Western Home Journal
Anyone who still believes that technology steers us away from a natural human experience is someone who has not spent much time with SAV Digital Environments. Guided by the goal of an unobtrusive integration of modern technology to enhance each moment of our daily lives is the underlining objective of the SAV approach.
“Integrating cutting-edge sound systems was where we started. Technologies progressed and so did we. We now design, manage, and integrate whole-home and business automation systems, explains Cory Reistad, President of SAV. We even have a whole division of our firm dedicated to high-end security and surveillance solutions, called SAV Alarm.”
Integration is a word easy to overuse when describing SAV’s approach to a project. In their minds it’s not about simply serving up various interesting technology, but it’s also about bringing a space to life. It is about a more fundamentally complete sensory experience delivered through technology.
For a moment, imagine this scenario – you step through the front door and push the home button on the wall switch. Simultaneously, the lighting elegantly dims up, the shades quietly open, the music comes on in the background, and the climate adjusts to your automated comfort setting. While it may sound like a scene out of Ex Machina, it is not only a reality, but also one with a decidedly more pleasant outcome.
“Advancements in technology shouldn’t intimidate the end user,” states Scott Abel, Director of Quality & Customer. “SAV performs extensive R&D on all of our products so that we know everything we integrate is not only top-of-the-line, they’re intuitive and easy to operate. With our client service division, SAV Care, should an issue ever arise, we will do whatever it takes to resolve the matter promptly.
SAV starts with sound, Reistad says. “We can address any situation from background music emanating throughout the entire house to dedicated high-performance listening rooms and immersive home theaters.” Innovative audio/video systems are a particular point of pride for SAV. “We are dedicated to delivering audio/visual experiences with the same level of intensity and passion regardless if you’re just simply listening to background music or being completely immersed in the latest blockbuster movie. We don’t accept anything less than exceptional performance for your home. This requires a level of depth and clarity that takes you out of the space and places you in the setting. We strive for that level of intensity across a wide range of listening and viewing situations.”
As technology continues to charge forward, its effect is on more than just the quality of sound, however. We have reached a place where technology is mature enough that it endeavors to be discreet instead of drawing attention to itself. This is a welcomed progression in terms of aesthetics.
“Technology has traditionally been bulky and visually obtrusive. It often competed, or at the very least, distracted from the design vision. There are a lot of options on the market now that help preserve aesthetics. You can really do a much better job of maintaining the flow through the living space.”
Flush and bezel-less speakers are a perfect example of this new dynamic. They combine true high-performance sound while maintaining the elegance and architectural elements of a space. No longer are the labors of creating a visually pleasing living space working against the delivery of a satisfying audio experience.
Perhaps we see the best results of creating a seamless audio experience with invisible speakers. Installed in the walls and ceilings and then finished over with the surrounding surface treatment, invisible speakers can deliver ambient music that seems to emanate from the very walls themselves and fills the space without the occupants being able to pinpoint their source.
Sound is just one side of the home sensory equation and it’s the integration and automation of the lighting elements that really advance the discussion. When we start to incorporate new lighting technologies into the mix, the experience is elevated.
“We can start with ambient lighting. We can set things where they dim to calm the mood, but we can also adjust color temperature to create a sense of energy or to bring out the color in a piece of artwork. Light is a great source of drama. Putting it in the right spaces helps create a serene setting or highlight points of interest,” explains Reistad.
Today’s technology lets you have complete control. Maybe you want to highlight a pathway? Maybe you want to control things with your voice? Fully-integrated automation of your light both inside the house and out is now the norm. And at this point, automation can take on a life of its own.
As Reistad says, “Something we’re really excited about is Human-Centric Lighting.”
This could be the high-bar in technology, reaching a point where it complements the human experience in an unexpected way. Research is finding that light addresses both visual and non-visual needs. In other words, light can do a lot more than just help you see. The core idea behind Human-Centric Lighting is to create a lighting profile that synchronizes with your circadian rhythms to support better health. Human-Centric Lighting can have profound effects on how you feel. Working with our body’s natural rhythm, it improves overall well-being by enhancing concentration while improving motivation and productivity. Human-Centric Lighting dynamically changes throughout the day to precisely mimic the color temperature and intensity of natural light outside.
