In full control
In everyday office life, automation is especially key to success. Lighting, sound, shading, heating, cooling, ventilation and access systems can be operated centrally with intelligent controls by Loxone.
It is a recognized fact that the secret to greater satisfaction and efficiency lies in communication. Conflict is often inevitable if a proper basis of understanding has been neglected. This applies to technological and electronic building controls as well. After all, the benefits and functionality of these systems are only harnessed if all the different areas speak the same language.
This need was recognized at Loxone back in 2008. Ever since then, the company has focused on developing comprehensive solutions where everything is interconnected. Ranging from shading and heating, multimedia and security, to lighting and energy management, all building segments work together to create the best possible results.
Headquartered in Austria, the company now has branch offices in twelve countries, such as Germany, the USA, China, Poland, Spain and the UK. Working with partners around the world, over 156,000 international projects have been realized, including numerous offices. But let’s begin with some basic terminology.
Loxone’s Miniserver as the grandmaster
Building automation involves controlling, regulating, monitoring and optimizing the functions mentioned above. As all these different components need to mesh like the gears of a clock, Loxone invented the Miniserver. It is a masterpiece of electronics, around 16 x 9 x 6 centimetres in size, which is roughly a quarter of a shoebox. And it also fits easily into any modern distribution board.
A Loxone-equipped building detects things such as presence, brightness, temperature and air quality. Then, using this information, the Miniserver can make decisions to increase comfort and save energy.
Only specialists have any real idea about the true performance of this high-tech tool. For the less technically-minded, the manufacturer provides a simpler explanation: “Loxone connects all components of the intelligent building similar to the human nervous system. All strands run to the central control, the Miniserver.” Not forgetting the many different extensions, which are described by the manufacturer as follows: “Extensions can be coupled with the Miniserver to add a multitude of extra functionality; this makes a Loxone system infinitely flexible.”
Controls at your fingertips
Loxone has developed its own software to adapt the controls to individual demands and requirements. Used simply and easily via the Loxone App, all important functions are available via touch operation. And the relevant information and notifications can be accessed there as well.
Using the Miniserver and its extra-smart systems in offices has a host of benefits, explains Loxone: “With Loxone, you have all you need for intelligent building automation in offices and general commercial premises, allowing you to provide a more comfortable and intuitive working environment for employees. As well as keeping staff happy, you’ll also enjoy significant energy saving benefits through room climate automation which will help increase the cost-effectiveness of your premises.”
If we focus more closely on everyday practice, fully automatic shading – for example – adapts intelligently to the sun’s position, solar radiation and temperature. This allows a pleasant climate in office buildings to be guaranteed at all times. Loxone’s weather station also enables an immediate response to storms and frost, thus preventing damage to shading systems.
Ventilation – and this is especially important during a pandemic – is another automation priority at Loxone. Special CO2 sensors measure the air quality, which keeps everything fresh and healthy. In the same way, heating and cooling energy can be adjusted precisely to achieve a perfect indoor climate.
Security measures and sound systems
When it comes to security, electronic access control and authorization are quite usual these days. NFC Key Fobs enable contactless door opening, and where required they can be locked as well. Fully automatic alarm systems can be activated without any kind of manual operation. In emergencies these systems can even make various phone calls according to priority.
High-end sound systems are just as crucial to everyday comfort. The Multiroom Audio System by Loxone, for example, begins to play music when someone enters the room – and turns it off again afterwards. Playlists and favourite radio stations can be preselected, and general announcements can be made throughout the office building.
Lighting by Loxone
Office lighting can also be configured individually and functionally for every area of activity. Who needs brighter light? Or who prefers indirect lighting? What colours and light sources are most suitable? Other features that benefit everyday office life include personalized payment systems and automated locker systems.
Even though the company has made a name for itself in recent years in many corners of the earth, the original site in Austria’s Mühlviertel remains its headquarters. This is also where the Loxone Campus is being built, with all the treats offered by state-of-the-art architecture and pioneering building automation. It is due to be opened in 2023.
The new Loxone Office and Experience Centre opened its doors in the early summer of 2021. In a historic Palais at the heart of Vienna’s city centre, it has proven that listed buildings can still be excellently equipped with smart and sustainable automation systems. This 19th century building has been fitted with a whole range of technological showpieces that can be seen in the following video (available in German).
Another signature project by Loxone is the headquarters of “Goede Doelen Loterijen” (“The Charity Lotteries”) in the Netherlands. This new office for 600 employees boasts ventilation that activates automatically at a certain threshold. And its heating adjusts to suit office hours and the average temperature of the previous three days.
In recognition of all the architectural and technological measures implemented in the lottery headquarters, it was named the most sustainable renovated building in the Netherlands by BREEAM (the highest authority on ecological and sociocultural building standards in the UK).
Another extraordinary project is “The Circle” at Zurich airport. This 180,000 m² behemoth contains numerous offices, plus hotels, restaurants and shops. Inventx AG is just one of the companies here – the IT specialist in the finance and insurance sector has fitted the whole spectrum of Loxone services. Lighting, shading, heating, cooling, multimedia, music, access controls, alarm system and video surveillance – fully automated with three Miniservers. Technology junkies should watch this video (available in German).
Communication as a lifesaver
Last but not least, the headquarters of the Red Cross in Barcelona are also worth a closer look. Here, the focus was on air quality. The ventilation is precisely controlled using the Loxone App, and it is automatically activated whenever necessary. This is especially crucial for seminar rooms and open-place offices.
Loxone’s “text-to-speech” function has proven useful in Barcelona, as emergency calls can be made via panic buttons. When somebody presses the button, an automatic text message is immediately read out over the loudspeakers in certain zones of the building. This informs colleagues about the incident and enables them to help without delay. After all, communication also saves lives – and that is the most important function of all.
Text: Martin Obermayr
Translation: Rosemary Bridger-Lippe
Photos: Loxone, The Circle
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