KNX’s 25-year history builds for the future
The KNX communication protocol for intelligent buildings is as well placed to meet the demands of the future as it has been since it was first set up 25 years ago as EIB (European Installation Bus). That was the message of KNX UK’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of what is now an international standard as part of KNX Day being marked in over 40 countries. Di Stickland, president of KNX UK, said, ‘With the KNX open standard now seen as the go-to system for installers and integrators, it was a proud event for all involved with KNX — manufacturers, specifiers and installers.
From just five manufactures in 1990 and no partners and national groups involved, there are now 286 manufactures around the world and 48 000 partners worldwide, with 727 partners in the UK.
The major growth began in 2007 when KNX UK was set up. At that time there were 3405 partners worldwide, with 127 in the UK.
Di Stickland stressed how the strength of the KNX protocol for building control is due to it still working exactly as it did 25 years ago — talking the same language, being the same protocol and being the same wiring.
She said, ‘Everybody can rest assured that their legacy installations are still going to work. That is what is fantastic about KNX; it is surviving in today’s amazing changing environment.’
She added that KNX is also growing rapidly and taking on much more than it used to. ‘As technology moves on and people look for robust systems, a system like KNX is going to thrive, so it will continue to grow.’
Darren Burford of Schneider Electric added, ‘After 25 years, KNX is strong, reliable and dependable — and well able to cope with the demands of the future.’
The British Library was the venture for the KNX UK event and is itself served by a KNX system that was retrofitted when the control system began to present serious problems.
One of the largest KNX installations in the UK is Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, with nearly 100 000 control nodes. That is dwarfed by a project 10 times that size in the Middle East, demonstrating how extremely scalable KNX is.