Editor's Note: This series follows the design and installation of home technology in a home in Las Vegas.
We've covered most of the first floor of this home. Now it's time to finish it off.
Living Room/Dining Room
The floor plan in this home features a living room/dining room space that flows from the front door right to the stairs and hallway to the kitchen. While the areas are distinguished from each other by ceiling height, there are no walls to separate them. This actually makes it easier to provide sound to the room.
A pair of in-wall speakers will be placed at the front wall of the living room, facing the dining room. This will fill the room with sound, while remaining unobtrusive. The room will be controlled as a sub-zone of the kitchen, allowing separate volume control while playing from the same source. Also wired in the living room is a motion detector for security protection.
The downstairs bedroom and bath will be controlled as one AV zone, with a master controller in the bedroom, and a separate sub-zone keypad in the bath. The bath will feature a single stereo speaker. These are perfect for smaller spaces, where a true stereo effect is not necessary, but you still want to hear both channels of audio.
The bedroom will feature a pair of ceiling mounted speakers, as well as a full-function AV controller. Jacks near the bed will provide computer networking and telephone access, while dual Cat5 and coax runs will supply the opposite wall with all it needs for video and networking capability. The bath and bedroom will each have their own volume controls, but will always play the same source.
Also located in this room will be a second thermostat on this floor. This thermostat, like all others in the house, will be connected to a multi-zone HVAC control system. This system, connected to the heating and cooling units, as well as dampers installed in the duct work, will allow the system to direct conditioned air flow only to those areas that need it. For example, if guests prefer their room a little warmer at night than their hosts, they can change their own thermostat. By opening and closing the right dampers, heated air will only be directed to the rooms that need it, rather than the whole house.
The thermostats will be connected to the home control system. This gives the homeowner the ability to control when the thermostats are active, as well as setpoints for when there are no guests. When no one is using the guest room, the dampers for that room (and the bathroom) will close, directing the downstairs airflow only to those ares that require it. In this manner, the rest of the first floor might be set to 72 degrees, while the guest room is allowed to drop below 60 when it is unoccupied. When guests arrive, the homeowner can change the temperature setting with just a couple of button presses, allowing his guests to set their own comfort level.
Odds and Ends
Other features on the first floor include a doorphone camera at the front door, security keypad in the laundry room, telephone and audio in the garage, and a special control line run from the central closet to the pool control station by the rear door.
The doorphone camera is designed to work as a standard doorphone for a Panasonic phone system, but has the added feature of a hidden camera. This will allow the homeowner to talk to the person at the front door while viewing an image of them from any TV in the home.
The garage has a telephone jack for convenience, as well as a volume control and ceiling mounted speakers for tunes while working in the garage. The audio will be a shared zone with the bonus room directly above it. Each will have their own volume control.
The swimming pool in this home will be tied into the automation system as well. A cable run from the central closet to the location of the pool control station near the rear sliding glass door will tie to a second line run from the pool equipment outside. This will be an RS-232 link between the home control system and pool's equipment, allowing control of all pool functions from inside, via the web, by phone, and on an automated basis. For example, should outside temperatures drop below 35 degrees, the home control system can cycle the pool pump periodically to keep water lines from freezing. Meanwhile, more sophisticated programming allows true flexibility. The homeowner can program his system to turn the spa on to a specific temperature, or turn the pool lights on, but only if the security system has been disarmed.
In our next installment, we'll head upstairs for more details