KNX celebrated its 30th birthday in October, in a year when the number of manufacturers producing KNX-compatible products has passed 500. Their products are now being installed by more than 93,000+ trained and committed integrators across 190 countries.
The association says that KNX is increasingly recognised as the only logical choice if you want to look beyond a single application: it will manage and integrate lighting control, shutter control, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, energy management, metering, monitoring, alarm/intrusion systems, household appliances, audio/video and lots more. While KNX can manage every aspect of building control, it does not have to mean abandoning established and familiar application-specific and proprietary standards like DALI for lighting, Enocean for close-quarters wifi-fi and Control 4 for entertainment and lights immediately. Integrators can add the benefits of overarching whole-building open and futureproof control to them as gateways are available.
Here in the UK KNX is growing in popularity in the residential (single units and apartments) and commercial sectors (new build and refurbishment). The national KNX UK Association, established in 2007, is proud to count among its members integrators who represent the best of KNX and who between them have established a Code of Conduct that is a touchstone for anyone wanting to contract or manage is serious automation project.
The association asked some of its members why KNX is important for their own businesses:
Neil Grant is lead consultant and manager for a small group of specialist acoustic and technical systems design and integration companies with a private client focus. He has found that his design direction led more and more to wholesale integration of services and support structure(s) on complex sites. “I like the idea of better 'new build' integration with the environment,” he says. “Energy efficiency has to be a leader, as well as broad integration on faster backbones. Will we see High Streets converted to residential? That seems to be a grand opportunity to set the benchmark.”
Graham Oliver manages Jung’s UK subsidiary and has established a flagship London showroom that uses KNX control itself as well as displaying KNX products for the benefit of new customers. He says: “I’ve watched KNX grow over the years and confidently expect the UK market to increase considerably both on commercial and domestic projects, as end users realise the green credentials of KNX, its open standard, its cost effectiveness and lack of obsolescence.”
Iain Gordon runs successful KNX integrator GES Digital and says “KNX accounts for nearly half of my business. I have no doubt it will remain at the top of the field and will continue to promote alignment with other protocol standards in order to allow seamless cross communication from multiple IP vendors in the built environment. KNX offers a sound strategy for my busines and the best solutions for my clients who want truly adaptable and capable buildings - life cycle costs are too compelling to ignore.”
Paul Jones runs BEG Luxomat in the UK and finds that his KNX products are more and more in demand. He invests in KNX in the UK by having his teamwork alongside integrators to develop innovative and effective proposals for end users. “As digital natives take command of the purse strings, I see demand for new functions to be added to the smart systems system growing. Clients are increasingly asking for more – and KNX can deliver.”
Mark Warburton, director of Ivory Egg, said “KNX Secure is one of the most secure building automation platforms and proves it’s a solution for the future. The top priority in smart buildings now has to be better communication with Architects and M&E so they understand the benefits when they are specifying the solutions. They are the gatekeeper to more intelligent buildings. KNX offers a ready-made solutions to the challenges newer associations are trying to solve.”
Andy Davies who is product manager for room control solutions at Siemens says he sees “KNX as part of the open protocol landscape that ensures all types of projects, from the most simple to the most complex, can be delivered and created with the most energy efficient, healthy and sensible engineering approach.”