“Of course, you can also take control and adjust the mood yourself with a full range of color and dimming capabilities,” Reistad adds.
At this point, the possibilities that technology has created to make our lives more fulfilling seem endless. But rest assured, there will be more. And SAV Digital Environments will be one of the first to know everything there is to know about them.
Lighting for the Human Experience
Big Sky Journal
The advanced-technology design and engineering firm SAV Digital Environments, based in Bozeman and Big Sky, Montana, sets the human experience at the core of what they do. Their automation technology offers more than functionality, it produces an environment. Audio-video systems let you feel the music, while high-tech security products provide consistent peace of mind.
“We only offer technologies that are viable, reliable, and innovative,” says SAV’s Scott Abel. “For your home or business, you want the smartest, most intuitive technologies, and we’re here to provide the best solutions for your needs.”
One of SAV’s newest items, human-centric lighting, not only transforms a home or office into a precisely lit environment, it also benefits one’s health.
Better for you: Human-centric lighting is a dynamic technology that adjusts throughout the day to match the intensity and color temperature of daylight.
“Lighting plays a huge role, not only in your personal comfort and enjoyment, but in your health too,” Abel says.
By mimicking natural light, human-centric lighting synchronizes with our circadian rhythm, promoting better concentration, mood, and sleep.
Tunable: While human-centric lighting automatically adjusts throughout the day, the system is also fully controllable. Abel says a home’s details are brought to life with minor adjustments to a fixture’s lighting hue. A living space can be transformed from a productive thinking center during the day, to a vibrant setting for evening entertainment, with a simple change in light color.
Simple: Like all of their other home technologies, SAV’s human-centric lighting is fully integrated into the home. The technology is easy to use and subtle in appearance, yet provides dramatic solutions to simplify and improve lives.
Tested: SAV confidently offers cutting-edge technology, thanks to their in-house testing. Every product the firm uses has been tested for user experience and quality, and much of it is on display and can be experienced in their showrooms.
SAV Awarded Home of the Year
Mountain Living Magazine
2018 Home Of The Year: Fairy-Tale Finish
A home once caught up in recession is completed as a bespoke gem.
This is the story of a duckling that became a beautiful swan, a home tarped mid-construction in the 2009 recession to reemerge as a residential masterpiece years later. It began in 2005 with Carney Logan Burke Architects designing a vacation home for a UK couple at the new Snake River Sporting Club, a luxurious home development in an idyllic setting along Jackson Hole’s Snake River. Constructed by Teton Heritage Builders on a highly visible site near the club entrance, the home was rustic and refined, its stone-and-barnwood siding contrasting with smooth copper, its roof peaks mimicking the scenic ridgeline.
“The homeowners brought a more modern, European sensibility to the project,” recalls Carney Logan Burke principal Eric Logan. “It was a great opportunity to design a home that was responsive to place, not derivative of the National Park Lodge style that we saw so often back then.”
But the recession halted construction, leaving the project in search of new owners.
Fast-forward to an afternoon in 2013, when a California couple walked into WRJ Design’s King Street showroom in Jackson and met with owners Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer. “They were looking for a home at the Snake River Sporting Club,” Jenkins says. “I said, ‘why not buy this house?’”
Immediately recognizing the home’s extraordinary potential, with “the exterior finishes and sloping lines of the design merging the home into the surrounding terrain,” the couple hired the WRJ team of Jenkins, Baer and senior designer Sabrina Schreibeis to complete the project.
“We selected WRJ Design specifically for their expertise in cultivating this experience,” says the wife, referring to the home’s harmonious quality. “In collaboration with our general contractor, Teton Heritage Builders, WRJ emphasized a contemporary aesthetic focusing on clean lines with minimal wood trim” to create “a quiet and calming” interior space.
Looking back on the 11-year journey from beginning to completion, Teton Heritage Builders’ Greg O’Gwin is proud of the finished home. “The homeowners gave us the opportunity to build a masterpiece out of their exceptional collaboration with WRJ Design.”
