Making Smart Choices

When building a modern architecturally designed home, often much effort in design goes into the look and feel of the home itself. As a result it can be easy to overlook where all the entertainment & control technology goes, which can create a challenge to ensure the original design aspirations are maintained.  Such was a case with the build in this remarkable residence in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Constructed almost entirely from off-form concrete, the way that the home was designed and constructed meant there was very little provision for wall or ceiling cavities, which required carefully planning, cable management and equipment location.

The main criteria in this build was to create completely integrated smart home with all electrical sub-systems to be managed by a single control solution. Part of this criteria was to ensure that (as far as practical) the system would blend in or disappear (while still meeting high performance requirements) so as not to distract from the overarching minimalist design of the home.

The Key highlights of the build included:
  • Centralised user controlled smart home capability utilizing Savant Control Interface working in conjunction with multiple fixed keypads and complete remote access management of the system by the client.
  • Seven (7) audio zones throughout the home with four (4) of these zones also able to cater for distributed 4K video including surround sound capability. In addition, the Living and Family zones were asked to be configurable with three (3) different viewing orientation options, allowing the owner to change the room layouts as required to take advantage of the viewing aspects of the home.
  • A centrally controllable electronic dimming system for light fittings in the home. The lighting system would also need to be capable of controlling any auxiliary loads such as UFH, HTR, motorised windows, awnings and pool pumps.
  • A comprehensive access and monitored security system and including a networked CCTV surveillance system.
  • An enterprise-grade networking system with a redundancy capability to limit any downtime of the internet connection. This network would also need guest and housekeeper segregation.
  • Comprehensive centralized racking system for audiovisual and networking hardware.

Audio System

There are seven independent audio zones within the home using dedicated Marantz AV receivers for processing and power. In additional the Living room system features Rotel 'Class AB' power amp for greater fidelity from the ‘Triangle’ speaker package with another Rotel utilized for distributed stereo zones. There is a QSC DSP power amplifier for the rooftop garden. Music is able to be streamed through Deezer, Tidal and Spotify, through centralized hi-resolution music servers.

Video System

There are four (4) primary video zones. However, both the Living and Family Rooms have three (3) video points each to allow for flexibility to switch the orientations of viewing. All points are full 4K capable through the Savant 10G Video over IP system. Video tiling is enabled on every display. Multi- mode fibre cable is used throughout the home for distribution and its extended bandwidth capabilities for future requirements. The smart TV’s, have their audio outputs back-fed to the central system for utilisation of the inbuilt Apps through the distributed speakers.

Homewide Network

There is a dual WAN solution in the home. If the cable internet feed is interrupted, the system then switches to a separate 4G modem. This maintains an internet connection at all times. We have then used a Luxul Firewall/Router, managed POE+ network switches and a Ruckus WAP package, including an outdoor unit for the Boathouse. Every data point in the home has been livened. All ports are Fluke tested for bandwidth and integrity. We have also provided a basic phone system for the home.


There are Multiple camera points around the home. These are connected to a QNap Nas drive for recording and scheduling and a secure network. All cameras are viewable through the Savant Control App.

Access Control

2N intercom points in the home and ultiple access keypads have been programmed with multiple codes, so that access can be maintained and managed, even when the owners are away.

Lighting Control

The lighting for this home is fully integrated into Savant. Shades, Windows, Louvres, Awnings, UFH, Towel Rails and the Pool Pump are all able to be controlled from the Savant.

Savant Control

During the consultation phase of this build it was established the systems needed to be centralised to reduce the equipment locations needed throughout the home and provide a basis for simple upgrades in the future. As the the home would have a dedicated plant room on the lowest level of the home, with all necessary AV, Networking, Lighting, Access and Security control componentry a high-end Savant solution suited the needs of the client very well.

Enter the Savant Pro App Home control

The Savant Pro App control allowed for the whole home to be controlled in just one touch. Offering unparalleled convenience, it allowed the client to have a whole of home view at a glance from anywhere in the world with real time notifications and remote monitoring of access and security systems. The Savant Music function allows for high-fidelity content control from dedicated content servers or the client can stream personalized playlists to any room in the house.

The power of Savant becomes fully apparent with the scenes function. All user initiated scenes are user customizable through the Savant app, rather than traditional conditional programming by a technician. This Savant features is a huge benefit as it allows the clients to manage changes as they see fit. In addition the six Dynalite keypad buttons placed throughout the home provide a hard control point alternatives to smart devices to trigger some of these scenes for quick use.