Fully Integrated Christchurch Home

Fully Integrated Christchurch Home

Fully automated Christchurch Home “This must be the most integrated house in Christchurch” with a beautifully designed interior.

A project headed up by Paul Acker from Aotea Electric, Canterbury.  The KNX system looks after most things within the house from ensuring that energy usage is kept low to making sure that the garden remains healthy and watered.

The security alarm and also the fire alarms feed into the system to keep the occupants safe whilst maintaining a perfect environment; all of which can be monitored and trended to ensure that everything remains working smoothly. The audio and app integration are intuitive and easy to use with the owner able to log in from anywhere and check on their house or adjust their HVAC


Overview of the project:

How many devices on the site? 60

What applications implemented? UFH, HVAC, under tile heating, smoke alarm, lighting, energy monitoring, audio, app control, security integration, pool and spa, blinds.

What systems are controlled? UFH, HVAC, under tile heating, smoke alarm, lighting, energy monitoring, audio, app control, security integration, pool and spa, blinds.

Is there any Visualisation and how is implemented? Yes, using Eisbaer the user is able to view all status and control the entire system. They are also able to log and tend energy usage, irrigation

Interfaces & integration with other systems : UFH, HVAC, under tile heating, smoke alarm, lighting, energy monitoring, audio, app control, security integration, pool and spa, blinds, irrigation.

Any other system(s) on the site? No this totally KNX house



Aotea Group

Lighting & Automation For New Build Home

Lighting & Automation For New Build Home

VAAV was approached by local architect to complete a lighting design and automation system for a new two bedroom home in Palmerston North.

The project headed up by Vance Armstrong included:

  • Lighting control system was designed and met architects brief for Homestar EHC-3 lighting
  • Sensors and floor probes were used to keep the set point of the home at the clients desired temperature, which is controlled from the visualisation interface
  • System visualises both mains and solar power usage and generation, this way the client can make informed decisions about their power consumption
  • Daylight is harvested via sensors which automatically adjust lighting levels in people-occupied rooms
  • Air quality monitored via Gira CO2 sensor, this communicates to the HVAC to bring in fresh air into the intello wrap sealed home via the HVAC heat exchanger.


Overview of the project:

How many devices on the site? 33

What applications implemented? Daylight harvesting, every room sensor controlled; Air quality control; Underfloor heating; whole house heating control; HVAC control; Keyless house entry; Sealed house; Full House Lighting Control.

What systems are controlled? HVAC, Satel access control & security,

Is there any Visualisation and how is implemented? Zhender HVAC, Underfloor Heating, Garage Door, Towel Rail Switching

Interfaces & integration with other systems : Yes, Visualization on Gira G1 7 inch touchscreen and also Gira X1 on clients phones and Tablets Interfaces & integration with other systems (e.g. energy metering, BMS…) Energy Metering, Both incoming mains usage/draw/approx monetary cost and monitoring of solar generation/sell back to mains. Integration with the Zhender.

Any other system(s) on the site? Auto tracking PTZ camera

Auckland Villa Transformation

Auckland Villa Transformation

In 1895 this Villa took its form nestled into the side of a little leafy valley and surrounded by dwellings of similar ilk in Auckland, New Zealand.

Through the years the house remained un-altered until this progressive family took ownership. With an amazing architect at the helm all trades were directed in this complete rebuild inside and out, maintaining the original character of the home.

The owners were the drivers here also directing their requirements quite succinctly and of course this included KNX, through Future Proof Electrical Ltd. 

Technology in this age is important to us more and more and in this project it was embraced with enthusiasm. Through research it was concluded that the only solution for the home is KNX, to be connected in ways that had only been spoken about and seen over-seas was now a reality.

With careful consideration taken not only with the aesthetic of the home this included ease of control over function and this was delivered here.


Overview of the project:

How many devices on the site? 93

What applications implemented? 
Underfloor heating, Heated towel rails, Daylight harvesting, control of garage doors, HVAC integration, irrigation.

What systems are controlled? HVAC, Satel access control & security,

Is there any Visualisation and how is implemented? Gira HomeServer implemented onto the network with iPAD’s on each level of the home in-cased in a Basalte eve’ frame.

Interfaces & integration with other systems : solar inverter for powering all KNX devices, Satel Security & access control, Window actuator for bathroom

Any other system(s) on the site? Mitsibushi City Multi HVAC, thermostat control via KNX switches

The project was runners-up for the Best Residential KNX Project 2018

Futureproof electrical

Long Term Smart Thinking

Long Term Smart Thinking

You will often hear terms like ‘guaranteed compatibility’ and a promise of future proofing used by KNX community. That is because it is probably the only system that offers real assurances that an installation that can be upgraded over time, without going back to the drawing board or commissioning messy installation work. Once an integrator ‘discovers’ KNX, they never look back. We asked KNX UK member Ben Lewis of KNX Consultants for his view on future proofing.

