Renovations are often very difficult when coordinating with architects, designers and various other trades. But Ultimate Sound & Installations, Inc. is adept at working with architects and other trades, and is very successful building relationship swith them to grow its own business. “We create synergy with all the trades that we work with,” says Jack Borenstein, President of Ultimate Sound. “You can be a hindrance [to the architect] or you can show them that you can be a huge help.”
In this case, Lee Harris of PMA, the architect, specified Lutron lighting. Borenstein knew that Harris really wanted the Lutron keypad on the wall, but he probably wouldn’t want the control system in the background, as it required large power boosters, and the space was not big enough to accommodate the power boosters. Architects never want to give up space.
The Crestron control system doesn’t require power boosters; everything is built as modules, which is mounted inside a CAEN cabinet. Borenstein also explained to Harris the benefits of keeping all the home’s subsystems on a single platform that speak the same language. “We were using Crestron for A/V and HVAC. It would make sense to keep everything Crestron,” says Borenstein. “It would be better, faster and easier to integrate.” Harris insisted on keeping the Lutron keypads on the wall, but approved using Crestron lighting control. This was an important decision for the success of the project and for Borenstein, who really wanted to use Crestron lighting. “An [architect’s] time is valuable. You need to understand them and give them want they want. Make it easy.”
All the keypads in the house were modified to communicate with the Crestron control system. The circuit boards inside the keypads were removed and Ultimate Sound fabricated DB9 cables and soldered them to the momentary push buttons and LEDs in the keypads. Next, they connected the keypads to a total of 14 CNPI-16B interfaces, which were all mounted in a single dedicated CAEN cabinet. “It will work with any keypad. It’s so easy that it’s stupid. A lot of people don’t know about the interface boards or make good use of them.”
In this way, Crestron seamlessly controlled all the lights and fans in the 7,500-square-foot residence. “We wouldn’t have considered doing this with anyone other than Crestron,” Borenstein states. “I wouldn’t trust anyone but Crestron.” Similarly, Ultimate Sound worked together with “the HVAC guys” to integrated the climate control system. The fully integrated system was engineered to work from any touchpanel, laptop or remotely via e-Control. Once, the wife was at home and called her husband on his cell phone to complain that the apartment was too cold. He was able to adjust the temperature remotely from his laptop while flying in his private jet at 40,000 feet. While “the HVAC guys” used Crestron thermostats in the past, they hadn’t seen them work with e-Control, and they were very impressed. The HVAC installers now purchase Crestron thermostats through Ultimate Sound, and they recommend Ultimate Sound to new clients. The key to working successfully with HVAC installers, according to Borenstein, is to “make sure you give them the thermostats to install and fully test before you connect to the system.” While it is certainly tempting to simply give a consultant or architect exactly what is specified and take the path of least resistance to complete a job, Ultimate Sound made the extra effort to stand by its partners and provide the best solution for the client. Says Borenstein, “We feel Crestron is our family. They stand behind us and we stand behind them.” Ultimate Sound wins the Crestron True Award for its loyalty, dedication, and professionalism.