The first step for WRJ was learning how the homeowners planned to use the home. “Lifestyle comes first, before style,” Jenkins says. “How we are going to live, not just how it looks,” he adds. “Great design lifts the soul.”
Responding to the homeowners’ lifestyle cues, the WRJ team reconfigured the original seven-bedroom floor plan to include five bedrooms, a media room and offices. “We were hired to complete the interiors, from soup to nuts,” Jenkins says. “Interior architecture, electrical, plumbing—a bigger project than we had ever done before.”
Inspired by a recent trip to the Salone del Mobile market in Milan with its spare European contemporary approach, WRJ began by thinking about lighting, sourcing cutting-edge decorative fixtures that installed directly in ceilings and outlets recessed with nary a bump marring perfectly smooth surfaces. The futuristic features, installed by SAV Digital Environments, continued with solar window shades that disappear into ceilings, automated drapes and virtually invisible speakers hidden behind walls.
“The architect had brilliantly designed lift-and-slide glass doors in the living room and master bedroom that disappear into the walls,” says Jenkins. “The automated insect screens descend, and you can lie in bed and feel like you’re camping … but without bugs.” “Camping on cashmere!” adds Baer. “It’s glamping at a whole new level,” agrees Jenkins.
WRJ approached the home’s interiors like a work of art, designing and commissioning every element of furniture, art, drapes and finishes. And while the floor plan honors the unbroken line, the arrangement of furnishings allows for flexible use within the spaces, tailored to the homeowners.
In the living room, subtle layers of texture in floor-to-ceiling Loro Piana drapes and sumptuous cashmere throws warm sleek surfaces. A seating area in front of the fireplace invites entertaining, with swiveling captain chairs that allow guests to put their feet on the hearth or turn back to the sofa for conversation. In a more intimate grouping, four custom-made Holly Hunt chairs seat two people each, so four couples can chat comfortably.
Throughout the home, bespoke pieces telegraph the talent of area artisans, including draperies fabricated by Jackson’s Stitch Upholstery and a leather-covered entry console by Idaho woodworker Jim Berkenfield, crafted to a design by WRJ’s Schreibeis and leatherwork by Amanda Jordan. “The homeowners were intentional about wanting to support local artists,” explains Baer. “We also helped them select the home’s gorgeous art from artists around the region.”
In the master bath, a special commission by Jackson artist Kathryn Mapes Turner of two cranes references the bird’s association with good fortune and longevity. Mating for life, cranes are Japan’s “bird of happiness.”
Those references resonate with the homeowners. “Upon entering the home, you are drawn to the calming palette, luxurious textures and soft natural light,” says the wife. “The experience is warm and inviting.”
And despite the high-tech features, handcrafted artwork and the remarkable opportunity to create an ideal home down to the tiniest detail, “ultimately we are most proud of the emotion this home evokes,” says Baer, mirroring the homeowners’ sentiment. “The sense of tranquility and harmony. The serene experience as you move from space to space.”
Creating a Bespoke Home
“Our approach starts with understanding the needs and priorities of the homeowner,” says Rush Jenkins of WRJ Design Associates. “We love creating one-of-a-kind pieces, and it’s thrilling to work with clients who appreciate bespoke work for their home.” Below Jenkins offers tips for identifying the best location for custom pieces in a home.
ONE Understand which areas in the home call for unique and bespoke pieces. Often, custom-designed furniture is an investment, so identifying the best areas to showcase pieces should be carefully identified. TWO Harmony between aesthetic, function, scale and material should all be considered. Drawings and detailed specifications are very important to make sure the designer, homeowner and fabricator are all on the same page. THREE Selecting the right combination of materials is key to the overall success of a piece. Woods, leathers, bronze and metal, as well as many other materials, are exciting to use. FOUR To create harmony and balance, the relationship between the custom pieces as they relate to the other furniture, fabrics, wall treatments, floor treatments and lighting in the room must be considered. FIVE Custom and bespoke pieces can become wonderful family heirlooms to pass down to future generations.
In addition to the home’s architecture and interior design, there’s an invisible, cutting-edge digital component contributing to its tranquility. Cory Reistad, SAV Digital Environments, worked with WRJ Design from the beginning of this project to provide lighting control, automated window treatments and AV.