Smart technology cannot stand still: it needs to evolve throughout a building’s lifetime if it is to continue adding value. Commercial tenants may want to set up for a completely new way of working or type of business. New sustainability and energy efficiency targets may be imposed, to manage costs and/or to manifest corporate social responsibility. Home owners will get older and their requirements for assisted living will change over time; or maybe new babies come along or older ones come home and they have to find new ways to live alongside adult boomerang kids? Meanwhile, new technologies will come on stream and building users’ aspirations will change.

It’s relatively easy to write timescales and deliverables into a project; but less so to provide for “what if?” scenarios 10 or 20 years down the line? How do we make sure that evolution of their building’s intelligence is even possible, let alone practical and affordable? What should we understand by future proofing and what do we, as integrators, need to do to make it happen?

First let’s define our terms. What does future proofing mean in the context of smart building control? I would suggest that the core requirements are: meeting aspirations, assured continuity of supply and simplicity of effecting changes.

Meeting Aspirations 

The first challenge is to ensure that the installation can satisfy clients aspirations to use the latest technology as it becomes available. The requirements the specify at the outset will surely evolve when faced with the industry’s marketing and in the light of their own growing understanding of what is possible. Right now. it is voice activation that is in high demand. Adding it to an existing system has, perhaps, disproportionately high perceived values to the customer – but the customer is king.
That said, a lot of what is aspired to is really only the front end, the user interface via which the field level devices that actually do the work, actuators, motors, dimmers, switches, thermostats, etc, are commanded. They really should be fairly simple to upgrade. It is the underlying infrastructure that opens the door to future expansion and reconfiguration.

Harmonisation :For a system to be future proof, it is surely a given that it is built on a ubiquitous and harmonised platform that assures there will be continuity of supply. The end user – and indeed integrators charged with maintaining the system – cannot be hostage to the commercial whims of one supplier. It follows that proprietary systems – even when they are thinly disguised as ‘standards’ – are not future proof. With KNX, there is an assurance that will no happen. Manufacturers of KNX compatible devices, and there are over 400 of them, are attracted by the global marketplace the open communications protocol creates.

In return, they must ensure that every KNX product they submit for certification is backwards compatible. Most of the quasi-standards can be integrated into a KNX system and how we do that is often the topic of conversation between integrators at KNX UK Association networking days, where the collaborative ethos that has always driven KNX is evident.

Simplicity and scalability: Changes and upgrades to installations must be simple. We live in an age where customers expect ‘plug and play’, not ‘rip and replace’. The KNX approach of distributing intelligence and addressing field level devices via robust, inexpensive TP cable makes sense. So while, say, DALI offers on the face of it a good degree of flexibility at the control panel end, significant changes to the lighting schematic are likely to involve costly and disruptive building and remedial work. With a KNX system where you can just drop down from the nearest node on a bus cable. In practice, a popular solution is to couple DALI lighting zones within a building-wide KNX system using readily-available and KNX-certified gateway devices.
While cable remains the backbone of most KNX systems there is, of course, a secure IP connectivity.

This all leads to the inevitable conclusion that KNX is unquestionably the best solution for future-proofing intelligent buildings control. The customer has a building that will keep working for them; the integrator has a customer that will keep coming back for more because the price and hassle barriers of continuous improvement are, relatively speaking, negligible.”
The key promises implicit in a KNX system are that:

  • all the devices they install will work together as intended,
  • any one device can be replaced or upgraded, without compromising the whole system,
  • expanding and reconfiguring the systems to accommodate the need to change the way a building is laid out and used will always be possible, and
  • any new KNX software developments will be backwards compatible – a device that was addressed by the KNX configuration software (ETS) in, say 2000, can be managed just as easily with, say a 2025 software version and beyond. Support never ends.

“Technically, these are not big promises – but they are absolute business fundamentals,” says KNX UK President Iain Gordon. “Only the uniquely collaborative and open ethos of KNX could have created a market with this degree certainty.

The bottom line? “I’ve been a KNX man for 20+ years. Could go back to the very first installation and upgrade it now,” said Ben.
This article was first published in Modern Building Services, UK. November 2018



The Perfect Light with KNX

The Perfect Light with KNX

Perfect Light with KNX

The project by Setpoint Solutions Limited incorporates 233 devices to control the lighting systems at the ARA Institute, Canterbury.

This educational facility has extensive windows and a skylit atrium, that provide large amounts of natural light to the floor areas. With the lighting fully automated, users in each space can manually adjust the brightness of the lights when required.

Interface with the BMS system via BACNet allows the BMS to use the occupancy information to reduce air conditioning in spaces that are unoccupied.

Summary of Project:

How many devices on the site? 233

What applications implemented? Daylight harvesting, Occupancy control, Manual overrides, BMS interface via BACNet, IP routing

Interfaces & integration with other systems: BMS via BACNet

This project was runners-up for the Best Commercial Project 2018