How They Did It: Tower of Power

Ed Wenck | Nov 05, 2020


Graytek took a one-size-fits-all building-wide automation system and customized the integration to meet the client’s needs. The system that had been pre-installed in this condominium just wasn’t quite up to snuff, as Graytek tells us: “The spec system had limited lighting and motorized shade control, no audio/video, inadequate touch panel size and functionality, and unsatisfactory shade fabrics.”

The firm says, “Our objective was to deliver a solution that the client could use to entertain guests or allow a variety of business visitors to stay short-term while easily and intuitively navigating the system, even users who may be unfamiliar with this type of home automation. We also provided remote access through a secure VPN (virtual private network) so he could assist guests staying in the home easily and efficiently, regardless of his location.”

From English to Simplified Chinese

One of the most important aspects of this entry – in the eyes of both the customer and CEDIA’s judges – is the Crestron controls’ ability to toggle between English and Simplified Chinese. Since the homeowner is bilingual, and many of his guests hail from the Chinese mainland, controls and interfaces had to reflect the comfort level of a variety of users.

AV, network, HVAC control, security, and many more elements are all a part of this brilliant integration. The team from Graytek has the details:

“There are eight audio zones including the media system. Each bedroom features Totem Tribe on-wall speakers and a dual-8-inch subwoofer. The kitchen features invisible Sonance speakers hidden in the bulkhead with a dual-8-inch Totem subwoofer vented out of the kick in the kitchen cabinets.


“Crestron DM (4K compatible) distributes video to all bedrooms and the media system. TV source selection is available on all remotes, iOS and Android devices, and touch panels.

“The client wanted exceptional sound for his media room but large, bulky speakers were not an option because of the room’s high traffic. In-wall speakers wouldn’t work, either -- one wall was partially concrete and the other was glass. The ceiling is concrete, which meant in-ceiling were out.”

The Media Room

Graytek found the answer. “We selected low-profile wall-mounted Totem Tribe 3 and 5s flanking the 75-inch 4K QLED television and Totem Tribe 3 speakers on stands for surround channels. The media room is controlled by a TSR-302 Crestron remote with a touchscreen interface that also has access to the shades, lighting, and climate. The room was calibrated once all the furniture and throw rug were in place to ensure precision.

“We used Crestron’s infiNET wireless lighting solution with engraved lighting keypads, with access to shades and drapes where applicable. Different colored lighting keypads were used in each area depending on wall color and trim. Lighting system controls are available on touch panel, iOS and Android devices, and media room remotes.

Shading is part of the environmental solutions here, too: Automation helps keep the west-facing condo – 60 stories up – comfortable regardless of the time or weather. Plus, says Grayek, “The unit’s climate control is tied into building’s HVAC system. Scheduling can be done on mobile devices and touch panel. We are monitoring and controlling humidifiers because some of the custom finishes in the condo require a specific air humidity to prevent drying out or cracking.”

“We integrated the building’s intercom and lobby camera into the home’s system and made it functional on the 10-inch touch panel in the main living area.”

The final result: A win for Graytek for Best Integrated Home, Level I, in the 2020 CEDIA Awards (Americas).


CEDIA Member since 2004

For a complete equipment list for this project, check out the CEDIA Awards site here.