“This home took dedication and devotion to precision at every level from the entire team. Working with the iconic vision of WRJ on this project was a delight for us,” Reistad says. “We have become adept at weaving technology into homes while retaining design aesthetics, the marriage of the two, and that’s where technology and design align to maximize efficiency, convenience, and enhanced levels of comfort for our clients.”
Below, Reistad shares a behind-the-scenes look at technological components in the home.
FLUSH DETAILS To eliminate bulky components such as wall outlets and switches, and preserve the aesthetics of the home, SAV used a trimless and flush mounting solution for lighting and shade controls. AUTOMATED SHADES & DRAPES Electronically controlled shades and drapes are hidden within pockets or recessed into the window casement, creating a seamless appearance with a simple push of a button. INVISIBLE SPEAKERS SAV installed invisible speakers in the walls and then finished over them with the surrounding surface to deliver ambient music that emanates throughout the space with no visual footprint. It’s almost as if the walls become the speakers.
Integrating Technology into the Montana Lifestyle
Big Sky Journal
Imagine you’re in Bali and your cell phone rings. Your neighbor back home in Montana has just gone into your house to feed the fish and check the mail, and she is calling to let you know that there is a large puddle of water on your kitchen floor — and it seems to be seeping out from under your dishwasher. Two words immediately leap to mind: vacation ruined.
Picture another scenario. You’re on Kuta Beach in Bali, drinking your favorite tropical beverage, and your cell phone gives a discreet beep. SAV Digital Environments has just sent you a text to let you know that a valve broke under your dishwasher — some sort of weak spot in the appliance’s infrastructure perhaps — and their remote water alert system immediately detected it and shut off the water. Totally different words spring to mind: So glad we installed that remote monitoring service.
Over the past 20 years, the concept of a “smart house” that knows when to turn your lights on and off, rolls window shades up and down at the sound of your voice, sends you a text if your front door is left open, and responds to remote commands from your phone, has become a relatively affordable reality — a far cry from portrayals in science-fiction and space-age cartoons. SAV Digital Environments (pronounced /es-ā-vē/), a home and business technology firm that originated in Bozeman, Montana, and now has more than 60 employees spread throughout Bozeman, Big Sky, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has evolved from the audio-visual installation company Studio AV founded by Cory Reistad in 2005, to a company that not only designs the best available audio and visual entertainment for homeowners, but also integrates those components into whole-house systems. SAV has created teams of experts in their fields who know how to capitalize on the potential of new technology, solve old problems, and anticipate new scenarios, helping to modernize home and business environments.
When the construction boom of the early 2000s was still at its height — particularly the explosion of higher-end construction in Montana’s resort areas — professional, high quality home audio and video systems were requisite in new construction, and increasingly were being retrofitted for use in remodeled homes. Reistad recognized that there was an opportunity for a company that embraced emerging higher-end technologies to design and install these systems, blending them with the home environment. Home theaters with surround sound and high-quality pictures were just the beginning. Automated whole-house sound and lighting systems were becoming increasingly common — a real business opportunity for a technology-savvy company.
In the little over a decade since SAV started, however, the technology available to homebuilders and business owners has exploded. In addition to audio, video, and theater systems, SAV provides water system monitoring, low-profile, surveillance-type security, lighting control, automated window coverings, computer networking, wireless systems, and more. After installation, home and business owners can count on the support they need, when they need it through ‘round the clock customer service. SAV recognizes how critical it is that technology be smoothly integrated into everyday life — and how frustrating it is when something doesn’t work properly. Eric Knez, SAV Director of Client Services, puts their customer service goals plainly:
“Our primary goal is to prevent inconvenience and frustration when devices stop working. If an issue does arise, we do whatever it takes to resolve the matter promptly.”
SAV also tries to create a working environment that reflects their commitment to their employees, their communities, and to their clients. A whole division of the company is dedicated to ensuring that client issues are resolved quickly and efficiently, whether remotely or through a home visit. It is easy to see how these systems give homeowners peace of mind while they are away, but their experiences are enhanced while at home as well. Throughout the West, where residents value time spent on hiking trails, ski slopes, and golf courses, it’s appealing to come home at the end of a day to a gently lit living room, with shades at just the right angle; or enjoy the long light of summer evenings on the deck while sipping wine and listening to music.
