This architect-designed home with Sydney Harbour views offers the ultimate in cutting-edge home automation.

Knockdown-rebuild projects provide homeowners with the opportunity to create a home that is perfectly tailored to their individual needs and for many, this includes state-of-the-art home automation. Such was the case here in this stunning new home built in the sought-after Sydney suburb of Vaucluse.

Following the demolition of the previous residence, a large new executive home was built on the site, a sloping block of more than 1000sqm. The newly-built home takes in views across picturesque Hermit Bay to Sydney Harbour beyond – and it is an excellent example of a modern, fully automated home.

The home automation was managed and designed by Len Wallis Audio’s Senior Custom Sales Consultant, Jono Dorset. This was an extensive, whole-of-house smart home project encompassing multiple audio and video entertainment zones both inside and out; also a dedicated Dolby Atmos Cinema, dedicated night club-grade sound system and a dance zone. Another feature of the fully-automated home is a sophisticated security, CCTV and intercom system with biometric entry and remote access capability. There is also integrated climate control, lighting and automated blinds, remote pool control and solar power management systems.

Key features of this project

> Over 30 Kilowatts of amplification (that’s over 30000 watts of power!)
> A high resolution music distribution system managing 25 zones of audio > Featuring 76 loudspeakers and 11 subwoofers from nine manufacturers
> A dedicated Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 home cinema
> 12 zones of 4K video over IP
> A professional night club sound system
> Integrated security system with CCTV and access control
> Integrated HVAC, lighting, blinds, pool and spa control
> Managed by Savant Automation Systems

Savant Automation Platform

The Savant automation platform has over-riding control of almost every electronic system in this expansive home. This includes audio-visual, lighting, shades, louvres, irrigation, fireplaces, motorised windows, access control, VOIP phone, CCTV, security, HVAC, power management, pool/spa and solar. Each of these systems interacts with one another and trigger various automated scenes. “Whilst the system itself is complex, it is specifically designed to make living in the home simple and effortless.

Dolby Atmos Cinema

This smaller theatre is a 7.2.4 Dolby ATMOS configuration using B&W 700 series custom install speakers and JL Audio Fathom 12” subwoofers. It has a Sony 4K laser projector with Severtson 141” acoustically transparent screen. A Lumagen 4K video processor is used for a calibrated image in the space. Full acoustic room treatments have been employed.

Access Control

There are two (2) x 2N video intercom points in the home, one at the front door and another at the pedestrian gate. Each of these has a biometric entry system as well as a touch keypad. These intercoms operate an audio interrupt service to play a chime through selected audio zones throughout. This system has been set up with multiple codes and fingerprints to log access from the various guests, cleaners and tradespeople. This 2N system talks to Savant through a cloud service for access control, both locally and remotely. There are a further 7 Rosslaire keypads to allow access through gates and internal security doors.

Audio System

There are twenty five (25) independent audio zones through the home. A total of fifty nine (59) loudspeakers, nine (9) subwoofers and over 30 kilowatts of amplification! We have used loudspeakers from nine (9) different manufacturers for a customised solution, tailored to each space. Each zone has been calibrated and limited through the various DSP platforms. For example ‘The Garage’ has a professional audio system from Martin Audio, including integrated disco lights. Every video or audio source is available, giving us over 20 audio sources which are then selectively enabled in their respective zones. Music is predominantly streamed through Deezer, Tidal and Spotify, through three dedicated hi-res music servers.

HVAC system

There are twenty (20) zones of Air Conditioning in this home which are all feed by a centralised Daikin VRV system. We integrated this entire system with Savant through the use of a Coolmaster NET device. Savant scenes allow for whole home on and off or whilst the App allows full individual climate zone control.

Security System

This is completely controlled through the Savant system, including the status of the fifty two (52) PIR sensors, door strikes and reed switches. The alarm controls seven (7) electronic door strikes (Front Door, Cellar, Gates and more) these are also controllable through the Savant. The alarm integrates with the smoke detection system for fire warning events. We also implemented control over a motorised glass partition door in the garage as well as the main garage door and driveway gate.

Pool Control

A Pentair Intelli-touch control system was specified for the control of the various functions of the pool and spa for example jets, cleaning, pumps, DMX lighting and bubbles. This was then integrated into the Savant for complete control of all of the functions.

