Sound & Vision (UK) Ltd was engaged by the client to implement a cutting-edge KNX solution for environmental control at a penthouse in a large luxury apartment development in London.

Located in one of the most creative districts of London, Fitzroy Place is a development of 235 luxury apartments built around a courtyard that secretly shelters The Fitzrovia chapel. Designed for opulent living, the luxuriously appointed penthouse features elegant spaces, marble wall facades, polished plaster and a rooftop terrace with a bar area, cooking facilities, outdoor TV and audio system.

The client sought to integrate a complete environmental control system with a clean, intuitive user interface for lighting control as well as full automation of the very complex heating and cooling systems. The design aesthetic needed to be modern and minimalist with electrical outlets required to match the wall-mounted keypads.

The KNX solution

The environmental control system featuring five systems for climate control including underfloor heating, electric mat, trench heaters, gas fireplace and fan-coil units, was quite complex, and also needed to consider the inevitable solar gain from the impressive 7-metre floor-to-ceiling windows. However, with the use of the KNX solution, all the systems could communicate with each other, helping maintain the desired temperature throughout.

Using KNX allowed Sound & Vision to source the best products from a selection of manufacturers, each with a specialised product for a particular function. Through product certification, KNX guarantees interoperability and interworking of products from over 400 manufacturers, all of which communicate in the same programming language, unified in a single software tool – ETS.

Sound & Vision specified Gira for the user interfaces with the desired design aesthetic achieved using the Gira E22 flat mount range of pushbutton sensors and electrical outlets. Each pushbutton sensor was laser inscribed to clearly indicate the functionality of each button, allowing the user to easily adjust light scenes, HVAC operating modes and curtains. 

The Gira Homeserver offers an intuitive, top layer of control, giving the client full control of the apartment as well as status feedback from all systems. Climate control is managed by a single setpoint that is relayed to all rooms. The in-room thermostats provide efficient, localised temperature regulation.

Specifying the KNX solution delivered multiple benefits to the client. The lighting scenes are extremely easy to operate and adjust, and the user only needs to change a single setpoint to operate the climate system. Additionally, using Gira E22 for the wall-mounted keypads and electrical outlets gives the walls a very clean finish.

KNX facilitates full remote management of the system, allowing the status of critical devices to be monitored and any problem to be diagnosed without the client’s involvement or necessitating a visit to the site.