SAV supports its workforce, and the communities where it is based. For employees, this means their creativity is valued, and rewarded. In addition to a benefits package, SAV offers ski days and celebrations that range from impromptu pizza parties and happy hours, to an annual holiday party and summer picnic. Within the community, SAV supports groups like the Big Sky Community Organization, Big Sky Youth Empowerment, the Bozeman Cancer Center, and many other worthwhile causes. In 2017, SAV was voted the second Best New Business — new to Big Sky — in the Best of Big Sky Awards.
From low-profile smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to inconspicuous surveillance systems that don’t interfere with the architectural details of a home, to discretely placed surround-sound speakers, and strategically placed TVs — hidden behind artwork or inside the ceiling or wall — SAV’s systems are designed for their clients’ enjoyment. Whatever the next new trend in property owner comfort, security, and convenience may be, the SAV team will aim to explore creative ways to integrate it.
Innovators & Innovations: Sifting Through Technologies
Western Home Journal
What changes can we anticipate in the future about how we will live? Some people have the ability to take a different look at important problems and to break beyond conventional wisdom to introduce new thinking and products that ultimately will affect how we will live. Meet three very different kinds of trailblazers and explore their ideas.
The biggest shifts in how we live come from technology, and frankly, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all that’s available and to make it work in a home. Cory Reistad, founder and owner of SAV Digital Environments, which has experience centers in Bozeman and Big Sky, takes on that challenge. “We create reliable and intelligent solutions to simplify lives. It’s our job at SAV to discern from all the technologies out there and narrow down what really works. Keep in mind that a large percentage of new technologies fail. By sorting through technologies, we protect our clients’ interests and their pockets.” With a background in the industry, Reistad founded Studio AV in 2005, and over time Studio AV evolved to SAV Digital Environments and it has grown to over 60 team members.
As the eyes and ears of so many in Montana, what are Reistad’s recommendations for technology that really can enhance people’s lives? This question acknowledges not only that SAV Digital Environments designs, manages, and installs systems, but also speaks to the range of its expertise in home automation: AV systems; home theaters and entertainment; lighting controls; automated shades and blinds; security and surveillance; life safety; networking and IT; climate control; energy management and more.
“We create reliable and intelligent solutions to simplify lives. It’s our job at SAV to discern from all the technologies out there and narrow down what really works.” –Cory Reistad, Founder/Owner, SAV Digital Environments
Reistad adds, “We assemble, manage, and make it useful. We manage technology so clients are not overwhelmed and find simplicity in the complexity. It requires anticipating someone’s lifestyle.” One of the first suggestions he offers to make peoples’ lives easier is based on the experience of his own busy family with three kids ranging in ages from 10 to 14. “I recommend an “all off” button. When I leave the house I have assurances that everything is off and the home temperature goes to the dormant setting. It gets you out the door fast.” Similar to this is a vacation setting. Reistad describes it as putting the home in a dormant status for energy savings with the shades down and the lights off. Programming can also mimic that the home is occupied by setting lights to go on or off or shades to go up or down at certain times.
Like many others, Reistad is concerned with using energy responsibly. “One of the ways we reduce energy without affecting lifestyle is to set the software throughout the home to dim the lights by 11 percent. It’s not noticeable and it saves energy.” Similarly, the controls on the heating and cooling systems can be programmed for energy savings and convenience. “When we are involved early, we can enhance the user interface, and as we become better known as designers, these collaborations are happening earlier.”
Voice and gesture control is also catching a lot of attention. Reistad predicts it will change how we live. In the example he gives, the platform for voice control is built into the automation system. With the “wake up” command, the system turns on the lights, adjusts the heat, activates the espresso machine, and CNN displays through the bathroom mirror display. “For the things you do day in and day out, technology can add efficiency and make life a little easier.”
Reistad finds that clients are increasingly sophisticated about technology. “They are used to looking at screens and they adapt quickly. It’s important that we make technology as intuitive and fast as possible.” However, as more people in a household use technology, the network is taxed like never before.
