With its warm woods and decadent finishes, this upscale residence offers proof that a high-tech home needn't be sterile to get its groove on. The ideal home-automation system is so seamless that it's nearly invisible, and can happily coexist with any style of interior design, including one that harks back to a rich past. In the InSync Home, Cat-5e structured wiring by Honeywell is woven through an open web truss system, serving up broadband access to nearly every room in the house. Strategically stationed wireless access points turn the entire residence into a hot spot.

LET THERE BE LIGHT: Landscape lights are triggered at dusk by an astronomical time clock.  Timers can also be set to partially or completely close window blinds during peak sun hours to minmize solar heat gain inside the house.
James F. Wilson LET THERE BE LIGHT: Landscape lights are triggered at dusk by an astronomical time clock. Timers can also be set to partially or completely close window blinds during peak sun hours to minmize solar heat gain inside the house.

ULTIMATE HANG OUT: A fully loaded second-floor fun zone features a party-size sofa, built-in entertainment  center, and a snack bar. Five blackout shades by Hunter Douglas  can be deployed via remote control or LCD touch-pad for optimal movie viewing.
James F. Wilson ULTIMATE HANG OUT: A fully loaded second-floor fun zone features a party-size sofa, built-in entertainment center, and a snack bar. Five blackout shades by Hunter Douglas can be deployed via remote control or LCD touch-pad for optimal movie viewing.

MAGIC TOUCH: LCD screens put distributed audio, security, climate, lighting, and fountain  controls right at the homeowner's fingertips.
James F. Wilson MAGIC TOUCH: LCD screens put distributed audio, security, climate, lighting, and fountain controls right at the homeowner's fingertips.

FLAT STOCK: Traditional televisions have all but gone the way of the dodo bird, and HD-ready  liquid crystal display flatscreens are all the rage. The InSync Home  has several, including this 61-inch Samsung from Best Buy. It has a digital  light projection chip that produces sharp images without pixel breakup, built-in 10-watt  speakers, and an HDTV tuner.
James F. Wilson FLAT STOCK: Traditional televisions have all but gone the way of the dodo bird, and HD-ready liquid crystal display flatscreens are all the rage. The InSync Home has several, including this 61-inch Samsung from Best Buy. It has a digital light projection chip that produces sharp images without pixel breakup, built-in 10-watt speakers, and an HDTV tuner.

STORAGE SPACE: Fine cabinetry is not just for the kitchen and bath. The upstairs media room, for  example, displays a Canac Kitchens installation of Tacoma maple nutmeg  with brown antiquing. Like the kitchen cabinets, the product features full-access  doors, concealed hinges, and wood drawers with dovetail joinery for  added strength.
James F. Wilson STORAGE SPACE: Fine cabinetry is not just for the kitchen and bath. The upstairs media room, for example, displays a Canac Kitchens installation of Tacoma maple nutmeg with brown antiquing. Like the kitchen cabinets, the product features full-access doors, concealed hinges, and wood drawers with dovetail joinery for added strength.

LOUD SPEAKERS: What good is a high-tech audio system if the speakers aren't high quality? Fortunately, InSync  has a variety of in-ceiling, in-wall, and outdoor  speakers from Klipsch. The architectural in-ceiling models lose the sonic  compromises that plague many other brands; in-wall units have a discreet, flush-mount  design; and the all-weather series can be installed almost anywhere, including  the outdoor kitchen. All models have paintable frames.
James F. Wilson LOUD SPEAKERS: What good is a high-tech audio system if the speakers aren't high quality? Fortunately, InSync has a variety of in-ceiling, in-wall, and outdoor speakers from Klipsch. The architectural in-ceiling models lose the sonic compromises that plague many other brands; in-wall units have a discreet, flush-mount design; and the all-weather series can be installed almost anywhere, including the outdoor kitchen. All models have paintable frames.

