Hidden Streams, a property in Sussex is one of a fast growing number of homes to feel the benefit of KNX intelligent building technology. The owners upgraded and refurbished the property to include not only a substantial extension, but also a complete rewiring and integration of KNX controlled building services products.
GES Digital, a member of KNX UK and a systems integrator, were approached by the architect to provide a design proposal using KNX products throughout the property. The brief was to provide control for internal & external lighting, heating, blinds & curtains, as well as a multi room music system.
The installation includes a series of four pre-set lighting scenes for each room with scenes having a pre-programmed preference for different lights within a room. For example, by touching one button, the owner can recall a scene on a gradual fade in. Scenes are easily adjusted via the switch plate in the room and can be permanently stored. In some rooms local control of individual lights is also provided - for example at the desk in the study, or at the bedside.
Heating control is provided by 12 separate zones of heating spread amongst the rooms. In the older part of the house, traditional radiators are fitted with KNX radiator valves actuators that open and shut the radiator dependent upon requirement for heat. In the newer part, the same valve actuators are fitted to the underfloor heating manifold. By measuring the temperature at the switch plate in that room, the valves can be set to open or shut and not just by full open or full close, but on a graduating level dependent on the actual temperature differential measured.
Roller blinds and curtains are controlled by the KNX system too. The blinds shut automatically at dusk and open again ender timer control in the morning. A music system has been installed to all rooms, with KNX products providing full control of volume, source and tone. Using in-ceiling speakers with hi-fi response, and a built in amplifier on the rear of the speaker support frame, a minimal amount of equipment is need on show. A simple input device allows the connection of up to eight input sources, including satellite TV and MP3 player docks.
One of the key features of KNX is its fully programmable architecture and a KNX panel at the entrance to each room provides complete control over all functions. Additional features include the scene setting of the external alights via an LCD touch screen. This also provides timed control of the heating and simple access to shut the house down for holidays. At the exit doors and in the master bedroom, there are buttons that will shut off all the lighting in the house to prevent unnecessary energy use.