Residential and Commercial Building Control with Open Technologies

Comfort and energy efficiency realization by the usage of open technologies for residential and commercial building control.

Over the last 70 years, technologies have developed in a swift manner. Phones, with higher capacities than the computers, which have been used for the landing on the moon, are now state of the art and further developments can be experienced everywhere day by day. This technological development covers also the electrical components in residential houses and commercial buildings, dealing with all sorts of applications, such as lighting, shutter control, heating and air-conditioning, as well as security and comfort.

Why Building Automation?

Whilst conventional switching is commonly used for the residential sector, the complexity of those conventional installations escalates rapidly, once further functions, such as simply the switching with two different light switches, shall be realized. Further extension of even higher complexity requires additional devices, such as relays and timers, with additional wiring for each new component.

Needless to say that commercial buildings, such as hotels and offices face higher requirements and complexity, in order to accommodate the needs for each user. Catching up with the technical developments, commercial buildings are becoming increasingly modern, offering automated functions which are taken for granted. The answer, in order to realize the all these automated functions without spending too much time and invest in any vast amount of additional wiring, is building control, in particular with KNX.

The open KNX technology for residential and commercial building control found its way into everyone’s life in the year 1990, at which actuator and sensors, each provided with a microchip, are connected via a bus cable. The success of this technology was determined by the possibility to control everything, which runs on electricity in a building as well as its flexible and easy way to program the whole installation. Reprogramming instead of conventional rewiring showed a new dimension in the maintenance of houses and buildings, including conversion of rooms for other purposes, which would require adjusted functions.

KNX control system takes natural daylight into account to implement efficient lighting.


What is a standard in the field of residential and commercial building control?

In order to transfer control data to all building management components, a system is required that does away with the problems of isolated devices by ensuring that all components communicate via one common language, a so-called “Standardized Open Technology”. Open-Source and Open-Technologies have already proven themselves to serve the users, but also the developers, the best, in order to realize solutions for the needs of everyone. Available free of charge, the openness of KNX has been brought to the world of residential and commercial building control.

KNX is based on more than 25 years of experience in the market, amongst others with its predecessor systems ‘European Installation Bus (EIB)’, ‘European Home Systems (EHS)’ and ‘BatiBUS’. Combining all forces, the powerful KNX technology was created in 1990. Opening the doors to this open technologies for manufacturers and installers allowed standardization bodies to implement KNX in their portfolio. This led to the approval of KNX as US (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135) and worldwide Standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3).

The finalized standardization process and the free access to the KNX specifications have made the technology accessible to already more than 400 manufacturers all over the world, providing more than 7,000 certified KNX products. This makes KNX also the most sustainable technology. Clearly, being approved as a standard by various standardization bodies all over the world proves that KNX can proudly state that it is the worldwide STANDARD for residential and commercial building control.

KNX is Green

Accountable for 40 % of total energy consumption, buildings have considerable energy-saving potential available. The usage of general building automation enables to harvest the energy saving potential, since automatic switching and controlling of residential and commercial building appliances do not only provide a higher level of comfort, but also reduce the usage of energy. Since the building system technology is available for the electrical installation, KNX functions guarantee savings in energy costs for artificial lighting, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems as well as other loads. With the further development of the system, which has already been in existence for more than 25 years, the open- and closed-looped control systems have been refined and thus increasingly better results are achieved.

Nowadays, the savings rates that have been achieved in practice are 60 % and more, as neutral practical studies, comparing KNX to conventional installations, show (Detailed study here). The flawless interworking of all more than 7,000 certified KNX devices by various manufacturers allow the installer to create an installation consisting of the most energy-efficient devices, which are required for each application in residential and commercial building control. The choice and problem-free combination out of devices, using KNX, makes KNX the most energy-efficient technology amongst all residential and commercial building control technologies.

Being the most sustainable technology in the market, KNX is proud to be able to look back at more than 25 years of incomparable success-stories in the market of residential and commercial building control. Further than that, due to the increased demands worldwide, from already developed countries to rapidly emerging countries, KNX Association’s mission in further developing the standard has already been put into practice, by implementing features to KNX, such as the integration of Smart City as well as IoT solutions.

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