inch color touchpanel also integrates with every system in the house, allowing users to easily control lighting, shading, and audio zones — where RTI’s Sonos driver enables two-way communication with a Sonos Connect wireless music player to bring cover art, song selection, and audio favorites directly to the KX7.
For user-selectable periodic events to manage the home’s five sprinkler zones and other third-party devices, RTI’s XP6 control processor and RCM-12 relay module powers seamless and cohesive systems control via communication options including RS-232, relay, IP, and routable IR. As a result, the integrator was able to program the outdoor sprinklers to activate on a zone-by-zone basis at sunrise on every second day of the week. The system also checks the weather variable in order to refrain from watering on rainy days. Further innovations include RTI’s T2X remote to control three zones of audio and video via the handheld device’s touchscreen to create a more open concept for the home; the full implementation of additional third-party utility drivers such as Virtual Matrix Selector and Scene Selector to save time while adding additional functionalities to RTI interfaces; and a “front door” button, which automatically activates the porch light while flipping all system devices to the house’s front door camera feed.
Installed within the home’s basement mechanical room, RTI’s AD4 and AD8 audio distribution systems work in tandem to bring 12 zones of audio throughout the home, garage, and outdoor decks. A total of nine RTI RKM1+ in-wall keypads ensure well-distributed points of control for household members in every area of the house while two T2B remote controls allow the easy operation of television and A/V components and shade control within the guest room and master bedroom. SURFiR companion remotes were also selected for a secondary guest room and master ensuite to complement control via the RTiPanel app. Other innovations include image lists of roller shades staked onto sliders to allow for click-and-drag operation of blinds, automated activation of the client’s morning radio station, and a GUI that was designed entirely from scratch to provide custom-made simplicity.
“At the onset of the project, we were concerned that the system’s high level of sophistication would compromise its usability,” said homeowner Shelley Buium. “However, by customizing interfaces with real-world items and specifying screen layouts alongside the integrator, we were able to create a system that allows us to know exactly how to operate components without any additional explanations so that any member of our household can use the system. We’re also able to access the system remotely while travelling, allowing us to check camera feeds, control lighting systems including blinds, and even water our lawn from any location in the world. The system is incredibly simple and allows us to control everything from a single point of access without any extensive navigation — we absolutely love it.”
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