Editor's Note: This series follows the design and installation of home technology in a home in Las Vegas.
In our last installment, we described how the process of getting additional electrical installation involved the homeowner, the builder, and their electrical contractor. Once the builder had agreed to allow the extra electrical, the next step was for the homeowner to meet with the electrician.
Planning The Pre-Wire
The builder's electrical contractor sent their low-voltage specialist to meet with the homeowner at the model home. This was a perfect way to walk through the home, floor plan in hand, to make sure all bases were covered.
The main subsystems planned for this home are:
Whole House A/V - Integrated into this home will be a Russound CAV6.6 system, allowing 6 zones to view and listen to any of 6 different AV sources. These AV feeds will be controlled from wall-mounted keypads in each zone. Each bedroom will be in its own zone, as well as a bonus room/garage zone and outdoor/kitchen/living/dining room zone. Bathrooms will be sub-zones of the master zone, allowing separate volume control of those zones in the master and guest baths.
Zoned HVAC - Keeping the home comfortable year-round will be a zoned heating and cooling system with six zones. The first floor will be separated into two zones, a main zone and a guest bedroom/bath zone. This will allow guests to set a comfortable temperature within their spaces downstairs, while keeping the main area at a steady temperature. This also allows the whole house control subsystem to shut down the thermostat in the guest areas when there are no guests in the home, saving energy, The upstairs will be similarly zoned, with separate zones for each bedroom and the bonus room/common areas.
Whole House Control/Security - Keeping tabs on the house will be an HAI Omni-series panel. The Omni will keep tabs opn most aspects of the home. One important area is to integrate with the HVAC system. Since the thermostats will communicate with the Omni, a simple command from the Omni can change the thermostat settings remotely. This allows the homeowner to easily reset thermostats when guests have left the home, even locking out changes. Also, since the Omni acts as a security panel, the thermostats can be programmed to change when the security systems is armed, indicating that noone is home. This allows for automatic energy savings every time the homeowner leaves the house.
Telecom/Data - Each room is wired for both telephone and data conenctions, and in many cases, in more than one location. This allows easy configuration of the services within the home, all from a central location. In addition, door intercoms and a Panasonic phone systems will give the homeowner flexibilty and sophisticated comminucations from every location.
Video Surveillance - Keeping an eye on the home will be a series of cameras, from front door intercom cameras to outdoor cameras surveying the back yard. These will be integrated into the whole house AV system so that anyone in the home can check the cameras from any TV.
Home Theater - The family room of the home has been designated as the home theater space as well. This will include electrical connections for a ceiling-mounted projector, motorized screen, and pre-wires for surround sound.
Pool Control - This is a feature desired by the homeowner. By adding a serial interface card to the pool control equipment, the homeowner can program the HAI Omni panel to control the lights, pump, heater and valve functions of the entire pool system. This allows such functions as keeping the pool lights off when the security system is armed, specialized schedules for spa and pool pumps, and control of the entire system from within the home.
As the contractor's specialist had many of these products (including an HAI Omni) already installed in his own home, he was very familiar with the needs of the home. The builder already included security pre-wiring in their homes, running to a central location located under the stairs. This will also be the ideal location for all the terminations for the cable runs.
After a basic perusal of the floor plan, the homeowner and contractor began a room by room analysis of the needs and wiring locaitons for each room.
In our next installment, we'll begin our look at the needs of each room, beginning with the kitchen and family room