Working and living –

Intelligent room automation with prioritisation function – NEXTEC-Campus

NEXTEC Holding has constructed a sustainable, virtually CO2-neutral office building with state-of-the-art building technology in Karlstein/Germany to steer the development and realisation of network and energy technology towards the next generation. Located on the shores of Lake Gustav, up to 500 people can work in a creative atmosphere. For room automation, the company relies on intelligent sensor technology from Thermokon and the premium room operating unit thanos EVO.

thanos EVO from Thermokon: smart features for the NEXTEC campus

The NEXTEC Campus honours the history of its location with the name "Gustav Colliery": Just 100 years ago, lignite was mined where the Lake Gustav is located today. A briquette factory used the lake to generate electricity until 1925, when operations in the Gustav II and III pits were shut down. When the pumps were switched off, the open-cast mine, which was over 30 metres deep, filled with groundwater and Lake Gustav was formed. The 25-hectare lake, which is a nature reserve, offers valuable resting and hibernation areas for water birds.

Modernisation with a focus on energy-efficiency and sustainability

NEXTEC Holding acquired the former administration building of the German energy provider RWE on the banks of the lake for its new company headquarters. The aim was to establish a prestigious location for the holding company and its subsidiaries and to provide further attractive workplaces for the Rhine-Main region by means of lettings. Premises with growth potential: if demand increases, the office building, designed as a centre of excellence for companies from the digitalisation and energy sectors, can be expanded at any time by constructing additional buildings.

Built in the 1980s, the outdated administration building initially required extensive renovation and modernisation. NEXTEC Holding specified the highest standards on energy-efficiency and sustainability available and consequently designed the building to be virtually CO2-neutral in accordance with German Building Efficiency level 40. A key role in achieving the associated specifications and benchmarks was fulfilled by means of its building automation.

Sophisticated challenges for building automation

The project was planned and implemented by bit GmbH, a subsidiary of NEXTEC, which specialises in building automation. The company focuses on economical, energy-efficient system operation and the efficient interaction of all components. These aspects also played a major role at the NEXTEC Campus. In compliance with the high energy-efficiency requirements, room operating units were to be used in a way that both allow the control of the various systems using a single solution and support the prioritised handling of selected parameters. A communication protocol designed for short response times was implemented to ensure intuitive and user-friendly operations.

In order to find a solution that fully accomplishes all requirements, Florian Kraus, project manager for BMS solutions at bit GmbH, went for the thanos EVO room operating unit.

Bundled benefits with thanos EVO

Crucial to this decision was the fact, that the room operating unit is equipped with high-quality hardware components and sensors for a wide range of intelligent building automation applications - from temperature, humidity or VOC to CO2 measurement. External sensor values can also be displayed via BUS interface. From bit GmbH's point of view, the option of setting up a project-specific favourites register, which could be easily used to assign the highest priority to lighting control in the campus, was absolutely convincing - a truly unique selling point in the industry. By setting high baud rates, it was also possible to achieve fast operating times and avoid annoying delays for the building occupants.

A total of 150 thanos EVO room operating units, combined with around 100 duct temperature sensors and various other sensors, were used in the NEXTEC campus. In addition to lighting control, the heating and blinds are controlled through the single user interface as well.

Low wiring efforts - flexible parameterisation

An efficient installation and configuration of the thanos EVO resulted in considerable time and cost savings: On the one hand, the cabling effort was extremely low as the room operating unit was connected to the MODBUS system - only a single cable was required for the entire communication. Secondly, the well thought-out configuration allowed bit GmbH to flexibly adapt the room operating unit to the property-specific conditions.

Moreover, the thanos EVO showed its advantages during the construction phase when coordinating with other trades. Thanks to the option of parameterising the room operating unit in several steps, newly added functions could be flexibly integrated at any time.

Highly satisfied with the results

The modernisation of the NEXTEC campus has now been completed and the building has been taken into use. The employees of NEXTEC Holding and its subsidiaries feel at home in the office and community areas, which have been designed to meet the contemporary requirements of modern working environments. The building automation system also contributed to this, with which Florian Kraus from bit GmbH is completely satisfied: "The possibilities of thanos EVO exactly match our ideas and requirements. The elegant look of the room operating unit with its high-resolution display also fits in well with our new location. Working with Thermokon has been a customer-oriented and partnership-based experience. Any questions were quickly clarified in a joint discussion, so that smooth processes were always ensured."

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