“We’re installing enterprise networks as part of all our jobs,” Reistad ads. “Networks are the backbone of everything. Systems are networked-based, and we depend upon the network to deliver content. With multiple devices streaming, a network can become overloaded. The enterprise network is business class and allows multiple users the ability to access content, and I feel it is necessary to give homes reliability and the power to handle all that’s required.”
“Networks are the backbone of everything. Systems are networked-based, and we depend upon the network to deliver content. With multiple devices streaming, a network can become overloaded. The enterprise network is business class and allows multiple users the ability to access content.” – Cory Reistad
Television displays are becoming increasingly large and dominant in a room, and they are often positioned in a focal point such as over the fireplace, which further draws attention. Reistad has found an interesting solution. “When the television is not in use, instead of a black dark screen, we can display an art piece, or even a slideshow of family photos. While not quite one-of-a-kind, the art has a limited license, and there are sufficient selections to find something that really works with the room’s décor. And, unlike a painting, it doesn’t take a lot to change it out. It can be displayed sufficiently large enough for an 85-inch screen. There are many developing options for this, like a new wallpaper TV by LG, and Samsung even has a TV with a frame around the screen display to present the art appropriately. Turn the TV on, and it ceases to be art and functions fully as a television.”
With such a large and growing firm, Reistad is determined to stay connected with clients and to remain in front of technology. “I’m the chief strategist at SAV Digital Environments, and I insist on working directly with all my clients. Technology is booming, but we’re also becoming more robust in our skills and up for any challenge.”
Custom Speakers & Support Differentiate James Loudspeaker & its Dealers
Robert Archer (CE Pro)
SAV Digital Environments is able to meet a range of customer demands through the custom speakers and support provided by James Loudspeaker.
A few years ago the naysayers had the vultures circling the consumer audio category. According to these so-called experts, the glory days of audio had passed, and in their place were new pastimes such as gaming, which represent the present and future of home entertainment.
What the so-called experts didn’t know was that streaming media was about to revolutionize how the public consumed content. Fueling a new era of stereo music and home theater, the current home audio market is driven by streaming music services and object-based surround sound.
Today’s modern era of home entertainment is flourishing and now electronics professionals have more product choices then ever before. Rising above this competitive marketplace, the California-based manufacturer James Loudspeaker is helping a new generation of integrators that includes SAV Digital Environments to thrive in a world dominated by digital media unique customer demands.
James Loudspeaker’s Custom Speaker Options Meet Specific Requirements
Derek Flikkema, sales and design consultant at SAV, says we chose James Loudspeaker as a vendor because of the manufacturer’s willingness to do whatever was necessary to meet the objectives set forth by the client.
“We believe it is very critical to have a partner that can help set us apart from typical audio/video installation [companies]. James Loudspeaker is willing and even excited to help us create custom entertainment products for our clients, enabling SAV Digital Environments to provide outstanding solutions for challenging, unique installations.” – Derek Flikkema
One aspect of SAV's relationship with James Loudspeaker that is easy to overlook is how the speaker company is able to apply its experience to find the right solution for a client, which in some cases means not adding the cost of a custom speaker design to the job. From a dealer perspective beyond the cost and application of a custom product, Flikkema points out that custom speakers can also be time consuming to develop, and not every manufacturer is interested in the commitment it takes to make a custom speaker.
He says that James Loudspeaker however, will recommend a custom product only when it is appropriate, and when it does, it enters into a custom project fully commited to the design of the product.
“In many cases the easy way of out of a difficult design challenge is to eliminate features versus finding a custom or one-off solution. Customizations can be time consuming and frustrating because you need to locate and approach a manufacturer, determine who can help and then in most cases try and convince them to design a custom product,” he explains.
“It can be frustrating because many vendors treat custom solutions as a burden, something they will invest a ton of time into and then never reuse again. So there isn’t much return on their investment of design and manufacturing. James Loudspeaker approaches these situations in a different way. When requesting a custom solution from them, the process is easy and exciting. You are connected to someone right away who will help brainstorm new ideas or show you some custom options created in the past from their database. Once an idea is established, it is usually only a few days before you have a drawing from the engineers in hand … not weeks or months. The entire experience is rewarding because a partnership with James Loudspeaker allows SAV to provide solutions that are not typically available from other AV dealers that aren’t familiar with the benefits a partnership like this offers.”
