Design-build case study
Legrand | AV Provides the Digital Backbone for This
Rustic Italian Home
Digital Habitats and Legrand | AV blend modern technology into a rustic design for Fort Worth home.
By Douglas Weinstein
A trend we’re seeing in the consumer technology space is the consolidation of multiple companies under one large corporate umbrella, bringing all of the advantages of scale to market as well as aligning complementary technologies under one roof. One of the powerhouses in the world of luxury residential technology is Limoges, France-based Legrand.
Legrand is a specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. They operate in a global market, with facilities in over 90 countries and products sold in nearly 180 countries.
From installation components and user interfaces to building systems, Legrand offers high value-added products and solutions for commercial, residential and industrial buildings. Every day, over 38,000 dedicated Legrand employees act to enhance electrical and digital building infrastructures and help develop connected buildings around the world.
Legrand focuses on providing innovative foundational AV product and service solutions that make it easy for customers to create amazing AV experiences worldwide. The Legrand | AV Residential Solutions brands are made up of Chief, Da-Lite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Nuvo, On-Q, QMotion, SANUS, and Vantage, providing comprehensive solutions together across multiple categories.
The following is a Legrand case study of a beautiful new-build residence in Fort Worth, Texas designed by Digital Habitats, a Dallas-based systems integration and technology design firm.
description of project
When a new 6,000-square-foot home was constructed in Texas’ historical Fort Worth community, the homeowners opted for a traditional design that would blend in with the surrounding homes built in the 20s and 30s. Inside the brick walls, the house’s interior takes its inspiration from Steven Gambrel’s book “Time and Place.” Featuring reclaimed wood and beams from Texas and North Carolina, the two-story residence offers a rustic Italian aesthetic, complete with a basement wine cellar that holds over 1,000 bottles. But while this design evokes the feeling of another time and place, the home is occupied by a modern family with high-tech needs. Dallas-based integrator Digital Habitats was charged with bringing the two worlds together.
For the design aspect of the home, Digital Habitats teamed up with lighting designer Acoustic Designs Group (ADG) and interior designer Meredith McBrearty. For the home’s technology, the company required a partner that could deliver the infrastructure, networking, and lighting and AV systems needed to turn this traditional masterpiece into a deceptively smart home. The company selected Legrand | AV Residential Solutions and its Luxul, Middle Atlantic Products, Nuvo, On-Q, and Vantage Controls brands.
“We work with a lot of builders, and were first introduced to Legrand | AV by way of its structured wiring components,” said Gabe Rivera, partner at Digital Habitats. “Over time we started incorporating their other product lines as well, from Luxul networking solutions to Nuvo speakers and Middle Atlantic racks. It’s incredibly convenient and time-saving to work with one company that touches so many aspects of a project such as this, from start to finish.”
To provide the family with concert-quality audio throughout the home, Digital Habitats installed a 24-zone streaming audio system —22 stereo zones and two surround sound zones — powered by Nuvo’s D2120 and D460 digital amplifiers and P300 Player wireless preamplifiers. As visible speakers and subwoofers would detract from the space’s rustic feel, in-wall products were used in the main rooms to keep the audio technology out of sight. The home features Urban Electric and Apparatus light fixtures, with lighting control delivered by Vantage’s InFusion Controller II, in combination with Standard and Universal Dimming modules.
The Nuvo and Vantage solutions integrate seamlessly with the home’s Control4 automation system, providing the family with control over both — in addition to HVAC, security systems, and more — from handheld remotes, wireless touchscreens, and the Control4 app on mobile devices. In addition, the homeowners wanted keypad control over their lighting, but didn’t like the idea of on-wall touchpanels, which would clash with the warm feel of the space. Instead, Digital Habitats and ADG utilized Vantage’s EasyTouch II engraved keypads in 1-, 3-, 4-, and 5-button configurations. Blending in seamlessly with the home, the Ivory and Arctic White faceplates match the Ballet White Benjamin Moore paint used on most of the home’s walls. For the kids’ rooms, custom colors were created for the EasyTouch II TrimLine II Decora faceplates.
“While the homeowners didn’t want technology in the forefront of their home, they didn’t want the walls cluttered with unsightly light switches either,” said Kevin Flower, Principal of Acoustic Designs Group. “Vantage’s EasyTouch II keypads offered the perfect solution. They lend an elegant design, while their customizable trims, buttons, and faceplates allow them to blend seamlessly into the background.”
The backbone of the family’s smart home is the network, which is powering every aspect of the space. With reliability and high performance being critical to enjoying their technology, Digital Habitats chose network components from Luxul. At the heart of the system is the Epic 5 dual-WAN Gigabit router. As well as delivering gigabit WAN-to-LAN speeds for ultra-fast streaming and bandwidth-intensive applications, it features integrated Domotz technology for remote management and Router Limits content management. In addition, Luxul’s AMS-4424P AV series 26-port/24 POE+ Gigabit managed switch provides superior network performance and seamless scalability of up to 16 switches (384 ports).
To provide the family with an exceptional WiFi experience, Digital Habitats utilized Luxul XAP-1510 wireless access points (AP) inside the home, and the XAP-1440 for outdoor areas. The wireless APs were simple and fast to set-up using Luxul’s XWC-1000 wireless controller, which features Roam Assist™ technology for seamless WiFi roaming. Luxul’s PDU-2 and PDU-16 intelligent network power distribution units (PDU) allow Digital Habitats to easily monitor and manage connected devices.
Middle Atlantic and On-Q infrastructure products provide a solid foundation for the home’s technology. Components are housed in two 43RU Middle Atlantic Slim 5 series rack frame systems, each of which is equipped with a Select Series PDU featuring RackLink™ to ensure system reliability and uptime. On-Q’s ENP3050 30-inch plastic enclosures are also being utilized, which feature a robust, wireless transparent ABS material to integrate wireless devices without interference.
“On view and behind the scenes, the Legrand | AV brands came together on this project to deliver a reliable smart home that our clients absolutely love,” added Rivera. “They are extremely satisfied with the investment they’ve made in their home’s technology, the positive impact it’s made in their lives, and how simple it is for them to control every aspect of their environment, whether they are home or away. And all of this was done while maintaining the cozy aesthetics of the space.”
Project Name: Rustic Italian Home
Project Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Start Date: March 2017
Completion Date: May 2018
About the Dealer:
List of Legrand | AV Residential Solutions used:
• Epic 5 dual-WAN Gigabit router
• AMS-4424P AV series 26-port/24 PoE+ stackable L2/L3 Gigabit managed switch
• XWC-1000 wireless controller
• XAP-1510 wireless access points
• XAP-1440 outdoor access point
• PDU-2 IP power distribution unit
• PDU-16 IP power distribution unit
• Slim 5 series rack frame systems
• PDT-1620C-NS 16-outlet power strip
• RLNK-1615V Select Series PDU with RackLink™
• D2120 digital power amplifier
• D460 digital power amplifier
• P300 Player preamplifier
• ENP3050 30-inch plastic enclosures
• EasyTouch II Keypad Stations
• InFusion™ Controller II
• InFusion Standard Dimmer Modules with terminal kits
• Universal Dimming Modules with terminal kits
• EasyTouch II TrimLine II Decora faceplates