KNX Award winners

KNX city

Sustainable cities and buildings

With the number of people living in urban areas increasing, supplies of raw materials diminishing, and temperatures rising worldwide, cities are set to face some major challenges over the next few years. Cities are responsible for two-thirds of global energy consumption, 60 per cent of total water consumption, and 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. And they continue to grow. Already, more than 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in towns and cities. By 2050 this figure will have risen to as much as 70 per cent. So it is in cities that the battle on climate change and pollution will be won or lost.

The most important challenge will therefore be to make urban development sustainable. This requires sustainable buildings, because buildings currently account for more than 40 per cent of global energy use, and hence 21 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. This in turns requires transdisciplinary solutions, in which not only the building, but also mobility, energy-generating equipment and infrastructure, are equally taken into account. KNX city shows how such holistic solutions can be incorporated into sustainable cities, and how they interact with the building.


What will the building of the future look like?
The building of the future will be energy-efficient and capable of communicating with its environment (the smart grid).   Cities can only be sustainable if the individual buildings are energy-efficient. The building’s energy management system will be monitored quantitatively by smart meters. Based on this information steps can then be taken to improve the energy efficiency not just of the building itself, but also of the entire district, or even the city as a whole.  

KNX city solution

KNX already offers solutions today for smart metering, electric vehicles, improving energy efficiency, power generation management, load/tariff management, and communication between buildings.


How will we get from A to B in the future?
In vehicles powered by renewable energy.   Mobility is becoming more and more important, and in future a large percentage of all vehicles will run on electricity. But electric vehicles are only worthwhile if their batteries are charged exclusively with renewable electricity. Solutions therefore need to be found for charging electric vehicles with renewable power from either on-site generating systems or the local power grid. 

KNX city solution

KNX offers solutions already today for using e.g. the surplus energy from on-site photovoltaic systems or smaller scale wind turbines on buildings to charge electric vehicles 100 per cent with renewable energy.


How will energy use be managed in cities in the future?
Energy will be managed at a multi-building level, taking account any decentralised power generation systems.   Infrastructure is becoming more and more important. Already today it is clear that no one solution will be capable of overcoming all of the challenges facing our energy supply. These challenges are the result of the increasing use of renewable energy in general, and decentralised power generation in particular. Many different disciplines will need to work together to create a single overall solution from numerous individual solutions.

KNX city solution

KNX already offers solutions today that use communication technology and IP/internet to link up buildings on separate sites as though they were a single building.

Power Generation

How will we produce energy in the future?
Mainly renewably, in other words from sun and wind.   The world is on the cusp of a major shift in the way it produces and uses energy. As energy is obtained increasingly from unpredictable renewable sources, the great challenge will be to keep energy supplies reliable. Many utility companies will in future manage loads indirectly by charging tariffs variable in time, in order to motivate customers to switch power consumers on or off at particular times of day.  

KNX city solution
KNX already offers load management solutions today that address the problem of fluctuating power supplies from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines.

KNX city skyline