Once a project is completed Flikkema emphasizes that customers are usually thrilled with the results his company provides through James’ custom engineering capabilities.
“A typical response from the client would be, ‘wow, everything just fits perfectly,’” meaning that all of the room’s décor, furniture and electronic components complement one another,” he notes.
The result of James Loudspeaker’s ability to discreetly integrate its products into a range of home environments means that his company can complement the interior designs of the most challenging homes.
James Loudspeaker Provides More Than Custom Speakers
Elaborating on the support that James provides beyond its custom speaker engineering, Flikkema says the California speaker company helps his installation business differentiate its services from the competition.
Through the support services and custom speaker products Flikkema stresses that SAV Digital Environments is able to work with disciplines such as homebuilders, architects and team managers on a level that other installation companies can’t.
“Clients that select this team know they are getting something that is just for them, and not something mass produced,” emphasizes Flikkema. It’s personal and unique to their project. Working with James Loudspeaker allows SAV to provide custom solutions that sets a standard with its own identity.”
In addition meeting customer demands through unique custom products, James is also helping SAV Digital Environments stay in tune with the latest market trends. Flikkema says that some of the trends SAV is addressing through James Loudspeaker’s standard product line include the ability to break down traditional barriers to deliver a range of entertainment experiences.
“Live/live-out spaces have increased in popularity and there is demand for audio systems that can adapt just as your living space adapts,” comments Flikkema.
James Loudspeaker provides a wide assortment of products that allow for example, the expansion of a media room out to a patio. When the patio doors are closed the media room can operate in a typical 7.1 surround sound format. When the client opens the doors the room expands out to the patio and adjusts to a Dolby Atmos configured surround sound format. For this application we can use an assortment of under eave wedge speakers for the height channels and Omni planter-based decor speakers for the side and surround channels. James Loudspeaker uses materials and finishes that are engineered to last even in harsh environments.”
– Derek Flikkema, SAV Digital Environments
Western Home Journal Shop Talk
SAV Digital Environments is dedicated to finding and vetting not only the smartest and the best technologies, but technologies that almost seem invisible. Many technologies can seem intimidating, unwieldy, and brazen; Cory seeks products that are subtle, intuitive, and behind-the-scenes. SAV’s expert team designs and installs digital systems that co-exist and complement people’s day-to-day existence. After all, even in this digital world, we still want a human touch.
“Our discerning clients and partners are looking for two things in their digital environment: simplicity and elegance.” – Cory Reistad, Owner, SAV Digital Environments
What services do you offer?
SAV is a comprehensive, process-driven firm that offers design and installation services for audio/video systems, home cinema, lighting and shade control, network and IT connectivity, security and surveillance, energy monitoring solutions and more.
What geographic areas do you service?
Our main regions are Bozeman and Big Sky, MT, as well as Jackson, WY. However, we have been known to serve various other locations, most within a 100–200 mile perimeter to our main regions.
What do you offer that is unique?
We offer unyielding commitment to client service. Very early in the business, I learned that establishing a commitment to our clients’ needs is our most important job. That is why SAV has dedicated an entire division of the company to focus on our clients’ systems after they have been installed.
What project are you most excited about right now?
Though we get excited about all of the work we do, right now our commercial security division is our most exciting. We are seeing increased demand for asset protection. Advancements in facial recognition and artificial intelligence related to human behavior are absolutely astonishing.
Describe your process and how you work with clients.
Our work with our clients generally starts early in the design phase of the project. Because the end goal is to incorporate technology into the home in such a way that it blends into the architectural environment, it’s necessary to incorporate those details and collaborate with the owner in order to succeed. Once the design is complete, we work closely with the general contractor, interior designer, and other trades to deliver a seamless system.
What are some of the tricks of the trade?
In the wake of ever-changing technology, I’d advise to be patient with innovative products and make sure they are properly vetted before placing them in clients’ homes. With our commitment to simplicity and usability, it is vital that we do not use our clients’ homes as technology test beds.