Video System

There are twelve (12) independent video zones through the home. These are all fully 4K capable through the Savant 10G Video over IP system. Each able to display any of the six (6) 4K distributed sources. Video tiling is enabled on every display. Multi-mode fibre optic cable is throughout the home for video distribution and its extended bandwidth capabilities for future requirements. The network controlled, smart TV’s, have their audio outputs back-fed through the central system for utilisation of the inbuilt Apps through the distributed speakers.

Lighting control

The lighting is Dali protocol by Dynalite. There are over 400 loads of lighting that are fully integrated into the Savant system through the use of a dedicated lighting engine and an IP gateway. Blinds, Awnings, Louvres, UFH, Towel Rails and the Car turntable are all controlled through the Dynalite and therefore Savant. The Ness alarm system also integrates with Dynalite, for alarm activated lighting scenes. A unique feature is the integration of fifteen (15) Dynalite buttons throughout the property. These buttons trigger user customisable, Savant scenes. For example in ‘Evening Scene 1’ 20 minutes before sunset, the lights in the common areas such as Hallways, Entry, Living Room, Sitting Room, Kitchen and selected bedrooms will turn on to preset levels.

Built for ultimate ease of use

The home is completely monitored and managed remotely with a fully protected and filtered power management package. Various notification settings have been enabled to alert stakeholders of any network or power anomalies to allow for pre-emptive service intervention.
Future technologies have also been considered with a comprehensive fibre optic backbone. This has been specified to cater for the expansion of video or network bandwidth as needed.

“Every audio zone has been calibrated and volume-limited,” adds Jono. “This minimises risk to speakers from over-driving whilst ensuring the best possible audio reproduction”.

This fully-integrated smart home really does represent the cutting edge of technology. “The Savant automation platform has over-riding control of almost every electronic system in this expansive home. This includes audio-visual, lighting, shades, louvres, irrigation, fireplaces, motorised windows, access control, VOIP phone, CCTV, security, HVAC, power management, pool/spa and solar. Each of these systems interacts with one another and trigger various automated scenes. “Whilst the system itself is complex, it is specifically designed to make living in the home simple and effortless” explains Jono.

“In regards to audio-visual, there are 12 video zones utilising the latest 4K video over IP solution. Each display is capable of the finest picture quality and also video tiling. There are 25 tailored audio zones incorporating 61 loudspeakers, 11 subwoofers and over 30 kilowatts of amplification.

“A fully calibrated Bowers & Wilkins Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 Theatre is featured as is a Martin Audio Nightclub sound system. The landscaped outdoor areas and pool zone also feature extensive audio capabilities.

“Importantly, the entire home system is able to be controlled reliably from one app.”

During the four-year evolution of this Savant control-centric project, frequent re-assessment and fine-tuning of the design was necessary to stay abreast of the latest technologies. This necessitated Len Wallis Audio working closely with top Sydney architectural firm KA Design Studio and the team took great pains to get every last detail right so nothing would detract from the strong architectural design elements.

Says Jono, “All local equipment was discreetly specified into its space while the majority of the system is centralised within two equipment racks located in the cellar. These are displayed behind back-lit fridge doors, mirroring the multi-fridge layout. The result is a showpiece that remains serviceable and one in which heat displacement was carefully considered.

“The client is a fan of dance music and selected premium full-range performance in many of the audio zones,” he adds. “This resulted in 11 subwoofers being utilised. We specified models from six manufacturers to tailor our bass into each space; under beds, in-ground, inside cabinetry etc. Also, a night club sound system was designed for the garage.

As to the house itself, it was designed to make specific connections with Sydney Harbour’s iconic landscape. The orientation and configuration of the house offers a series of viewing points that link the domestic realm to the environment outside while subtle level changes reveal new aspects of the harbour landscape and delineate the space within the home.

The design is formally geometric but is punctured by courtyards and breaks that offer unexpected vistas. Stripped of enclosing walls, living spaces orient outward, diffusing thresholds through a series of operable glazed doors.

As with all successful projects, the end result is a collaborative effort and in this instance, Len Wallis Audio would not only like to extend its thanks to KA Design Studio but also to Horizon Building and Main Power Electrics.