Villa Collina Renewed: A Beautiful High-Tech Fortress

Editor’s Note: “Villa Collina Renewed” is a 15-part blog series detailing owner Dr. Eric W. Barton’s work to restore the largest home in Tennessee to its original Italianate beauty. Each week we will discuss renovation projects across the 40,250-square-foot waterfront mansion, from geothermal upgrades and energy efficiency to state-of-the-art lighting, marble renovations and fountain upgrades. We hope you enjoy this detailed research on the jewel that is Villa Collina.

Villa Collina, a beautiful mansion nestled in the rolling hills along the banks of the Tennessee River, is a peaceful and idyllic locale with state-of-the-art access control and security systems, making the home a subtle but high-tech fortress.

Owner Eric W. Barton has updated the entire security profile of the property, including the gates, alarm, surveillance, doors, windows and more with award-winning, innovative equipment. He does not want the estate to be closed, unwelcoming and hard to access, so he has used technology that works out of sight to provide access to the right people at the right time and to alert him immediately of security risks. Barton’s main goal was peace of mind, whether he and his family are home or away.

The access-control system, which operates every door throughout the property, ensures both personal safety and security of the home and allows access flexibility. Installed by The Flying Locksmiths, PDK Security, the commercial-grade infrastructure is controlled from a phone app and establishes when and where designated people can access Villa Collina without the use of keys.

Residents and frequent visitors have access cards that can be swiped on the keypad outside each exterior door. Visitors without a card can be granted access on a recurring or one-time basis and given an access PIN; entry is denied if arrival is outside of the designated time.

With multiple doors and several people accessing the home every day, simply locking all of the entry points all of the time is too inconvenient. The Villa Collina’s access control system allows any door to be configured with an individualized schedule for when it is to be locked and who has the authority to enter. A schedule can be set for all doors to lock every day, say at a specific bedtime, to ease the concern about which doors could still be open.

The access-control system is cloud-based and received the 2018 Security Today New Product of the Year Award for Best New Access Control Software/Controllers. Barton can lock or unlock doors and manage the system with his smartphone from anywhere in the world and receive real-time customizable alerts via text or email for activity out of the ordinary and reports about who accessed the home and when.

The surveillance system includes 16 cameras strategically placed around the property with wide-angle views of ingress/egress points. As with the other systems, Barton can bring up a live video from any of these cameras from his phone. The peace of mind such a comprehensive and customizable system provides is invaluable.

In a previous Villa Collina Renewed post, we discussed the 3M – Prestige Series 50 film, which was installed on all windows. The film rejects around 53 percent of heat into the interior of the house and up to 99.9 percent of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and reduces sun damage to furnishings and carpet, all of which have been restored to their original pristine condition since Barton took ownership of the home. The film also has the extra benefit of adding a layer of security. The film is tear-resistant to protect people and deter property crimes. Additionally, every room is equipped with a glass break monitor, which sends an alert if any windows are broken.

Another interesting feature that provides peace of mind is the Lutron© system, which controls several systems including lights, window treatments, heating, cooling and fountains. The system takes a 60-day average of normal everyday use and will implement the same schedules while residents are away by utilizing the “vacation mode” feature. So, the lights and fountains all function as normal, whether or not the home is occupied.

The final and most beloved layer of security at Villa Collina is a Doberman named Sinatra. He looks intimidating and is fiercely protective of his family, but he loves belly rubs and ear scratches.

Up next: Villa Collina’s extensive wine cellar was lovely but unfinished when Eric Barton purchased the home. Through interviews with the first homeowner to learn more about the features and with careful attention to detail, the cellar has been updated and stocked.