The British Library

The three most spectacular KNX projects in the UK

KNX has been taken part in many projects over the years from renovating a farmhouse into a state-of-the-art smart home; to lighting and heating in office buildings and arena’s; as well as lighting and displays for museums and much more.  However, I am going to talk about three of the most impressive projects that KNX has undertaken so far.

The British Library

The First major project is the ‘British Library’ in London. This is the largest library in the world, boasting more than 170 million items from all over the world. The size of the library is spread over 14 floors and has a total floor space of about 112,000 sq. meters.

When it came time for the lighting control system to be replaced, KNX were chosen for the job. As you can imagine this was a very large project. Just think how many rooms are in this building? How many lights are needed to sufficiently light up each room, hallway and shelves?

KNX were able to install a new lighting system easily and with minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations of the library, which was essential to business (over 16,000 people use the collections each day). When KNX installed the new system they ensured that it was adaptable for future projects. The system that is now installed is guaranteed to be compatible with any new KNX products and so it can always be maintained and upgraded as and when needed.

To connect all the lighting under one system, some of the areas used fibre-optic and other areas used IP to cover the long distances. The library has 9 floors above ground and 5 floors below in basements. A KNX bus, which extends all through the building, was used to connect all the lights in the basement to the rest of the system.

Study area in the Library
Study area in the Library

The lights are controlled by time-based programming with manual control functions if needed. The way the system is designed means that various areas; such as meeting rooms or study areas, can have different lighting settings to the rest of the building and it is all easily reprogrammable if the rooms change purposes.  The system is also monitored at all times; if one of the bulbs goes in the lamps then the system will know and alert the necessary contact. As well as monitoring energy levels to try and reduce costs.  It is easy to see why KNX were chosen for such an undertaking.

Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport

The next project I am going to look at is ‘Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport’

Terminal 5, Heathrow
Terminal 5, Heathrow

Terminal 5 is one of the busiest terminals at the airport, if not the busiest terminal. It is designed to handle around 30 million passengers a year. In 2012 this terminal handled 43% of Heathrow’s flights alone. When this building was first built, it was going to be so large that when it was finished it would have blocked the views from the airport’s control tower, and so they had to build that control tower even higher to compensate.

Lighting systems were installed in the main terminal, in the rail terminus, in the passenger link, the car parks and even the new control tower. Over 120,000 light fittings are in this building, most of which are connected to DALI ballasts, these in-turn are connected to KNX-DALI gateways. DALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, this means that the lights could be switched off/on and also dimmed through the use of sensors or the Management System. It can report real-time faults and light run-times. Also, the sensors allow the lights to be effect by external weather, such as dimming on bright sunny days and going brighter at night. The motion detectors can also turn off lights in empty rooms, these are substantial cost savers.

Inside Terminal 5 in day light
Inside Terminal 5 in day light

One of the Airports most important requirements was that they needed all lighting systems to be operated and monitored through one single Building Management System. Around 2900 switch interfaces and over 800 control panels, containing the KNX-Dali gateways, were installed and all connected via the KNX control management system.

The other major achievement in this project is the emergency battery lighting system; Terminal 5 has the world’s largest single Dali emergency light system. The emergency lights were integrated into the KNX-Dali network that allows them to be tested and monitored along with the general lighting. This significantly reduces the maintenance costs to the Airport due to it eliminating the need for visual inspections which in a terminal this size was a long and costly job.

Pegaso SuperYacht

This project is slightly different than the other two as it is not even a building, but the 73.6 metre Pegaso Super Yacht.

Pegaso SuperYacht
Pegaso SuperYacht

This Yacht was built for the purpose of researching and supporting the Restoration and Preservation of our oceans. But who said that you can’t work in luxury? Equipped with four decks and over 880m2 of accommodation, five guest rooms (one VIP and four Doubles), its own cinema, gyms, jacuzzi, helicopter pad and a five-man submarine. This is not your everyday Yacht!

KNX provided the means to control many key functions for the luxurious lifestyle that the yacht provides. Curtains and blinds are fully automated to sun shade in the day and blackout at night. The air conditioning and heating is connected to the same network that controls the dampers on the heating and ventilation ducts. This allows control over the flow air in all the living accommodations and the ability to regulate temperature.

Inside Pegaso Yacht
Inside Pegaso Yacht

Even the security systems on the Yacht are automated. Every lock on the external doors are motorised and are operated via KNX. A Visualisation panel has been integrated with the Yacht’s existing control systems that can control the locks. Motion sensors are been installed along the ship that can detect unauthorised movement and send a notification via text or e-mail to the bridge or to a mobile phone.

The crew on the Yacht also have control over some of these functions and operations via iPad controls. Even the Yacht’s engineer has base level access through his iPhone to allow him testing and maintenance of the KNX features.

Pegaso Marine has said they have been more than happy with the results of this project. It is a flexible system, easily allowing them to add more functions in the future, easily enabling them to adapt as the project developed.

At Home of Technologies we provide full support with your KNX projects, from training to supplies from dozens of manufacturers from all over the world.

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