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[ Spotlight: KNX ]


KNX enables state-of-the- art building control and home automation


The heat is on Climate control is a critical area for potential energy savings within office buildings, and a KNX system can tell when the blinds are closed, heating and air conditioning is on or off, and whether rooms are occupied. Heating and ventilation can be regulated in each room via temperature sensors, and KNX technology can regulate temperature and lighting for individual rooms according to the outdoor temperature and prevailing daylight levels. This is a key advantage of KNX, as Iain Gordon explains: ‘An intelligent building control system should be able to cope


Three of a kind


There are three categories of KNX device: n A-mode. Automatic mode devices automatically configure themselves, and are intended to be sold to and installed by the end user.


n E-mode. Easy mode configuration is done without the help of a PC but with a central controller, code wheels or push buttons. E-mode compatible products normally have limited functionality and are intended for medium sized installations.


n S-mode. System mode devices are used in the creation of bespoke building automation systems. S-mode devices have no default behaviour, and must be programmed and installed by specialist technicians.


with changes in technology as they become available. This is very important when it comes to energy management, measurement and control. KNX has been designed to be in control of energy, and by using new products to display energy use, the savings made can be demonstrated easily.’


Data base KNX allows energy consumption data to be gathered from various areas of a building. The energy performance of a building can be monitored in real time, with areas where there is need for improvement being easily identified – allowing the owner or occupier to take steps to further improve energy efficiency. Demonstrable energy savings can be achieved from the


integration of all building systems, and the growing number of financial and legislative issues will make achieving these savings even more important. Heating and cooling are a major factor in the operating costs of all buildings and a KNX installation can reduce these costs significantly by only fully heating, cooling or ventilating rooms that are occupied, while unoccupied areas are kept at an optimum temperature, with only the necessary amount of lighting.


Catching up The UK is lagging behind Europe in the adoption of KNX, with probably less than 10 per cent of new projects adopting it. This possibly has much to do with the fact that on many installations, areas such as lighting control and HVAC control are dealt with separately.


September 2011 ECA Today 47


Once contractors have been educated about KNX and start to install it, then they tend to stay with the system


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