Lake Tahoe is known throughout the world as a second-home oasis that offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. When Mark Tanner Construction began building a beautiful new vacation home in Tahoe City, they wanted to create something that would reflect and compliment the tranquil landscape — and provide year round views to the homeowner, even when he wasn’t there. To do that, they turned to long-time technology integration partner Epic AV Automation to further enhance the unique space with a high-tech AV system built around ELAN.
“The homeowner is very knowledgeable about smart home technology, and, in fact, has previously owned and operated several control systems,” Epic AV Automation President and CEO Scott Ruzich stated. “He was used to paying substantially more money with those other systems, between the expensive hardware and extreme expense of programming and configuring his previous systems. So, when we introduced him to ELAN, he was elated when he saw what we could do with the system and for substantially less money than he paid in the past.”
Designed around an ELAN System Controller, the homeowner can operate various media and entertainment options, security and IP cameras, climate, pool and spa, lighting, and irrigation from a single application. “We have used other home automation systems, but they were not as totally integrated as the ELAN System,” the homeowner explained. “ELAN has a single page menu that allows us to select whatever feature we are interested in using by selecting the touch screen icon that quickly puts that feature on the screen.”
For security, three network cameras were strategically placed, so the homeowner can view the property at any time, from anywhere. “We installed some very high-quality cameras all around the property, but mainly to watch the homeowner’s boat dock from the shoreline,” Ruzich explained. “A few years ago, the Tahoe area had a very large storm, which shifted the homeowner’s boat dock to the far edge of his neighbors' property! Through ELAN, the homeowner can now view his dock at all times, especially to check in after bad weather.”
With 10 zones of audio, the homeowners and guests can be entertained in every room. Crystal-clear sound can be heard inside through 17 Niles loudspeakers and woofers. Eight Niles OS6.3 outdoor loud speakers are strategically placed in the BBQ area and around patios to ensure superior listening quality outside. TV shows and movies can be watched throughout seven zones of video on televisions ranging from 19 to 60-inches.
To operate the system while at the residence, the owner has seven ELAN remotes docked throughout the home, along with an ELAN in-wall touch panel centrally located in the home’s main entrance. Epic AV Automation and the interior design firm, Dal Bon Designs, discussed the location of the touch panel as well as the speakers, cameras and other AV equipment in depth prior to installation. The goal was to intertwine the advanced technology into all aspects of the home without taking away from the design.
“This project evolved seeking a timeless presentation, one that honored the serene lakeside environment,” owner of Dal Bon Designs, Kaye Dal Bon, explained. “My focus, as the interior designer, was to find prideful artisans capable of quality workmanship that implemented our design goals. The owners continue to enjoy the ageless environment and the many amenities of current technology. The leading technologies woven into the interior and exterior design of this beautiful home do not distract visually, but increase the ease of livability of the residence, even from afar.”
A major highlight of the ELAN system is the ability to operate the entire home from anywhere in the world, using a single application. “I remotely view the camera footage, check the security system, turn on or turn off the lights, and adjust the temperature,” the homeowner explained.
The ELAN system also helps with home preparation, before the family even enters the property. “It starts with being able to remotely adjust the temperature up or down prior to our arrival, using an iPhone or iPad,” the homeowner continued. “While approaching the home I am then able to turn the security system off, the lights on, and any other features that I would like to use.”
As if it couldn’t get any simpler, Ruzich programmed ‘home’ and ‘away’ buttons into the ELAN system's main screen. “These buttons easily prep the house prior to the homeowner’s, or a guest’s, arrival, as well as help expedite departure of the house,” Ruzich added. “When ‘away’ is clicked, the thermostat drops; every audio and video zone is turned off, and all of the security systems are armed, completely shutting down the home with only the press of a button.”
According to Vice President at Epic AV Kacy Miller, “Our clients have exceptionally high expectations. We base our success on taking what is inherently complicated technology and simplifying it into an elegant user experience from mobile or touch-screen devices. Modern luxury homes are filled with technology; the trick is making it disappear and work seamlessly for the client.”
The homeowner concluded, “All of my family members are familiar with the features of the ELAN System; it is very easy to use.”
To view and download more high-res images, click here.
All photography is by Vance Fox, courtesy of Epic AV Automation.