The Smartest Builder’s Cancun Project
For our latest endeavor, the Smartest Builder’s Cancun project, Loxone partnered with TSB and Grizzly Tec to create a customized home that features full Loxone automation and an extremely unique design. But the owners didn’t have to wait for their finished home to take advantage of all the smart and automation features. The Loxone Miniserver was onsite and programmed as soon as electricity and internet were connected. During the construction phase, the Miniserver was used for security, lighting, and irrigation well before the homeowners could move in.
What is the Cancun Project?
The Smartest Builder‘s Cancun project is a highly customized installation located in Cancun, Mexico. It was designed by architect Pedro Riveroll, installed by TSB’s founding partner Grizzly Tec, and supervised by Daniel Lopez, owner of Grizzly Tec and TSB. The installation was a 5-year endeavor that started before the Loxone Tree was even announced. Therefore, this project could only rely on Loxone Air and Link throughout the build to control all the major elements of the house.
The customer expected a reliable and internet free central automation solution. Another major requirement for the project was that the entire build was dictated by the design, including the building’s automation – which was implemented easily with the help of Loxone.
The versatility of the Loxone Automation System on this project has been outstanding as it seamlessly controls the lights, the pool, the hot tub, the water fountain, the shades, the sprinkler system, the AC, the aquarium, access, the alarm. On top of that, it is ready for the future upgrade of the sound system and an addition of a sauna.
As a Mechatronics engineer, I have worked with and researched multiple automation systems. Once I was trained with Loxone I knew I found a strong solution. The flexibility of the system, even with unexpected changes during the projects, has made it my go to system. To date we have been able to solve all unexpected pre-construction/electrical and wiring issues with Loxone by combining their link, air and tree technology.
The inspiration for the design came from the idea that the residents are surrounded by the beauty of stone, so stone and concrete were used as main materials. This created limited space for wiring conduit, so the Loxone automation panels were decentralized, meaning that instead of one (or a few) main Loxone panels, there are several panels throughout the house in various rooms.
Unique design: no visible switches
Another challenge presented by the unique design of this Cancun home was the building’s switches: architect Pedro Riveroll did not want switches on the stone walls as they would take away from the experience and the beauty of the work. Boy, was he right! So instead, Loxone Air switches were placed on night stands, on the side of kitchen islands and tables, or on cabinets. Additionally, motion/lux-based triggers were used throughout the whole building. This non-traditional design allowed for the homeowner to be fully immersed in the beautiful stone surfaces as the architect intended.
Central Power Supply
This might not seem like a big thing, but given the volume of low voltage light control needed, Loxone was the most powerful, compact and minimalist footprint solution available. In fact, all the spots in the house are low voltage (24VDC), dimmed, and directly controlled by the Loxone RGBW Air. This central power supply model allows for thinner 16AWG low voltage wires to be connected to the spot lights instead of the traditional 12-14AWG wire. This way, the homeowner was able to save up to 50% on wire costs, get a nice low-voltage dimming, and use less electricity. By utilizing 24VDC lighting and RGBW dimmers the Loxone partner was able to save around 60% while still providing the architect with the same number of dimming channels.
Now let’s talk about the construction of this project. The architect was involved at all stages of the construction, and Loxone partner TSB was able to adapt Loxone to any of their special requirements to change the design remotely from Houston, TX. This unique method that TSB used ensured the project could be remotely supervised, and finishing touches were completed on site by our installation partner Grizzly Tec.
Automation from start to finish
Ultimately, this method allowed all partners to automate the project for the entire project duration of five years. The Loxone Miniserver was installed, programmed and used onsite as soon as electricity and internet were connected. During the construction phase of the project, the Miniserver was used for security, lighting, and irrigation. This kept their unfinished home safe and secure well before the homeowner moved in.
Best of all, Loxone’s free updates and features brought many advantages to the homeowners: the original Miniserver has advanced audio capabilities now, so this home will be upgraded from Sonos to the new Loxone Audioserver, as well as the New Loxone video Intercom.
From construction to future upgrades, the Loxone automation system has really shown us its worth and reliability over the 5-year construction horizon of this project.
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