ELECTRIC COMPANY: Eaton's electrical business provided a variety of products that may not look  pretty but play a vital role in the house. Cutler-Hammer Integrated Surge  Loadcenter offers surge protection at the incoming power location. It provides  air-conditioner disconnect with GFCI receptacles, and AFCI/GFCI circuit  breakers that offer the latest in circuit breaker technology.
James F. Wilson ELECTRIC COMPANY: Eaton's electrical business provided a variety of products that may not look pretty but play a vital role in the house. Cutler-Hammer Integrated Surge Loadcenter offers surge protection at the incoming power location. It provides air-conditioner disconnect with GFCI receptacles, and AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers that offer the latest in circuit breaker technology.

FLOOR SHOW: The floor of the second-level entertainment area and game room is topped with  a walnut floor from Kährs Engineered Hardwood. The pre-finished engineered  floor is easy to maintain, 75 percent more stable than solid wood, and  uses no volatile organic compounds. It can be glued down, but here it is  installed as a floating floor.
James F. Wilson FLOOR SHOW: The floor of the second-level entertainment area and game room is topped with a walnut floor from Kährs Engineered Hardwood. The pre-finished engineered floor is easy to maintain, 75 percent more stable than solid wood, and uses no volatile organic compounds. It can be glued down, but here it is installed as a floating floor.

WIRED FOR SOUND: Structured wiring is the critical artery that makes high-tech features possible. InSync  uses Quick Network 48 Structured Wiring Cans from Honeywell. Located  in the electrical closet, garage, and utility room, the wiring cans  house modules to distribute telephone, data, and video signals throughout the  home. They allow cables to be hidden behind an attractive cover, which eliminates  the appearance of wiring.
James F. Wilson WIRED FOR SOUND: Structured wiring is the critical artery that makes high-tech features possible. InSync uses Quick Network 48 Structured Wiring Cans from Honeywell. Located in the electrical closet, garage, and utility room, the wiring cans house modules to distribute telephone, data, and video signals throughout the home. They allow cables to be hidden behind an attractive cover, which eliminates the appearance of wiring.

DIGITAL DJ: Distributed audio by Colorado vNet provides ready access to multiple iPod music  libraries, a 1,250 CD audio server, multiple tuners, and satellite radio. The  space-saving server functions like a chassis and holds a series of  media “blades” as thin as CD cases. (The blades replace traditional  stereo and TV components, but they take up much less space and they consolidate  controls for all of these different components into a single system  interface.) These blades include not just stereo components, but also DVD  and cable box blades. Say good-bye to traditional, stacked, heat-generating  black boxes.
James F. Wilson DIGITAL DJ: Distributed audio by Colorado vNet provides ready access to multiple iPod music libraries, a 1,250 CD audio server, multiple tuners, and satellite radio. The space-saving server functions like a chassis and holds a series of media “blades” as thin as CD cases. (The blades replace traditional stereo and TV components, but they take up much less space and they consolidate controls for all of these different components into a single system interface.) These blades include not just stereo components, but also DVD and cable box blades. Say good-bye to traditional, stacked, heat-generating black boxes.

LIGHT BOXES: The home is outfitted with 23 space-saving dimmer modules, discreetly fitted  into wall cavities in an upstairs mechanical/storage room and in the garage.
James F. Wilson LIGHT BOXES: The home is outfitted with 23 space-saving dimmer modules, discreetly fitted into wall cavities in an upstairs mechanical/storage room and in the garage.

The ultimate tie that binds is an integrated technology network by manufacturer Colorado vNet—a secret ingredient that makes life's little luxuries taste sweeter and life's many chores more palatable. Wall-mounted touchscreens are strategically interspersed throughout the floor plan and always within reach. These LCD panels can be accessed to control and activate a variety of subsystems, including landscape lighting, home security, HVAC, window coverings, retractable screens, ceiling fans, and outdoor water features. Touchpads also connect to a 10-zone distributed audio system, complete with an integrated music server channeling an AM/FM tuner, multiple iPod docks, and satellite radio. The touchscreen interface is intuitive and puts tech support contact information for both the manufacturer (Colorado vNet) and integrator/ installer (Wilson Technologies) at the homeowner's fingertips, 24/7.

