Plugging the gap

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Opinion

A recent article at www.commercialintegrator.com considers the past, present and future of KNX building control technology.

15 years after the EIBA, EHSA and BCI formed the KNX Association, KNX gives real value by not only being able to control lighting and HVAC, but by also being able to interface with a multitude of HVAC and other building control protocols. Virtually all big CI (customer installer or integrator) companies in the UK now have at least one person who is a KNX partner.

In the article Andrew M Taylor, who handles technical sales for Jung UK and is a certified KNX Association tutor and KNX Partner, discusses recent developments for KNX, including the release of ERS5, which introduces a new medium in the form of KNX/RF and is an exciting addition to the KNX stable.

Taylor believes the awareness of KNX in the UK controls industry has grown, and KNX is no longer dismissed as 'another lighting control system'. The training of enough KNX partners and their ability to advise and direct clients to provide the correct solutions for their requirements, are also key to further developing awareness of the protocol.

KNX is the world's first open standard for the intelligent control of all types of buildings – industrial, commercial and residential, and growing fast, however only one college in the UK (Plymouth City College) teaches the City and Guilds course for KNX both as a mechanical and electrical subject.

Many involved would suggest KNX, or at least building controls, needs to form part of a young engineer's college training, not afterwards, another part of the UK's growing skills gap.

The relevant bodies must act now to teach young students about KNX, DALI, EnOcean and BACnet now, rather than the all too common scenario of KNX trained engineers being brought in from Europe to plug that skills gap.

I would be interested to hear your views.