In May 1999 members of the following associations founded KNX Association cvba:
- EIBA ( European Installation Bus Association)
- EHSA (European Home Systems Association)
- BCI (BatiBUS Club International)
The Association is the owner of the Worldwide STANDARD for Home and Building Control: KNX and also the owner of the KNX trademark logo worldwide. KNX Association is a non-profit-oriented organisation governed by Belgian Law. Members are manufacturers developing devices for several applications for home and building control based on KNX like lighting control, shutter control, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, energy management, metering, monitoring, alarm/intrusion systems, household appliances, audio/video and lots more. Next to manufacturers also service providers (utilities, telecom, …) can become a member of the KNX Association.
What is KNX?
More convenience, more safety, higher energy savings: The demand for building management systems is continuously increasing.
Whether in a single-family house or in an office complex, the demand for comfort and versatility in the management of air-conditioning, lighting and access control systems is growing. At the same time, the efficient use of energy is becoming increasingly important. More convenience and safety coupled with lower energy consumption can however only be achieved by intelligent control and monitoring of all products involved. This however implies more wiring, running from the sensors and actuators to the control and monitoring centres. Such a mass of wiring in turn means higher design and installation effort, increased fire risk and soaring costs.
The Answer: KNX – the Worldwide STANDARD for Home and Building Control
In order to transfer control data to all building management components, a system is required that does away with the problems of isolated devices by ensuring that all components communicate via one common language: in short, a system such as the manufacturer and application domains independent KNX Bus. This standard is based upon more than 23 years of experience in the market, amongst others with predecessor systems to KNX: EIB, EHS and BatiBUS. Via the KNX medium to which all bus devices are connected (twisted pair, radio frequency, power line or IP/Ethernet), they are able to exchange information. Bus devices can either be sensors or actuators needed for the control of building management equipment such as: lighting, blinds / shutters, security systems, energy management, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, signalling and monitoring systems, interfaces to service and building control systems, remote control, metering, audio / video control, white goods, etc. All these functions can be controlled, monitored and signalled via a uniform system without the need for extra control centres.
The KNX technology is the result of the pooling of knowledge and experience gained over the last 15 years with the predecessor technologies to KNX, i.e. the European Installation Bus (EIB), the European Home System (EHS) and BatiBUS.
1. International Standard, therefore future proof
- ISO/IEC Approved the KNX technology as the International Standard ISO/IEC 14543-3 in 2006.
- CENELEC Approved the KNX technology as the European Standard EN 50090 in 2003.
- CEN Approved the KNX technology as EN 13321-1 (as a mere reference to EN 50090) and EN1332-2 (KNXnet/IP) in 2006.
- SAC Approved the KNX technology as the Chinese Standard GB/T 20965 in 2007.
- ANSI/ASHRAE Approved the KNX technology as the US Standard ANSI/ASHRAE 135 in 2005.
In view of the above, KNX is the Worldwide STANDARD for Home and Building Control.
2. By product certification, KNX guarantees Interoperability & Interworking of products
The KNX certification process ensures that different products of different manufacturers used in different applications operate and communicate with each other. This ensures a high degree of flexibility in the extension and in the modification of installations. Product compliance is checked at neutral laboratories (third parties).
KNX is the only home and building control standard running global certification schemes for products, training centres (vocational and private institutions) and even for persons (electrical contractors, building designers).
3. KNX stands for high product quality
KNX Association requires a high level of production and quality control during all stages of the product life. Therefore all manufacturing members have to show compliance to ISO 9001 before they even can apply for a KNX product certification.
Besides the manufacturer compliance to ISO 9001, the products have to comply with the requirements of the European as well as International standard for Home and Building Electronic Systems. In case of doubt, KNX Association is even entitled to have certified products retested or can require from the manufacturer test reports underlying his declaration of hardware conformity.
4. A unique manufacturer independent Engineering Tool Software ETS®
The PC software tool ETS allows the planning, engineering, and configuration of all KNX certified products. The tool is moreover manufacturer independent: the system integrator is able to combine products of different manufacturers to one installation.
5. KNX can be used for all applications in home and building control
KNX can be used for all possible functions / applications in home and building control ranging from lighting, shutter control to security, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, monitoring, alarming, water control, energy management, metering as well as household appliances, audio and lots more.
KNX improves comfort and security and contributes heavily to energy savings and climate protection (up to 50% for lighting control and the same amount for heating applications).
6. KNX is fit for use in different kind of buildings
KNX can be used in both new as well as existing buildings. KNX installations can therefore be easily extended and adapted to new needs, with little time and financial investment (e.g. when new tenants move into a commercial building).
KNX can be installed in both small-size single family houses as well as large buildings (office, hotel, conference centres, hospitals, schools, department stores, warehouses, airports…).
7. KNX supports different configuration modes
KNX offers different step-in levels for the realization of KNX projects: via KNX E-Mode, non-KNX qualified electrical contractors are addressed. Via S-Mode, KNX trained contractors/integrators are able to realize sophisticated installations. The different modes are:
- Easy installation (E-Mode): Configuration is done without the help of a PC but with a central controller, code wheels or push buttons. E-Mode compatible products normally have limited functionality and are intended for medium size installations.
- System installation (S-Mode): Planning of the installation and configuration is done via a PC with the installed ETS Software, whereby the manufacturers’ product data is contained in the ETS database. S-mode is intended for KNX certified planners and contractors and for large size installations.
8. KNX supports several communication media
Each communication medium can be used in combination with one or more configuration modes, allowing each manufacturer to choose the right combination for the targeted market segment and application.
- Twisted pair (KNX TP): KNX is transmitted across a separate bus cable, hierarchically structure in lines and areas.
- Power Line (KNX PL): KNX is transmitted on the existing mains network.
- Radio frequency (KNX RF): KNX is transmitted via radio signals. Devices can be uni- or bidirectional.
- IP/Ethernet (KNXnet/IP): This widespread communication medium can be used in conjunction with the KNXnet/IP Specifications, which allow the tunnelling or routing of KNX frames encapsulated in IP frames.
9. KNX can be coupled to other systems
Several KNX manufacturers offer gateways to other networks, i.e. to other building automation systems, telephone networks, multimedia networks, IP networks, etc. KNX systems can be mapped to BACnet objects (as documented in the international standard ISO 16484-5) or offers the possibility to interface with the DALI technology.
10. KNX is Independent from any hard- or software technology
KNX can be realized on any microprocessor platform. KNX can be implemented from scratch but for easy market entrance, KNX manufacturers can also take recourse to providers of KNX system components. For KNX members, it is completely FREE of additional royalty fees.