Proud winners receive awards during TOP Event at light+building trade fair
The KNX Award Ceremony started out 18 years ago as a relatively modest event at a KNX trade fair stand; since then it has metamorphosed into a spectacular party – the “TOP Event”, part of light+building, the world’s biggest trade fair for light and building technology. This year seven companies received prizes at the ceremony, the culmination of a selection process that started with companies from 67 different countries sending in details of their KNX projects for consideration – roughly a third more than in 2012. Of these projects, the judges found 36 to be worthy of nomination. In total the KNX TOP Event attracted 1,500 guests from 80 countries worldwide.
The KNX Award, which was created in 1996, is a reflection of the growth of KNX around the world. In the early years only a small number of companies entered, and only from Germany and Switzerland, whereas today roughly as many entries are received from other continents as from Europe. Unsurprisingly, most of the entries from outside Europe came from Asia. At the 10th ceremony on 1 April 2014, at light+building in Frankfurt, a total of 7 international KNX projects received awards in 8 different categories, in recognition of their exceptional originality, sustainability, and vision. The prizes were presented by Mrs. Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, Senior Vice President of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Mr. Janne Skogberg, President of the European Association of Electrical Contractors (AIE), Mr. Joost Demarest, CTO of KNX Association International, Mr. Jose Daniel Gómez, President of KNX National Group Argentina, Mr. Karl Heinz Bertram, Vice President of the German Association of Electrical Contractors (ZVEH), Mr. Adalbert Neumann, Board Member of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), Electrical Installation Systems Division, and Mr. Franz Kammerl, President of KNX Association International.
The impressive range of award-winning projects entered from all five continents testifies to the diversity of ingenious solutions being developed using KNX. 1,000 euros of prize money was handed out in each category of the KNX Awards 2014, with the winner in each of the categories additionally receiving the KNX trophy. Companies could submit entries in all the usual categories: International – Europe, International – Asia, International – Africa, America and Australia, Publicity, Special, and Energy Efficiency. This year, to mark the Awards’ 10-year jubilee, an additional new “People’s Choice Award” was introduced. From all over the world the industry could vote for their winner in this category by logging on to the KNX website.
International – Europe
The International – Europe award went to the company Risk Control GmbH from Bärndorf, Austria, for its extensive KNX installation at the new campus of Vienna University of Economics and Business. The University has around 25,000 students and approximately 1,500 employees. The lighting, solar control, technical monitoring and audiovisual systems in the new campus are all automated and networked via KNX. The visualisation system for this 13,500-device installation, and the option of controlling it on the move from anywhere on the campus using an iPad, are right in step with the times.
International – Asia
The company Total Automation from Dubai in the UAE took away the first prize in the International – Asia category with its KNX project “Concourse A – Dubai International Airport”. This project is another example of how KNX technology has become substantially more popular in airports of all sizes in recent years. Including shops, offices and hotels, altogether the airport spans 528,000 square metres. Total Automation installed 7,000 KNX devices to control lighting, solar control and HVAC equipment. A particular highlight of the installation is an energy-saving lighting control system whose features include an ability to automatically adjust the lighting on the basis of the airport’s flight schedule. This makes it possible to cut energy use by 30-40 percent.
International – Africa, America and Australia
The winning project in the International – Africa, America and Australia category, “House Doebler” in Cape Town, South Africa, shows there is virtually no limit to where in the world KNX can improve living comfort and facilitate the sustainable use of energy and water. This versatile installation at a 550-square-metre detached house, incorporating 185 KNX devices which automate the building’s lighting, blinds and HVAC, alarm, technical monitoring and audiovisual systems, was implemented by the company AMC German Technology/KNXin. Key features of this installation include the fact that KNX also manages the house’s solar power plant, backup battery, and the water quality of the non-potable water in the well.
Vecolux from St.-Job-in-’t Goor, Belgium, won the Publicity award for its “Passief-Live/Passive-Live” prototype energy-plus house. On weekends guests can stay at the house for a taste of “intelligent living”, while on weekdays the operators use the house to promote their technology to customers and to carry out their own tests. In designing the KNX installation Vecolux placed a strong emphasis on monitoring and information, in addition to the usual automation solutions for the building services. Consumption data for the lighting, washing machine and heating, weather data, information on water use, etc., are all visualised in a high-impact way. It was also important to Vecolux that the house should incorporate innovative operating concepts for the benefit of guests.
Special Award + People’s Choice Award
For its project “Finca Los Miticos”, near Santa Margalida on Mallorca, Smart Building Design GmbH from Jonen, Switzerland, took away prizes from the KNX Award 2014 in not just one but two categories: the Special Award and the People’s Choice Award. Finca Los Miticos is a luxurious residential complex with a swimming pool in which KNX not only controls the building’s energy-efficient home automation and monitoring systems, but also manages its off-grid electricity and water supplies, for example by controlling the backup batteries for its solar power plant, its backup generator, and its rain and well water. Thanks to the ingenious way in which it incorporated so many KNX components into this energy self-sufficient residential building, the project also received 16.5 percent of all votes in the People’s Choice Award, making it the winner in this category as well.
The system integrator Emes Electromechanical Ind & Trd. Co Ltd. earned the Energy Efficiency Award for its installation at the headquarters of the energy company GAMA in Ankara, Turkey. 1,405 KNX devices control the lighting, HVAC and safety and security systems in this skyscraper in order to keep energy and water consumption to a minimum. As well as enhancing comfort, convenience, safety and security in the building, the installation saves large amounts of energy – good news both for facility managers and for the world’s climate. Thanks to a range of sophisticated features the installation is able to cut the building’s use of electricity by 20%, natural gas by 27% and water by 31.5%. These impressive figures meant that the GAMA building was also the first project in Turkey to achieve LEED GOLD certification – and all with the help of KNX.
Anyone wanting to implement successful projects with KNX first needs to learn how to use the technology. At the Electromechanical Trade and Engineering School in Zagreb, Croatia, students learn just that. The school received the KNX Young Award for the tablets that it set up in conjunction with KNX devices in exemplary fashion to enable students to practice using the technology in a highly practical way. So far around 2,000 students have been trained in the use of the basic modules, and 100 in the special modules. 6 of the 35 qualified teachers working at the school even provide training leading to the KNX certificate. Two other vocational schools in Croatia are also involved in the project, which was funded by the European Union.