Futuristic home wins industry award
October 17, 2008
For decades, children have watched "The Jetsons" and wished they could have a house like the cartoon family’s. Over a decade earlier, Ray Bradbury’s short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" described a completely automated home in 2026.
While that day is not here yet, Park City-based S3 Entertainment can come pretty close.
S3 does "digital home solutions." The firm can network and automate home theaters, lighting and security systems, sound systems, digital libraries, heating and air-conditioning systems and more.
While the sales staff usually provides options for clients and helps them envision a dream home, said Brian Fitzpatrick, S3 president, one home owner in Deer Crest had an idea for them.
The project, to network and automate every possible function in a 13,000-square-foot house, required every bit of skill and technology they possessed, plus innovations they’d never done before.
"All of the projects we do have some level of this technology installed. This house has every level of this technology installed," he said.
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S3 does "very high-end, elite custom installation" of touch-panel interfaces developed by Crestron, explained marketing director Lindsay Berry.
Every year Crestron recognizes its dealers that have achieved the greatest innovations or sales of the product with its Integration Awards.
This Deer Crest house won S3 the "Biggest, Baddest Home" award.
The Crestron panels run everything hooked up to them, like a universal remote that sits on your wall, Berry said.
Any of the system’s functions can be controlled from any of the screens anywhere in the house, she said. If the family is coming home from a vacation and wants the house to be warm when they arrive, they can adjust the heating controls from a laptop from out of town.
"Some people have five remotes," she said. "With this you can run lighting for the whole house from one room, or pick a movie from the database and show it in any room, do anything for the whole house from any screen."
Arthur Mayo, sales manager, said he’s so proud of the award because it’s usually earned for homes in Manhattan, San Francisco and Beverly Hills. As far as he knows, it is the first time a company has received it outside of a major city.
The home’s amenities include access to XM Radio, a 1,000-file movie library, a 10,000-song library, a digital family photo archive, iPod docks in every room, remotely-controlled heating and air conditioning, control of hot tub heat, lighting, security cameras and even a catalogue of the wine cellar.
"Everything you see on the Jetsons we put into this house," Mayo joked. "The owner had a vision of a house that could really do everything There are very few toys left we don’t have in there."
One of the most innovate aspects of the project was that the owner wanted the system to be used by guests while he was away.
Fitzpatrick designed the system so the touch panel interfaces are programmed two ways. Guests get a "dumbed-down" version that allows them to access movies, music, lighting, temperature and other setting to make their stay more enjoyable. With a four-digit code, the owner can change the program back to his own, giving him unlimited control of his home’s utilities, securities and amenities.
Fitzpatrick said the appeal of his product in the Park City area is the convenience it provides for people with large homes.
If a home is more than 10,000 square feet, nobody wants to walk to every room to make sure the lights are off, or the temperature is down, or the doors are locked. Nobody wants to walk from one end of the house to the other to get a movie or change the song on the stereo.
The future of the industry, he said, is computerized appliances so a clothes dryer can be turned on remotely from work if the owner forgets, or an oven that can be timed to pre-heat as the owner drives home with a take-and-bake pizza.
His company’s job is to lay the groundwork for that so the appliances are ready for installation and programming as soon as they’re invented, he said.
The home was designed by Tino Grandjacquet, built by Thomas L. McPhee Construction and is owned by Mark Toro.