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KNX UK Award Winning Technology At The Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse in Douglas has always been a landmark building on the Isle of Man but after the new Courts of Justice were built, it was unoccupied for a decade. In 2008, new building owners decided that they wanted to both restore the courthouse and set a new standard for office accommodation on the island. As part of the restoration, KNX intelligent building technology has been used to achieve both energy savings and other advantages that modern building services can offer. The project’s success has resulted in it securing the accolade of KNX UK’s Installation of The Year 2008, undertaken by Building Evolution.

The redevelopment has included retention of the original, architecturally imposing front façade of the Old Courthouse and rebuilding a new modern facility around it. The result embraces the historical tradition of the original building but it can be easily adapted to meet the needs of tenants who would be taking over the open plan offices.

From an early stage the owners decided that KNX would be their preferred control system and appreciated the advantages that it offered. These included the ability to make energy saving wherever possible; the design of an installation that would provided maximum flexibility and adaptability of the office space for the lifetime of the building. Ease and speed of installation; the provision of monitoring and supervisory requirements for a facilities manager, integration with other services and ensuring the capacity of the system would not be compromised now or in the future were also important. It also offered easy integration with other building services thanks to the KNX open standard and it was a proven technology, having been used in many large and high profile projects around the world.

The Old Courthouse provides approximately 28,000 ft2 of accommodation including three floors of offices and two further floors reserved for a restaurant and night club.
The system installed consists of a KNX line for each level of the building which is connected via KNX IP Routers to a dedicated LAN for the main line. There is an interface with the building’s HVAC system which is achieved by the use of a BACnet gateway and KNX BACnet IP client. There is also an interface with the ventilation system which has been achieved with switching actuators and binary input.

A KNX visualisation PC for use by the facilities manager is provided to monitor the operating conditions of all lighting including lamp failure. It monitors the lift alarms, ventilation system fault alarms and provides 365 day time programs for controlling the landlord’s lighting and electric heaters. A facility for the remote reading of tenant sub-electricity meters for billing purposes has been included.

On each of the three main office levels there is a touch panel which provides control of HVAC and lights for tenants plus a facility for their own locally controlled time programs if required.

Where the open plan offices were spilt up, further control has been added for lighting and HVAC, either with push buttons or movement/ presence detection depending upon the tenant’s requirements.

In order to keep in line with the overall high quality feel of the building, where required
stainless steel push buttons and frames were used throughout the offices.

Lighting in the landlord areas including the main entrance, staircase, landings, car park, store rooms and WCs are controlled by a combination of time clocks and movement/ presence detection. Emergency light testing is also carried out through the KNX system by the use of key switches connected to binary inputs.

In the basement car park, lights are controlled by a combination of movement detection and time clock. In order to reduce energy usage, lights are divided up into three switched circuits where during working hours, if no movement is detected, only one group of lights is held on - equivalent to emergency level lighting. All tenant sub electricity metering is carried out with the three and single phase meters with their KNX interface module for easy communication of meter readings to the facility PC.

Email: admin@knxuk.org


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