The DTS Project House has partnered with Axiom Design of the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, California, to design and help implement the DTS Project House’s low voltage and Home Automation systems.
The Owner’s and mills studio’s due diligence included investigating multiple scenarios for implementing the desired Home Automation system for the DTS Project House. The explored scenarios included working with vendors providing both design and installation, working with vendors providing design and installation based upon the manufacturer’s product they sell from Crestron to Control 4 to Savant, working with vendors who design and install using the KNX protocol, and working with a consultant providing a design and documents (but no product) that could be competively bid by potential installers.
The Owners decided to engage a Low Voltage / Home Automation design consultant and not a design / installation company. This decision was based upon the Owner’s desire that the Home Automation system be relatively non-proprietary so as to take full advantage of the best technology an entire industry has to offer instead of a single or limited number of manufacturer’s products.
The Low Voltage / Home Automation design consultant had to meet several critical criteria: ability to work with an Owner with definite general ideas regarding technology and extensive specific requirements; willingness to incorporate possibly untried innovations; flexibility to incorporate ever changing technology as the design develops; a willingness to incorporate the KNX protocol; and a commitment to detailed documentation. But most importantly the Owner desired to work with a consultant that would share his vision of the engagement as a partnership with each party contributing to a unique and forward looking Home Automation design.
The Owner’s and mills studio’s multiple interviews with Robert Kranson of Axiom Design discussing working process, philosophical attitudes, and details such as color coding and labeling of cabling, convinced the Owners Robert Kranson and Axiom Design was the choice to engage in this all important partnership. Axiom Design’s commitment to thorough documentation matches the design of concrete, glass and steel’s need for complete pre-planning in order to properly integrate Home Automation infrastructure into the building structure.
Axiom Design’s custom designed Graphical User Interfaces with an emphasis on graphic presentation versus text information were also of great interest to the Owners. The Owner’s directly experienced one such interface in its home setting and experienced how Axiom layered the Interface for multiple user experiences: one for easily accessing the basic house functions and one for accessing more complicated functions. The Owners were impressed with the way that complexity was provided for when desired, but not at the expense of everyday simplification.
The design process commences with a Discovery Phase that will refine mills studio’s eighteen page memo summarizing the Owner’s general and specific requirements for development of the DTS Project House’s Home Automation system. How the efforts of DMC Technology (KNX integration) and Robert Singer Associates (Lighting Designer) will be integrated into Axiom Design’s process will also be determined. What is to be achieved will be thoroughly defined and documented prior determining how it will be achieved.