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Melbourne Super House

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Type of building Single-family house
Number of KNX devices 354
Summary Located in a residential Melbourne suburb, the project was a unique proposition from the outset. It is a combination of two lifestyles, which are usually considered to be mutually exclusive, off grid living and unbridled luxury. The project, five years in construction was an opportunity for the owners to realise a lifetime of dreams. The brief was to provide a fully integrated automation system that catered to the luxury in which the owners were accustomed, while also managing and maintaining the available energy resources. The property is split across four floors, with a subterranean level housing a gym, wine cellar & spa area, a dedicated ten-person cinema, golf simulator, garage & wet plant & dry plant rooms. The ground floor has his and her studies, a library, living room and kitchen. The sitting and dining rooms are vast spaces with six metre-ceiling heights. The first floor has four guest rooms. The second floor is a dedicated master suite. The roof is dedicated to a PV array.
Main technical highlights 1.Open protocol provides single unified platform on which to develop the energy control strategy. The flexibility of KNX allows us to constantly monitor and access the solar generation inline with the battery state of charge, calculated alongside real time metrics like temperature, applying specialist variable such as presence as part of a complete energy strategy. 2.The IP protocol gives us secure access so that we can monitor and maintain all elements of the project from the other side of the world. 3.Single software platform means we can train a local engineer to provide any local support
Benefits of KNX KNX provides a single holistic control platform, integrating every single mechanical and electrical element of the project seamlessly. The result is a home that is incredibly efficient, utilising as little non renewable energy as possible, while still providing all the modern luxuries that the client is used to. During the construction there has been potential for cost savings from only requiring to consult with a single contractor and install a single system, with other costs returned in the life cycle of the building. The client is delighted with a single, easy to use interface.
Which functions were realised with KNX Lighting GIRA 2180 and 2174. Switched circuits GIRA 1006 & GIRA 1046 switching actuators. Lighting & Climate - Basalte Sentido. Prsence Basalte Auro & BEG RC Plus. RGB lighting - Zennio Lumento..Under floor heating - Theben HMT 6 & 12. Mitsubishi AC and HX - Intesis gateway (ME-AC-KNX-100).`Temperature ABB 4f/1.1. Digital outputs - Zennio Quad. Pump speed GIRA 1022. CT sensors - GIRA 1021. Inverter - Intesis RS232 gateway. Curtains/Shutters - GIRA 1038 & 2154. Solar tracking/weather -Theben Meteodata 14. Soil moisture- Arcus SK08-BFT. Tank fill - Arcus SK01-S8-F-ST. Pool water – Arcus S8-WAQ.
Lighting KNX integrated Dali lighting control both inside and out providing full dimming control, with status feedback used for maintenance purposes. Presence detectors in the hallways control the lights to different levels depending on the time of day. Presence detectors in bathrooms and WC’s react to presence intelligently. Lights are switched for general use as required during the day, along with extractor fans and towel rails if required. To minimise disruption low-level lighting is switched on at night. The tennis court, pools and spa have full RGB lighting control. All lighting features on the UI
Shutter control Solar tracking is used to move window coverings on the facades, with over eighty independently motorised curtains, blinds and rotating shutters all employed to minimise solar gain. The north & eastern façades of the building have a combination of curtains & roller blinds, which can be controlled automatically or manually with the GIRA app. The western façade has curtains and blinds, with external rotating louvres. The louvers rotate on two axis, minimising the solar gain from the harsh afternoon sun, while still allowing natural light in, maintaining views out to the landscaped gardens.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning Every inch of the property is heated using wet under floor heating, including the exterior terraces, pool and spa walls and floors. The wine cellar is chilled using in wall hydronic loops, chilled with the energy from a heat exchanger. All living rooms and bedrooms are cooled using a VRF A/C system, which automatically switches to heating mode when required to supplement the in floor heating. Bathrooms have local extract ventilation that is switched by PIRs, programmed not to energise when the bathroom is being used late at night.
