How They Did It: Smart Homes for All

Ed Wenck | Dec 10, 2020


It’s something that the Mexican firm Smartlab understands, given their history of wins in this category in the CEDIA Awards: There’s a unique set of skills that an integrator needs to bring to a Multiple Dwelling Unit project. A firm has to understand how to create a repeatable, baseline technology infrastructure that can be customized to individual needs. To do this, the integrator needs to be a bit predictive: What will every resident likely need – and where?

Smartlab explains how they tackled this job: “The power of home automation is included in all 164 units of this luxurious residential development in Mexico City using Control4 solutions.

“The developer wanted to create the best finished product for the Mexican housing market. That involved top of the line finishes, services and the Control4 Home Automation systems that gives their sales team the edge when selling these properties.

“All common areas were completely automated: Lobbies, business centers, fitness centers, kids’ playrooms, and outdoor spaces. We integrated audio, video, CCTV, HVAC, intercom systems, and lighting.

“Or as we call it at Smartlab, tech paradise.”


Elevators That Know Your Floor

Smartlab gives us the details:

“In the individual units a basic system is installed that can be then expanded. The system includes a controller, router and remote control that can run a home theater and later additional gadgets and solutions such as lighting control, distributed audio and video, CCTV, and so on, plus a seven-inch touch screen that can communicate with the concierge.

“In each of the four lobbies we have seven audio zones, including the fitness area, with in-ceiling subwoofers. We included video distribution and AV connection interfaces for the business center. We also provided lighting control with automatic and manual scenes, and touch screens that can control all of the described services and communicate with the units.

Network solution are robust: there’s Wi-Fi access in the common areas “as well as the network solutions needed in order to connect the units to the concierge service,” says Smartlanb. “We’re also installing Intellithings sensors in the elevators. These sensors will recognize users via their phone’s Bluetooth signature and automatically press their pre-programmed floor on the elevator controls. It’s a  technology that can help prevent bacteria spread and fight viruses such as COVID.


Concierge Control

As far as automation, “Lighting scenes and audio scenes execute automatically based on schedules and times. Shades open and close automatically as well.”

The front desk of this building can trigger a variety of events, too: “The concierge can enable scenes based on their current needs. A welcome scene turns the lights and audio on in each zone as needed (in the lobby, business center, gym, kids playroom, and outdoor devices). A night scene turns the music off and sets the lights to their desired state in all zones.”

In awarding Smartlab top honors for this sprawling project, CEDIA’s judges noted the excellent wire management here. It’s not the first time Smartlab has picked up a CEDIA Award for Best Multiple Dwelling Unit Design: They picked up this trophy for a project called “Mar Adentro” in the Americas region in 2018.