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ABB KNX Technology Minimises Energy Consumption at Nesbru Nursing Home and Provides Increased Comfort and Safety

ABB supplies KNX-based state of the art control of lighting, heating, ventilation, and blinds to Nesbru nursing home, a passive house in Asker, Norway.

ABB control technology ensures minimal energy consumption at the Nesbru Living and Care Center, a passive house, i.e., complies with a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time.

ABB-partner Gulbrandsen & Olimb has been responsible for installation and configuration of the ABB KNX-based smart building automation system.

“The control of Nesbru nursing home is robust, energy efficient, and increases safety,” says Mr. Iver Fjaestad, project manager for the new center at Asker commune outside Oslo in Norway. ”Smart building technology like this probably has a return on investment of a couple of years.”

Nesbru nursing home is a modern new-build facility covering approximately 9,000 square meters. It features 72 single rooms for residents demanding 24/7 health care and ten places for short-term stays.

“We are proud to contribute with ABB AbilityTM-based digital technology that supports the energy revolution while increasing the comfort and safety for residents and staff at the nursing home, just a stone’s throw from our headquarters,” says Steffen Waal, Country Managing Director of ABB in Norway.

Extreme Energy Utilization

The nursing home, for example, extracts energy from 23 geothermal wells 250 meters below the ground. The home is designed as a so-called passive house with minimal energy consumption in mind. However, the requirements for daylight are high, which would potentially require additional cooling and thereby increased energy consumption on hot and sunny days.

“The building automation system safeguards optimal interoperation of lighting, heating, cooling, and blinds, with minimal energy consumption while providing maximum comfort and safety,” explains Jostein Fjell Nilsen, responsible for ABB Ability-based electrification products for automation in ABB. “That is why blinds drop automatically if the heat generated by the sun would require additional cooling and the light in the concerned area increases automatically to compensate for reduced daylight.”

Other features approach artificial intelligence or machine learning. The automation solution makes it safer and more flexible for staff to use corridors at night time.

“To save energy the light intensity in the corridors is automatically reduced by 50 percent at night after half an hour without activity,” explains Fjell Nilsen at ABB. “However, if there are multiple visits to the same resident room during a certain period of time, the light intensity outside the concerned room will be one hundred percent all the time.”

Digital from A to Z

Yet another industry-standard communication solution is at play at the nursing home allowing seamless integration between KNX control system and the lighting, i.e. DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) networks for individual brightness control. In addition, the KNX system is closely integrated with the supervisory building management system.

In addition to KNX-based control equipment such as detectors, thermostats, switches, and DALI gateways, ABB has supplied installation materials and products, and low-voltage switchboards to Nesbru nursing home. As for the KNX control system, ABB installation partner Gulbrandsen & Olimb has been in charge for engineering, installation and commissioning of the equipment.

“The cooperation with ABB has been excellent. We have received good support throughout the project,” says John Heine Lilleborgen, department manager at Gulbrandsen & Olimb.

Nesbru nursing home was opened in the autumn of 2017, while the last section was put in service early 2018.

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