Showcasing the possibilities
Energy efficiency, comfort and security – Powerful building automation makes LAE Engineering’s new building stand out, based on the WAGO I/O SYSTEM 750.
In 2017, LAE Engineering, an engineering service provider specializing in building technology, industry and power generation, decided that it was high time for new corporate headquarters. “It had reached the point where our employees were distributed among five locations, and we were running out of space,” remembers Werner Rensch, managing director and co-owner of the company based in Wiesloch, in the Rhein/Neckar region of Germany.
LAE’s main concern when drawing up its plans was to create a modern working environment for its employees. Today, the building provides space everywhere for lounges and meeting islands, and the teams have a free choice of how they want to organize the rooms –as group workstations, open-space areas or individual offices.
Geothermal heating and cooling
LAE relies on efficient geothermal energy for heating and cooling. Eleven bore holes extending up to 100 meters into the earth ensure hot water at a constant 14 degrees. In winter, this water is used to heat the rooms with floor heating via a heat pump; in summer, the same system cools the rooms.
With its modern heating system, the building meets the requirements of the KfW Efficiency House 55 standard, which means that it consumes 45 percent less energy for heating than does a building constructed according to the current standard.
LAE is certified as a WAGO solution provider for the building technology business area. “We therefore naturally used solutions based on the WAGO I/O System 750 for building automation,” remarks Rensch. A node with a 750-831 controller is located on each of the four floors. A superordinate PFC200 controller is also installed on the ground floor, which controls, for example, the geothermal system and receives and distributes the data from the weather station installed on the roof.
Controllers manage all disciplines
The controllers on the floors control all other building technology disciplines. “The great advantage of the WAGO system is that it provides the right interface for practically every system,” Rensch explains.
For example, the SMI bus controls the blinds, which are activated by the WAGO controllers via this bus depending on the position of the sun. The data for this purpose comes from the connected weather station. The employees can also adjust the blinds according to their own needs and thus override the controller’s automatic function.
The lights are controlled in a similar way. “All lights throughout the building have a DALI interface,” says the managing director.
Rearranging rooms without problems
All switches and pushbuttons for lights, blinds and heating as well as the room thermostats are based on the EnOcean protocol. This wireless protocol offers a high degree of flexibility, because the controls do not have to be wired to the controller. “This allows us to quickly reorganize the space as needed,” Rensch explains. “Flexibility was a top priority for us, and so we don’t have any supporting elements on the floors outside the stairwell.”
All walls have a lightweight design and can be repositioned. The EnOcean-based controls are then easily remounted on the wall and assigned to the lamps, heating valves and blinds in the new areas. “The new assignment is made in the controller and takes only a few minutes to complete,” Rensch explains.