Household Appliances Household appliances through out the project are connected to KNX relay circuits, which can be isolated as required to minimise energy consumption. This includes four dishwashers, four ovens, two coffee machines, five Ziptaps, two washing machines, two tumble dryers and two drying cupboards. We have used GIRA 1046 relays so that the current can be monitored from each of the circuits, allowing us to both visualise, and make automated decisions on the energy use.
Alarm Systems Automatic sliding doors are opened, closed and locked using the GIRA interface, also giving status feedback to the client. The front gate and two sliding vehicle gates are also controlled form the UI. An Innerange alarm was specified for its advertised KNX integration, unfortunately this has not yet been fully developed. We have integrated the alarm using binary inputs and outputs, so a single button at the front door can set the house in to absence mode, also setting the alarm. Ekey biometric security switches on set lighting scenes for different users while also de-arming the security.
Technical Surveillance Twenty-six pumps are fitted with overload protection and trip monitoring, with all the signals fed on to the KNX bus. The pump driving water form the rainwater harvesting has an in line flow switch, as does the irrigation circuit. All AC units are monitored for fault and filter status. The rainwater-harvesting tank has its fill level monitored with an ultrasonic sensor. The DALI lighting transmits errors and faults. Battery levels and health, are constantly monitored and visualized. Any fault detection generates a specific email, sent to the client, the relevant technical party and us.
Energy Management Each room of the building is constantly monitored and managed, automatically switching between occupied and occupied states to save energy. Unoccupied state sets the thermostat to standby, closing all curtains to isolate any solar gain. We have developed, and are continually evaluating algorithms that make this process as efficient as possible. In rooms that are regularly used (Bathrooms/bedrooms) our algorithms are learning the room use, and switching the climate between comfort and night modes automatically, predicting room usage and setting the temperature accordingly.
Smart Metering CT sensors on the incoming solar cables provide accurate feedback on the solar generation. Each of the batteries is also equipped with its own CT sensor to register information on how the cells are being charged and discharged. The energy from the generator is also monitored with CT sensors. All the information is archived, and displayed in both graph and text format with the GIRA interface. The majority of non-essential small power and lighting circuits are switched using GIRA current monitoring relays, proving intricate detail as to the energy consumption.
Audio / Video A Savant AV system provides audio and video through out the home. We have maintained the two as stand alone systems in most areas. In the cinema we have interfaced so that when the movie starts the lights dim to off, and when paused or stopped the lights dim up.
Visualization A GIRA Homeserver provides visualisation of all the homes functions. This includes control of all lighting (with scene setting), blinds & curtains, climate, security & access control, energy monitoring, pool and spa controls. DMX lights in the pool and spa feature colour wheels. The UI includes feedback from the in soil sensors, the ultrasonic tank sensor, weather station and pool water quality among many of the other sensors installed. CCTV cameras around the property are displayed on the interface.
Interfaces with other systems Interface with other systems is limited, as we have made every effort to introduce as much functionality as possible in to the KNX. natively There is a stand-alone steam generator for the steam room, which we are controlling with binary outputs. We are communicating with Mitsubishi A/C & heat exchanger system using an Intesis gateway. The ekey biometric system calls specific lighting scenes for each user when they scan in to the property.
Remote Surveillance/Control VPN access is provided so that the client can access the UI wherever they are. This was an extremely important feature for the client as it gives them access to all thee CCTV camera feeds, along with the security system when they are travelling. With the project being based in Melbourne, and our office in London, remote access has provided invaluable for the on-going support of the systems.
Other applications The property has a golf simulator, consisting of 4 separate components. To play the simulator, the client had to go through the process of switching on the processor, computer, audio amp and projector. To streamline this, we have set up a macro, called from the GIRA UI that sends a wake-on-lan command to the computer, sends IR commands to the amp and projector and simultaneously closes a relay to switch on the processor. This process is completed in reverse to switch off the system.

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