Spanish Holiday Villa

This award winning project was a newly constructed 20,000sqft holiday villa located in southern Spain over 3 floors with an indoor pool/spa, gym, cinema, outdoor pool, 6 bedrooms and various reception rooms.   

The owners are an English family with four teenage children and this is their holiday home. They love being able to easily access whatever media they desire in whatever room they are in. The lighting control system enables them to create amazing lighting effects at the touch of a button and automatically adjusts itself according to the time of day. The amazing home cinema allows them to enjoy movies, concerts and sporting events as a family. They can even log into the system remotely and adjust the heating and air conditioning system prior to their arrival at the house so that it’s comfortable when they arrive.
The custom programming we carried out is the smartest aspect of the project. Throughout the home there are various keypads engraved with ‘Day’, ‘Evening’ and ‘Night’. When Day is selected, nearly all lighting is switched off and various fountains are switched on, the heating/air conditioning is switched on in various reception rooms (depending on the outside temperature) and switched off in the bedrooms. Upon selecting ‘Evening’ the lighting is set up to make the house look amazing and when ‘Night’ is selected all air conditioning is switched on in the bedrooms and off in the rest of the house and the lighting adjusts to night-time mode. The programming is also aware of whether each room is occupied or not, so if someone is in a room when the system changes Day/Evening/Night mode, their selected lighting scene or audio/video source will not change and they will not be disturbed. When they leave the room, the lighting changes to the pre-defined scene for the time of day. All of this programming means that the family can’t accidentally leave expensive air-conditioning and lighting running in rooms that are not being used, whilst at the same time keeping the rooms comfortable when they are being used.

We commissioned the design and implementation of various custom drivers to control the heating and air conditioning system – the HVAC system was by a local manufacturer and could only be controlled by ModBus, so we installed a North Commander interface and had a custom driver written to interface with it. We also wrote a driver for the Steinway Lyngdorf 7.4 channel home cinema and the 24x32 Autopatch audio matrix switch.

The Steinway Lygndorf home cinema with Sony 4K projector is simply amazing; everyone who saw it said it was the best home cinema system they had ever experienced.

Speakers were carefully chosen throughout the project, with Linn Majik floorstanding speakers in rooms that required high quality audio, Bose outdoor speakers around the terrace, pavilion, indoor and outdoor pools, Stealth Acoustics speakers for areas that required a totally invisible look and Sonance Visual Performance speakers for all other areas.

Of course, managing the installation of a project in a foreign country also had challenges that were mitigated with careful planning and the completion of as much of the project as possible back at our offices in the UK. We built, wired and tested six Middle Atlantic equipment racks and nine DIN-rail lighting cabinets comprising over 230 circuits of light in the UK and had them palletised and shipped to Spain to minimise on-site time. In addition to this, we set up over 70 channels of DMX RGB LED lighting, including some amazing high-power underwater lighting bringing the total number of controlled lighting circuits to over 300. We integrated control of the various fountains and pool control using KNX.

The wireless network comprised of 14 Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-PRO wireless access points to give the family superfast dual band 2.4/5Ghz wireless access throughout the entire property. 16 Axis High Definition CCTV cameras were installed as part of the security system. The network switching was handled by 12 Luxul managed network switches. We isolated the Control4 door station with a MAC address filter to stop any tech-savvy intruders gaining access to the system. Due to the remote location of the site, the broadband was very slow, so we set up a satellite broadband connection and diverted the various different types of internet traffic to the two different types of connections, owing to the fact that the satellite broadband would not allow any connections on incoming ports. This enabled the family to watch Apple TV and browse the internet with good speed, but still gain remote access to the system. The entire network is set up using DHCP with MAC address reservations to make network management and fault diagnosis straightforward. Remote access is via VPN and a rack-mounted PC with Remote Desktop configured.

Even the towel rails, sauna and steam room are controlled from the Control4 system and alerts on the various touchscreens let the homeowner know if anyone has left the sauna or steam room on by accident and allows them to switch them off without venturing down to the basement.

The mobile phone signals were also pretty poor inside the house and non-existent in the basement, so we installed a mobile phone repeater system with 13 antennas and 6 amplifiers to give solid mobile phone coverage throughout the entire property.   

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