Dwelling Closer to Nature
Western Home Journal
Setting the Scene with Electronics. As we move outside, it makes sense we’ll want music, entertainment, and convenience to be part of the experience of living outdoors. “When designing systems, I like to ask: Where do people like to spend time? Then I populate the area with immersive audio and/or video,” explains Cory Reistad, founder/president of SAV Digital Environments in Bozeman, Big Sky, and Jackson.
He continues, “We all have such busy lives, and it’s hard to find a time and place to sit down and really enjoy ourselves. However, most of us make a point of relaxing when we are outside. Outdoor living first became prominent in coastal areas, and its acceptance in the mountains was slower, but at last it has arrived.”
New products are making what was once unheard of outside now possible. Reistad reports that SAV carries thermally insulated televisions for cold climates. “Also, music is a big part of life,” he muses, “and should be part of outdoor dining, sitting by the fireplace, and backyard sports.”
“For audio, we used to be limited to positioning speakers under eaves and close to the house for connections, but now, I prefer to design systems with speakers that surround the perimeter. More sound comes back to you, and it doesn’t project out to the neighbors. The outdoor speakers are durable and have a ten-year warranty.”
“We pride ourselves in solutions made easy. Our design goal is immersive audio using performance-based technology where the equipment is not an obstruction. Rather, we weave it into the environment.” – Cory Reistad, Founder/President, SAV Digital Environments
The idea of watching movies in the backyard with friends, family, and refreshments sounds hilariously fun. Reistad says that developments in electronics make it completely possible. “We secure drop screens to eaves on the deck, provide a mobile projector, and make use of the perimeter speaker system for great theater sound.”
SAV has been in business since 2005. A staff of 62 provides service, and according to Reistad, “This allows us to be specialized in all facets of electronics and low voltage controls: networks, IT, acoustics, lighting, home theater design, window treatments, and home security & surveillance, and more. We offer design and engineering, project management, and, of course, product sales. However, I think our client services truly distinguishes us and provides our clients complete confidence in us.”
SAV’s concept for serving clients is immediate concierge service, meaning they are on call 24 hours a day, and 365 days per year to assist and make service calls. SAV’s technicians can also run remote diagnostics and program new equipment without having to come to the home.
“We pride ourselves in solutions made easy,” says Reistad. “Our design goal is immersive audio using performance-based technology where the equipment is not an obstruction. Rather, we weave it into the environment.”
He also explains that while technology can be very complex, the goal of system engineering and design is to control operations through a user-friendly device with the convenience and ease of end users in mind.
SAV’s headquarters are in Bozeman, where they’re excited to show anybody and everybody what’s possible. However, in order to enhance customer service and to reach out to clients with even more convenience, SAV is opening their “Living Design Center” this summer in Big Sky. “It’ll be a very modern, cutting edge one-room snapshot of all SAV does—everything. It’ll be staffed by designers who can show the best in lighting, shades, board room automation, audio, and more,” says Reistad, who extends an invitation to stop by.
Outdoor spaces are so much more than they were in the past, but also our lives are so much busier. They are the perfect place to unwind, relax, and appreciate the natural world.
Western Home Journal
A quaint guest escape with rustic character and modern details. The fusion of glass, metal and timber in this mountain guest cabin evokes a rustic elegance with a modern twist. A true blend of past and present with views that bring the outdoors into this intimate space.
“As architects and builders we are storytellers, like artists. The storyline of Camp Run-a-muck is based on the concept of an old buried and dilapidated Forest Service cabin, a remnant of something that pre-existed on the property. Then we took that shell and mixed a little history with modernity. The result was a hybrid of a simple stone structure with an infill of hewn timber and glass. By infusing the old and new, we created a contemporary expression of a classic Montana cabin.” – Greg Matthews, Pearson Design Group
Innovative process, material, and technology. SAV designed and installed the technology including the lighting controls, sound system, video displays, and window shades.
“Architects like Pearson and builders like Highline are looking for two things: simplicity and elegance. We work together so the digital environment blends so well with the home that is it not immediately detectable. The automation is highly sophisticated but almost invisible.” – Cory Reistad, SAV Digital Environments
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