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Tracking a $20M Install: Finalizing Design

Home's systems are starting to jell and integrator list has been narrowed down.


Follow Abacus Prime's quest to design a $500,000 system for this 28,000-square-foot home in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
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CE Pro is documenting the ups and downs of this ambitious $20 million, 28,000-square-foot home installation.

Mark Sipe of Abacus Prime LLC, who has been tasked with designing and managing the installation of the electronics, is looking for a CE pro to excel on the project. If you’re interested, email Mark at [email protected].

Here Sipe’s next running commentary on the project. Good luck Mark!

The meeting about finalizing the design went for three hours, covering many things from high to low voltage.

The client, who comes from a commercial background, is putting his foot on the gas pedal. And if we aren’t careful, he’ll run us over in his hurry to complete the project.

The electrician, Darryl Gregory of Canyon Creek Electric, has been invaluable in keeping us ahead of the concrete pours, while I have been researching and creating our design. We haven’t made a final choice yet, and we won’t until we spend a little more time looking at the systems from dealers we are considering. With so many companies showing interest in the project, we haven’t been able to respond to them all yet.

I was looking at Netstreams as a possible distributed AV system while keeping the Crestron DM in my back pocket, knowing it would do what I wanted. DM seemed to be the refinement of current technology, and I was looking for the next big thing without putting my project onto a beta site list.  SpeakerCraft’s Nirv, which from all the talk would do what I needed, isn’t out. So that will have to wait for another time and another project.

Researching other systems like networking led me to Kevin Luther of BlackWire Designs, who builds wireless network packages that you can buy ready to go using Luxul Wireless ProWAV technology that will greatly improve our coverage in a 28,000-square-foot home with concrete walls and a post tensioned concrete slab on the upper floor.

Systems Start to Gel

After talking with him and continuing my research, the systems started to make more sense and jell a little bit more. The team is starting to come together and should take a lot off my electrician’s shoulders once an integrator has been selected.

Knowing this job was on a fast track and that my customer didn’t want a Panasonic phone system (aesthetic reasons) it was decided to breakout phones and bring in a commercial telecom installer.  Once the phone hardware is chosen we can pick a company that specializes in that brand.


  About the Author

Mark has been both a commercial and residential integrator and systems engineer for over 25 years. He works with Builders, Homeowners and Architects to design and support all types of projects around the world. He is also a software developer (SalezToolz) and mad scientist/inventor (Xspot Products) all developed around what he saw as a need for the businesses he works with and supports. He has been a CEA Mark of Excellence judge the last 6 years and CE Pro Best awards Judge. Have a suggestion or a topic you want read more about? Email Mark at [email protected]

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View Mark Sipe's complete profile.



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