Turning a heritage-protected villa into a smart building
Issue 01-2021: read all articles online read as pdf
Villa Franzelin was built in 1923 in Brunico, Italy, and is now the headquarters of myGEKKO. For more than 20 years, myGEKKO has been developing hardware and software solutions for all aspects of digital buildings. The concept connects all devices in a building, combines the control functions and optimizes workflows. Heating, ventilation and shading work hand in hand and significantly increase comfort while simultaneously saving energy.
The heritage-protected villa needed to be made ready for the future. The technical systems in the rooms were not state of the art, the work environment for the employees required upgrading, and the energy balance was in need of improvement. A solution had to be found for myGEKKO’s headquarters.
Maximizing comfort and significantly optimizing energy
The goal was to prevent the building from deteriorating while at the same time making it as comfortable as possible for the staff. The solution combined EnOcean components with the innovative building automation technology from myGEKKO, thereby increasing the building’s sustainability and comfort level.
In a project of this type, the smart implementation of different functions greatly depends on the conditions within the existing property. In the case of Villa Franzelin, the green wireless solution from EnOcean was used. The self-powered sensors operate without additional cables or batteries. Decentralized EnOcean components handle the control of all the lights within the villa, ensuring optimum illumination at each workstation and throughout the entire building. The right lighting at the workstation helps increase employee concentration, motivation and satisfaction and provides the positive side effect of a targeted use of energy. At myGEKKO, all disciplines work together, including lighting and shading. When the sunlight is too bright, the roller shutters are automatically lowered.
The radiators are also fitted with radiator actuators, which have integrated temperature sensors that detect the room temperature directly. myGEKKO allows access to all components so that each room can be adapted to the most comfortable temperature for the employees. In addition, the complete energy consumption is recorded, so that the system can be optimized at any time. This solution maximizes the comfort of each employee at his/her workstation and actively reduces CO2 in the building. All disciplines are regulated centrally and can be quickly and conveniently checked, controlled and evaluated via the dashboard function, an integrated display that can be personalized.
Sustainable preservation of historic buildings
The wireless sensors from EnOcean allow each building to communicate flexibly and without cables. This standard enables myGEKKO to communicate with other bus systems, such as KNX or Raumbus. The system can cut energy consumption by as much as 40 percent. In Villa Franzelin, it was important to avoid laying cables or carrying out invasive work that would interfere with the workflow. Each room can be controlled separately, so that every employee can make optimal use of his/her own space. When employees are absent or work from home, this automatically reduces the operating costs.
EnOcean was also selected because of its international standards. myGEKKO OS is an open operating system and can be connected to a wide range of systems. Many EnOcean products were the optimum solution for the building and the planned applications. The solution ultimately combines the benefits of both systems: flexibility in the way EnOcean is installed and the individual software platform from myGEKKO.
Working in a historic building
This flagship project turned a historic building into a sustainable and comfortable workplace. But the journey is not yet over, thanks to the flexible EnOcean building blocks and smart building automation from myGEKKO. The solution can be easily expanded at any time.