An interview with Ruben Vetters, Technical Sales Advisor at Vecolux, on the company, smart buildings, their vision of innovation and the KNX standard.
Who is Vecolux and what is the company ethos ?
Vecolux is an exclusive distributor for manufacturers of electrical material for the BE/NL market, with a focus on Smart Buildings. We deliver automation solutions for residential, hospitality and office buildings.
With Vecolux opting for the KNX model, what are the technological modalities that you offer to improve the user experience ?
KNX is the worldwide standard for building automation. This protocol allows us to integrate different techniques in one system to control lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, screens, energy monitoring, multimedia, etc…
Since KNX is an open protocol, we can combine specific products from different manufacturers in one solution, all communicating with each other in a decentral way.
Can you enlighten us on how you operate with an example of your projects ?
Residential : Infini, a 36-apartment building in Nieuwpoort.
In this building, each apartment has the following integrations :
- Video intercom
- Lighting control
- Screen control
- Heating control
- Scene management
- Smartphone remote control :
- Visualization and control
- Push notifications on alarms
- Video intercom calls
Hotel : The 93-room Blanke Top Hotel in Cadzand is one of our latest projects including a full KNX solution.
In this hotel all rooms have :
- Presence detection
- Lighting control
- Climate control
- Curtain control
- Housekeeping (DND/MUR)
- Scene management
All the above functionalities are linked to a BMS (Building Management System) which provides information and configuration possibilities to hotel staff and management.
Due to the available API in the BMS, their booking software is exchanging information to the BMS, enabling automatic climate management in hotel rooms based on booking and occupancy statuses.
What can you tell us about your partnerships, and what they illustrate about your vision for housing today and tomorrow ?
We have partnerships with installers, integrators and wholesalers but also with specification writers, hotel owners and real estate developers. They are all looking for smart building solutions due to the digital revolution.
At the moment, people can control lots of things in their life with their smartphone, except their home.
The demand for smart homes and smart buildings is there, we seriously started off some years ago, but the real transition still will come in the next years.
You recently launched your Book of Inspiration 2021. For those who haven’t yet read it, could you share some of its key points ?
Since there exist thousands of KNX products, our Book of Inspiration is the first guideline to installers and integrators to shape projects based on the technical and functional possibilities of the most common products.
You organize training events for other real estate professionals ; in this context, would you have any advice to share with our readers ? What do you offer, and what can they get ?
The products we sell are only “components in boxes”. Without the appropriate knowledge to program them, they cannot operate in the correct way. Therefore we organize in-house trainings for professional installers/integrators to upgrade their technical programming skills, but also to teach them which smart building functionalities can be implemented to enhance the resident’s experience.
What can we hope to see from Vecolux in the future?
Energy management will be the “next big thing” with 2 key features :
- The transformation in real estate projects from standalone condensation boilers towards central geothermal heat pump systems. This means heat consumption has to be monitored for billing purposes.
Since KNX is already present in the building, it is the perfect medium to monitor the energy, display these values on the resident’s visualization and communicate this data towards the property manager’s billing system.
- Handling peak consumptions will be very important in the future since they will come with higher charges. KNX has all the information in your building to load balance and be the leader who decides which device has priority.
Go to https://vecolux.be/ to learn more.