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Australasia Ratifies KNX as Technical Specification

Home and building automation in Australasia is ready to benefit from a Technical Specification that promotes more product choice, interoperability and future-proofing.

The systems integration market in Australia and New Zealand has been operating without any recognised standards, but in December 2017 ‘Standards Australia’ finally announced that it was ready to adopt ISO/IEC 14543.3 (Parts 1-6) Communication layers – Network-based control as Australian Technical Specifications, best known as the backbone of KNX. The new technical specification is published as SA/SNZ ISO/IEC TS 14543.3.1-6:2018.

The standardisation of KNX

After KNX became a European Standard in 2003 (EN 50090 series) and an International Standard in 2006 (ISO/IEC 14543-3-1 to 7), the KNX Association continued to work with national standardisation bodies to regionally adopt the text of the KNX international standard as a local standard for home and building automation. KNX first convinced the P.R. of China to translate the specifications of the KNX media, the protocol description as well as the management procedures into Chinese to become the GB/T 20965 standard. At the end of 2017, Standard Australia decided to adopt the relevant 14543-3 parts as national technical specification.

Wider product choice, interoperability and future proofing

By adopting the International Standard, integrators and engineers now have a choice of technical features and competitive products and services from multiple vendors, with guaranteed interoperability between products from more than 400 manufacturers worldwide. They can optimise their criteria for features, aesthetic appeal, capacity and price to suit the desired outcome of the project. The ISO/IEC Standard is the most popular in Europe and other parts of the world in fields such as energy efficiency, room automation, lighting controls, shutter and blind control, heating, cooling and security. Engineers may now refer to the local technical specification with high level of confidence that they are observing best practice and designing buildings that will remain current for their lifetime.

Regional benefits

Colin Price, director of multi-national distributor Ivory Egg, and president of the KNX New Zealand National Group, said, “The ratification of ISO/IEC 14543-3 as an Australian and New Zealand Technical Specification is almost entirely due to ABB’s Ian Richardson’s persistence and dogged passion. About three years ago he set in motion the localisation of the IEC Standard. It’s been an extraordinary process. It has really opened my eyes to some of the politics around this industry in Australasia. It’s been quite ferocious actually. But this is the validation that the electrical industry, electrical engineers and installation businesses have been waiting for. They’ve been in a position to specify an International Standard – now they have the opportunity of specifying a regional Technical Specification.”

Price added, “The uptake of KNX in the New Zealand market over the past two or three years has been extraordinary. I expect that to accelerate dramatically now. As KNX falls more into the vernacular, I expect more companies will want to be seen as part of the movement and will take KNX seriously. The adoption of the IEC/ISO standard in Australia and New Zealand is a major milestone in the further proliferation of the KNX technology and that there are now no limits to the growth of KNX in Australasia!”

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