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Updating a Piece of History

In Derbyshire, a cottage that was uninhabited for more than 20 years and was virtually derelict, has been renovated to modern standards including extensive applications of KNX building services control technology.

The oldest part of the building was originally built in 1799 as a single dwelling but now the house includes two reception rooms, a conservatory and three bedrooms, all in a traditional feel. The secret, however, is that the lighting, heating, audio and security are all controlled by a KNX system to give modern life choices in ‘olde worlde’ surroundings.

The owners did much of the work on the cottage over a period of 15 months, teaming up with a good local electrician, and planned the installation carefully. The owner, with a keen technical knowledge, decided to take on the commissioning himself, with the electrician undertaking all the ‘live side’ work. Having talked to a KNX consultant engineer, an ETS KNX programming tool was purchased and the owner quickly got trained.

The cottage has 45 KNX dimmed and switched lighting circuits that can be used to set moods for each room. Like any lighting control system, this allows for scenes to be set for particular instances. However KNX also allows lights to be incorporated into other features of a house including a welcome home function incorporating a motion sensor by the front door, a ‘discreet’ scene set for the bedrooms including the facility to set lights at a very low level, effectively lighting a pathway and not needlessly awaking anyone asleep.
Water based underfloor heating throughout the entire cottage in nine zones is controlled using thermostatic light switches removing the need for ugly traditional wall thermostats.

The whole KNX system works seamlessly, lowering temperatures both at night when everyone is asleep and a few degrees lower than normal when the house is known to be unoccupied. This represents a big saving in fuel bills.

Integrated audio is controlled via the KNX system and offers music in the main living spaces and the bathrooms with no evidence of any further wall controllers or switches. The whole house can be accessed by an internet connection anywhere in the world using an IP addressable controller. The installation also has many high-end features such as direct heating and lighting control, security monitoring, remote diagnostics, IP camera viewports, email transmissions for security breaches or activated smoke detectors.

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