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Hospitality Meets Home in This Hotelier’s Private Fort Lauderdale ‘Resort’

Coming from the hotel industry, the client of this luxurious smart home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida wanted the technology employed to recreate the same ‘resort feel’ at their waterfront home. Being the third project ETC Florida had done for the client, the firm noted he had become well-acquainted with what home technology could accomplish as a lifestyle accent.

Having built and managed some of the most trendy and upscale boutique hotels throughout South Florida and in other markets, he wanted to create a beautifully integrated retreat away from his day-to-day management of hotels for him and his family.

The focus of the smart home system, according to ETC president Paul Biava, was to be on ease of use and reliability, with an additional emphasis placed on security and surveillance. The client also did not want the technology systems to stand out from the overall home design.

Photo/Wes Albert

“To maximize options and flexibility, we determined that Crestron would be the best choice to integrate/automate music, video, security, access control, surveillance and lighting control, noted Biava.

The special emphasis on security happened to come from a recent break-in the client experienced that resulted in one of his vehicles being stolen. For this reason, he requested multiple surveillance cameras and a passive infrared motion detection system. Various access control points were installed throughout the property with 37 camera poles being installed in total for maximum coverage.

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For extra redundancy, ETC Florida installed a STARLINK backup for his internet to ensure uninterruptible connectivity.  The smart home also features a full Lutron QSX lighting system throughout the entire property, which ETC provided with a detailed program that also lends a hand to the security aspect as well.

Photo/Wes Albert

Music was also installed throughout the house as the client regularly likes to entertain, with the secondary bedrooms being the only ones lacking some sort of audio hookup. Throughout the house, ETC Florida used ceiling mount speakers with special concealing finishes as well as invisibles to maintain clean aesthetics. Framed TV’s throughout further complement the sound systems while giving the home a very clean and artsy look.

Moving to the outdoor areas, ETC placed four full size 3-way Coastal Source speakers in the backyard which were also integrated into the Crestron smart home system, granting the client immediate and direct control over the entertainment when hosting.

Photo/Wes Albert

Strategically placed touch panels, remote controls and the Crestron app on iOS devices help drive that ease of access, while one button interfaces for certain rooms make things so simple, even the kids can use it.

“With kids, he wanted to make sure the system was easy enough for a 2 year old to use it,” noted Paul Biava, President of ETC Florida in recounting the request.

The project didn’t come without its shortage of challenges, though. As Biava says, the project happened throughout the entirety of the pandemic.

Photo/Wes Albert

“Product availability of key components did create a longer than anticipated timeline, but we stayed in constant contact with the client keeping him updated as vendors were updating us,” Biava said.

“While most clients don’t tolerate delays well, this client had a keen understanding of the why and was quite sympathetic.”

The client was also quite hands on in certain aspects as well, even going so far as to assist ETC Florida with the installation of the pole cameras to ensure everything was situated perfectly and securely.

Systems & Equipment

Access Networks wireless network controllers and access points

Araknis Networks routers

Lutron QSX lighting system

Crestron whole-house control

Middle Atlantic racks

SurgeX surge protection

Samsung, Sony Smart TVs

Apple, Roku video streaming

Origin Acoustics landscape speakers

Sonos soundbar

James Loudspeaker, Leon, Sonos, Origin Acoustics indoor speakers

Coastal Source outdoor speakers

STARLINK satellite internet

Hikvision security cameras

Photo/Wes Albert

Photo/Wes Albert

Photo/Wes Albert

Photo/Wes Albert

Photo/Wes Albert

Photo/Wes Albert

Photo/Wes Albert
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