Blog Post

KNX why we use it

Published on 15 Oct 2016 inspire

KNX why we use it. 

KNX is a protocol for environmental control of buildings, including lighting, heating, blinds and much more.
Products from many different manufacturers are guaranteed to 'talk' to each other using the language of KNX, to perform different tasks.  It is like the Internet of things – for buildings.

KNX was developed in 1990 and now more than 420 manufacturers make products that comply to the standard.

KNX fully complies with international standards IEC/ISO 14543-3, EN-50090, EN13321-1, EN1332-2, and ANSI/ASHRAE 135.

KNX compliant products and solutions present demonstrable difference and advantage from other systems and protocols. Below are some of the key points:
• KNX is Non-proprietary - All products labeled with the KNX trademark comply with international standards including IEC/ISO 14543-3 that defines interoperability between products.  All KNX products are configured using a common tool, ETS, allowing a single configuration file to be delivered to the building owner, allowing the system to be updated/ upgraded, by any installer with the configuration tool, at any time in the future.
• KNX is the platform of a distributed environmental control system for buildings that includes functions of lighting control, HVAC control, Air quality control and many others. Critical system such as lighting are controlled by a robust, resilient network of distributed components with no single point of failure.
• KNX is an open protocol with products available from 420+ manufacturers. It may be thought of as the 'Internet of things' for buildings and is so heavily invested in, and proven, that the technology is installed in over 60% of all new commercial buildings in Europe and has been adopted as the regional standard in many countries including USA, China, UAE . Environmental building control solutions using KNX have been delivered for 26 years.
• KNX has been selected as the mission critical control system for many thousands of projects worldwide, which include: homes, airports, hospitals, hotels, banks, and offices. See for a wide range of reference sites.
• KNX is often required to communicate with the building BMS or AV system.  Depending on the system, KNX may communicate directly with an embedded IP driver, or through gateways with protocols such as BACNet/IP.  
• KNX has developed and evolved with emerging technology trends. Manufacturers regularly release new products to keep pace with technology and regulation – for example, the recent trend towards ‘tunable white’ lighting control has been adopted by a number of KNX manufacturers.
• A KNX system is expandable and adjustable during the lifetime of the building by anyone with the ETS configuration file, so is not locked to one installer.
• KNX integration and programming time is efficient – saving costs of commissioning
• KNX modules take less space in distribution boards than most other systems – saving costs of 'real estate' and hardware
• Where KNX controls multiple functions in a building one product may be selected to perform multiple functions. For instance a motion sensor for lighting control may also be used for occupancy based heating, and, contain a brightness sensor for blind control, and a thermostat which forms part of the heating function. So a single device is highly versatile and cost effective.
• KNX is attractively priced compared to other systems with comparative products and functions. KNX manufacturers compete in the market with technical differences as well as prices. This is possible due to the open nature of the platform.

With all this in mind, and the fact that KNX is an established platform for environmental control of buildings that delivers real integration of everything that is electrically supplied in the building, we can simplify buildings.  Just like we expect to get in any new car we buy, these functions are what should be expected in any well designed modern building.

Below are some of the functions that are commonly controlled, monitored.

1. Lighting for life
Lighting control including dimming, colour changing and show control.  From simple on/off to smooth lighting scenes, you’ll find KNX makes it all simple every time.
Careful positioning of sensors can make movement and lights work in harmony.  Different levels at day and night
Security functions for making the house look occupied when owners are away.

2. Your view on the world
Windows and curtains that are open for you to enjoy the view, and close as the day ends to make a cozy environment.
Local, timed and environmental/ safety control of blinds and windows.  Easy to control internal or external louvres, sun protection and fly screens.
The blinds and windows are also an important method for automatically managing solar gain in a room.
Works with all types of wired blind motors – no batteries or remote controls to lose.

3. Beautiful designer switches, intelligent technology
A range of switches with easy to use functions that make living and using the house easier and better than a traditionally wired house.
From simple and familiar, to switches designed by people who care about making beautiful things as well as effective.

4. Going off grid with Sustainable energy
Monitoring and supervisory control of energy sources including sustainable sources such as solar.
Monitoring electrical supply to the building from Grid and local sources. Allowing the loads, like hot water tanks or swimming pool to be regulated to make the most of sustainable sources.
Control and monitoring of geothermal energy production.  Measuring water temperature and the energy production from the source in conjunction with the visualization software. 

5. Staying comfortable
Heating, ventilation and Air Conditioning- HVAC
KNX is ideal for controlling multiple sources and types of heating/ cooling – hydronic underfloor; heat pumps from all major manufacturers; Forced air; air circulation fans and dampers . KNX has been designed from the start to handle complex heating systems.

6. Ready for future vehicles
As KNX is an evolving protocol more then one of the current manufacturers are concerned with EV chargers for cars, carts or scooters.

7. Wet and warm
Pools and spas can be monitored for example for temperature or pH.  Native KNX controllers can be implemented to control all the variables of the pool, like chemical introductions or heatpump control
Interface with the Steam room control system so the steam room can be turned on remotely 

8. Wine cellar
Wine needs looking after carefully. Temperature and air quality sensors allow for easy control an monitoring of wine cellars and other environments.

9. Take a look at the building from anywhere
Building management software with pages for users, building services manager, and/ or guests.
Pages with floor layouts may be created and all the functions in the room made easily available either on portable devices or wall mounted screens.
Remote access to the system from mobile device (iOs or Android) easy to implement.

10. “Hello Siri”
Integration with Siri and other voice activated systems is available now.

11. Lodge requirements
Setup and control of guest lodge so they can be put into standby or occupied mode with single instruction.  Once in occupied mode the local control of heating and lighting is easy to implement.

“Ivory egg – The power behind thoughtful buildings”