Case Study: Huge Crestron Installation Dubai – Award Winning Case Study

Crestron Integration Award Winner “Best International Project” – Stunning Home Automation!

This huge Crestron install Dubai is the culmination of the best that home automation can offer, encompassing everything we do well – high end audio video distribution, lighting control, air conditioning, high grade networking, WiFi, CCTV and access control. The property consists of two huge villas: one for the family and one for guests, staff, offices and classrooms. Both villas have access to the extensive grounds featuring a swimming pool, basketball court and even a large lake and stream! Eight Crestron processors provide integrated control of the AV System, Lighting and Air Conditioning whilst communicating between themselves to provide seamless, powerful control and monitoring.

Audio Video Distribution through the Houses and Gardens

This huge AV system is based around a Crestron 32:32 HDMI matrix distributing a variety of video sources to rooms with an assortment of TVs and projectors. Each of these rooms has the option to use any of the five satellite TV receivers, watch films or TV shows streamed from any of the five Kaleidescape Movie players or stream online content via four Apple TVs. Stereo audio distribution is handled by a 72 zone Crestron Sonnex audio solution providing access to eight Sonos players and four Kaleidescape audio streams. Sonos provides internet radio and Spotify and the client’s vast personal music collection is handled by Kaleidescape. Artcoustic on-wall speakers in Family and Guest rooms are complemented by high end in-ceiling speakers in bathrooms, en-suites and communal spaces. The Gym has the highest level of Artcoustic speakers available, enhanced by sub-woofers – a stunning place in which to work out, whether listening to music or watching one of the two 65″ TVs hung from the ceiling. There are a total of five surround sound rooms in this property such as the Master Bedroom suite and Kids Playroom. These two areas have projectors that drop from the ceiling when required. The Family Villa features a full specification Surround Sound Theatre in the basement – See below.
The extensive gardens have zoned audio throughout provided by Origin Acoustics cabinet speakers discretely suspended from palm trees. Key areas such as the swimming pool and dining areas are enhanced by sunken sub-woofers and wall mounted external speakers. The basketball court has four cabinet speakers mounted on the floodlights with two sunken sub-woofers providing deep bass. Now that is the ultimate outside audio experience! Using innovative programming each of the Villas and Gardens can be controlled using any of 12 iPads. These allow full control of any zone or room throughout this large property including any of the Garden sub-zones to provide independent or full party control. Party zones can be added and removed on the fly and volume levels changed either per room or across the party as a whole – allowing the clients and their guests to move throughout the property and gardens without missing a single note!

Home Cinema Room – Designed & Installed

The family villa benefits from one of our best Home Cinema Installations. A 3.5m Projector screen displays pictures from a top of the range SIM2 projector with  17 channels of surround sound provided by a top flight Anthem processor/amplifier package. In addition to games console inputs and a dedicated Kaleidescape Movie Player, the home cinema has access to the same whole house AV sources as the rest of the home, allowing for a wealth of entertainment. The entire home cinema room was designed from the ground up with acoustics in mind, coupled with acoustic on-wall treatments, ensuring that the Artcoustic surround package, hidden behind the screen and in the walls, performs at its absolute best. Eight Cineak Home Cinema chairs with backlit onyx tables ensure space for the whole family to spend time together and enjoy the latest blockbuster film. There is even a popcorn machine for a truly authentic experience! We have more information on this element in a separate case study.

Whole Home Mood Lighting Controls

Each room in the villas and the gardens benefit from an extensive Crestron lighting control system – well over 400 channels. Simple keypads in each room allow lights to be switched on and off, or one of three lighting scenes to be recalled. The client can quickly and easily adjust scenes on any touch screen or iPad and that change can be instantly recalled on a keypad. A simple toggle on the keypads allow curtains and blinds to be opened or closed. A user adjustable scheduler allows groups of lights to be automated at specific times, for example dusk or dawn, ensuring the property always looks its best.

Crestron & KNX Heating and Ventilation Integration

Although heating isn’t really a requirement in Dubai, air-conditioning is crucial. Our system allows easy and precise control of a third party KNX air conditioning system seamlessly via any iPad or touch screen. The simple control interface makes adjusting the air conditioning a breeze and switches off when a room reaches temperature. This enhancement saves the clients a fortune in energy bills with a room using only half of the energy of the standard system. We created a custom interface for the house manager to run on the office computer which quickly shows temperatures across the property and allows them to fully adjust temperature and switch A/C on and off – making guest room preparation straightforward.

Enterprise Grade WiFi, Networking and CCTV

To allow all of the above to work efficiently and reliably, we designed and installed an enterprise grade gigabit network with WiFi access points discreetly placed in all key areas and throughout the garden, ensuring great coverage and throughput in every area of the property. HD CCTV cameras run over this same network for total coverage of the home. The clients have the option to view cameras on any TV in the home or via a smart phone app when away.

Stax Headphone Solution

As a company it is always nice to be asked back to perform upgrades and tweaks to our systems – it shows people are enjoying the system and the flexibility of our systems means they can accommodate any request. It was great to return to work with the client, designing a high end headphone system for a new living room constructed in the master bedroom suite. The client’s brief was to deliver the best possible audio experience from a headphone-based system so the client could relax listening to music whilst viewing the Dubai sky line. After consulting a number of trade contacts for inspiration we settled on a stunning Stax headphone system with a customised valve amplifier and stunning DaVinci DAC, all fed with audio from an Apple iMac. This allows the client to purchase studio quality recordings and enjoy them as the sound engineers intended. The result is nothing short of stunning – easily the best audio reproduction we have ever experienced! You can read more about this mini project here.

Summary & Awards

This project has been a real pleasure to design and deliver, working closely with the clients to ensure complete satisfaction. The finish of the project is outstanding and it was great to receive the Crestron Integration Award for Best International Project in EMEA. The Home Cinema element was also winner of the Artcoustic Install of the Month.

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