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Case Study

Home Automation with KNX


HMS Industrial Networks’ Intesis gateway solutions are enabling the fast and efficient modernisation and extension to the automation systems of a large residence near the world-renowned Royal Birkdale Golf Club on the UK’s Lancashire coast.

Originally a fishing village, Birkdale blossomed into a thriving seaside resort about 200 years ago. Today its well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian buildings are home to many proud residents, including several footballers from nearby Premier League clubs.

Helping maintain the town’s built heritage, Chris Talbot of system integrator Automated Habitat in nearby Liverpool, reviews the project:

“We did the original automation of this house and 10 years later we were delighted to be invited back to extend and upgrade the system. In fact it was one of our earliest projects, undertaken not long after we started in 2009.”
Automated Habitat

The founding principle of Automated Habitat is to be fully client- and design-led. Using world-class brands and technologies, bespoke systems that meet the clients’ expectations and aspirations are developed. Its systems can integrate functions as diverse as lighting, curtains, and shutters, alarms and security systems, energy management, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning), signaling and monitoring systems. They can also interface to service and building control systems, remote control, audio, and video systems.

“From the start, we have favoured KNX as our integration technology of choice, as it enables all devices in the system to communicate using a common language. Importantly, most equipment manufacturers make compatible products, so KNX makes home and building control installation easy, while being robust and reliable in the long term,” says Chris

KNX proved its worth in Birkdale, being the foundation of the original installation and performing perfectly for a decade. Thus the owner was happy to bring back Automated Habitat and look at adding air conditioning and other new features to the system. They quickly realised that there was no need to replace existing equipment, but simply extend the system and add new features as required. However, it was appropriate to upgrade the control panels so that both the existing and new features were all on the same interface.

“The control panels are very visible parts of the installation,so we make sure they fit with the general décor and meet all the client’s expectations,” says Chris. “We offer both bespoke and off-the-shelf panels and fully support the client as they make their selection.”

At Birkdale the client was very keen to have the new Crestron Home panel, which Chris believes is currently the best on the market, being fast and responsive with good graphics and a clear layout.

“With Crestron specified we set about creating a bridging interface, and asked the ever-helpful Mark Warburton at Ivory Egg for ideas. He immediately recommended HMS’ Intesis gateway as the perfect solution. With this we created a one-step interface that lets the Crestron Home control panel talk straight to the KNX bus.”


The Benefits

  • Intesis is specifically designed to enable interfacing in building and home automation systems.
  • The Intesis range includes protocol translators for BACnet, KNX, Modbus, DALI, M-bus, ASCII, LonWorks, and more.
  • Building automation systems tend to be extended regularly. Intesis makes this a simple plug-and-play undertaking.


About Intesis

HMS develop advanced communication gateways for systems integration across a wide range of different industries. Intesis is its solution for building and facilities automation and scalable from the simplest domestic requirements to large projects in the commercial, retail, healthcare and education sectors. To bring these products to market HMS Networks partners with Smart Building distributors, like Ivory Egg who specialise in supplying products and integration support.

From open standard to proprietary protocols, Intesis provides a range of integration solutions. Protocol translators and AC interfaces offer system integrators in building and home automation a robust and easy-to-use solution that reduces commissioning time and works reliably in the field for many years after installation. BMS vendors, HVAC manufacturers, and system integrators across the globe all trust Intesis. Their entire product range is tested and certified to the highest quality standards.

Download the PDF Case Study

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