Supreme lighting controls are another fine feature. With labeled dimmer panels in every room, it's easy to toggle just the right mood from a host of recessed and hanging lights, including incandescent, low-voltage, and halogen bulbs. Select lighting systems in walk-in closets and pantries are activated by motion sensors for convenience. (No need to worry about hitting the switch when your arms are full of groceries or dry cleaning.)

All that, and the home-automation system also has diagnostic capabilities to boot. Electrical consumption can be tracked over time, and lighting controls can be calibrated for energy efficiency. “If one of the dimmer modules is set to run a load of lights to maximum brightness, we can reprogram the threshold to max out at 75 percent to 80 percent. The difference will be virtually indiscernible to the eye, but you'll see it on your utility bill,” says Dave Wilson, president of Wilson Technologies, the technology integrator on the project. Special lighting modes can also be programmed and activated for parties, seasonal shifts in natural light, or times when the owners are away on vacation.

TOUCH POINT: Seven-inch-diagonal color touchscreens offer a user-friendly interface that  makes music selection a breeze for all generations. The interface offers full  equalization control, including treble and bass settings that can be adjusted  by zone for hard-surface flooring or carpet.
James F. Wilson TOUCH POINT: Seven-inch-diagonal color touchscreens offer a user-friendly interface that makes music selection a breeze for all generations. The interface offers full equalization control, including treble and bass settings that can be adjusted by zone for hard-surface flooring or carpet.

The home-automation network is self-regulating and modular, meaning the entire system won't go down if one component goes bad. “There is not one central point of power, so there's never any instance when the homeowner would need to have analog control,” explains Wilson. “The system architecture is similar to what you'd find in a Mercedes. If one keypad goes out, it can be swapped out and replaced, at which point the system intuitively reconfigures it to sync back up with the network. In the interim, the homeowner can control the system via one of the home's other touchscreens. There is no reprogramming required by the end user.” Back-up generators ensure that the system remains operational even in the event of a power failure.

HOME RUN You would expect a technology-focused house to be loaded with a sophisticated lineup of home-automation features. This is certainly true for the InSync Home, which goes even further with products and features that are a step above your average digital home.

The design team wanted a tech package that makes life easier for builders as well as buyers, so they chose Colorado vNet for a variety of products, including lighting controls, touchscreens, and audio servers and controls.

Many companies offer integrated home-automation products, but Colorado vNet differentiates itself “through ease of use, reduced number of SKUs for the integrator, and reduced installation time for the builder,” says Dave Wilson, president of tech integrator Wilson Technologies. “It's also easy for the builder to integrate.”

Lighting is one area of differentiation. Instead of a main, centrally located panel, the home features 23 small dimming modules that are strategically placed in an upstairs mechanical room and in the garage; each controls an individual lighting scene.

Because the modules are split between two locations in the house, the shorter runs reduce installation costs by cutting down on the amount of copper wiring that would be used in a traditional installation. The modules make installation easier because the integrator has to fish less wire. Additionally, the modules have embedded self-diagnostic script for remote error reporting. “The modules are monitored constantly by Colorado vNet to check if a [key]pad is functioning,” Wilson says.

The house features a variety of other products, too. There are three types of audio and lighting controls: touchpads that adjust backlight and LED intensity to match room levels; five- and eight-button labeled keypads that are easy to understand; and 10 touchscreen amplifiers that control digital audio sources—such as iPods and DVDs. Bezels come in black or white or can be painted. An audio server stores up to 1,250 CDs in uncompressed WAV format and delivers six unique digital audio streams simultaneously over Internet protocol. (It can accept an optional AM/FM tuner as well.)

The Colorado vNet system, says Wilson, allows the builder to provide a system that easily integrates with the design of the home, making the process painless. www.coloradovnet.com.

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