Case studies

Cutting-edge investment: GEZE has a new development centre

The four-storey terraced building provides space for test and validation rooms, offices, meeting areas and creative areas in a total area of over 2,000 m2. GEZE has thus created the perfect conditions for expanding its service portfolio with innovative, interdisciplinary networking solutions for doors and windows in smart buildings.

Intelligent buildings to meet the challenges of the future

The entrance area of the new development centre. Photo: GEZE GmbH

The entrance area of the new development centre.

GEZE GmbH

Product trials and validations are carried out using state-of-the-art equipment over an area covering 1,200 m2. The modular test benches are equipped with the latest robotic technology. Premium quality technical concepts and products can now be realised even faster and more efficiently. The new systems testing facility tests complete door systems for their functionality and user-friendliness under different climatic conditions. Environmental testing of the entire product range is feasible in the high-performance climate chamber. The testing capacity in the electronic and measuring laboratories has been significantly increased.

Growing global urbanisation means a better quality of life needs to be created for more and more people on increasingly restricted land resources. The availability of residential and working space is a major challenge – and just in the big cities. Demographic development demands accessible solutions – and Universal Design is increasingly becoming the standard. Environmental responsibility and limited natural resources require sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. All these factors present new demands in terms of safety, comfort for users and residents and the operation of buildings. These demands can be met only with intelligent buildings.

Control of the complete building technology in the 'Smart Building'

Communicating doors and windows which optimise their interaction. Photo: Jürgen Pollak for GEZE GmbH

Communicating doors and windows which optimise their interaction.

Jürgen Pollak / GEZE GmbH

GEZE is deeply committed to digital building networking. The new development centre looks far into the future. The company has created its own infrastructure to offer networking solutions to control the complete building technology in smart buildings of the future. The new building is itself smart. All the product groups are intelligently networked and integrated into the building management system. Heating, ventilation, light, shading, doors and windows communicate with each other, and interact optimally. All the automation and safety functions on the doors and windows were achieved with GEZE products, including the complete smoke and heat exhaust ventilation system (RWA).

Think tank: Architecture for innovative capacity

The processes that lead to innovation determined the architecture and design of the new building. The engineers and test engineers come across optimal working conditions at every stage of development. The design of the interiors and the technical equipment promote exchange between the disciplines and enable the networking of areas of expertise. This happens in agile project spaces, for example, and also in their own creative and relaxation zones – it’s well know that outstanding ideas don’t just come from sitting at a desk. A pleasant ambience and state-of-the-art mobile media technology encourage brainstorming and unconventional solutions. 

Flexible working areas for agile working

Each area or room in the building is accessible and barrier-free, and an optimal environment can be quickly created for each and every activity. If several teams with different requirements of light or indoor climate work in the same area, the configuration of light and ventilation sources can be changed at any time. Here’s an example: Individual room zones can be interconnected dynamically on a floor area by controlling the lighting via BUS systems. Direct and indirect lighting elements can be grouped, and desired lighting scenarios can be defined for individual work groups. Optimal illumination that also promises reduced eye strain can be achieved for the work area of a developer working on small-scale activities - even if another employee is comfortable with a good average light intensity. Settings can easily be created for different areas on a touch panel in the room. Likewise, all automated windows can be digitally grouped.

The open-plan office offers short communication channels and comfortable 'agile' work thanks to the flexible workstation units. An ingenious sound absorption concept designed down to the smallest details acoustically decouples areas for meetings, walkways and individual desks. Meeting corners or separate areas can be created for highly concentrated work in a quiet environment, while lighting and the indoor climate can be controlled by zones. The sliding shutters in front of the windows are activated depending on the light or solar radiation. Doors are automatically opened and locked at certain times of the day. At the end of working day, an automatic night-time closer is triggered.

Central operation and monitoring with GEZE Cockpit

Control all components with only one building automation system. Photo: GEZE GmbH

Control all components with only one building automation system.

GEZE GmbH

There are hardly any push-button switches in the building. All product groups and elements of the room technology are visualised centrally on a single interface and can be monitored at a glance. Product group statuses are controlled and displayed either automatically on the basis of predefined scenarios, or by the employees themselves, of course, via touch panels. The indoor climate, media technology, lights, windows or doors can be controlled via a control panel by clicking on icons. The newly developed GEZE Cockpit building automation system makes all this possible. Its tasks and unique advantages are central visualisation, monitoring and operation of all integrated products. GEZE Cockpit also permits authorised users to activate the product groups and display their status, and have special authorisations via their PCs. Find out more at www.cockpit.geze.com

Laboratory for smart possibilities

There is nothing more obvious than using the new development building for your own testing and learning. It will enable to us to answer questions such as what makes a building 'truly' smart, which networking applications bring the greatest increase in comfort, security and energy efficiency, and what networked features are needed in the building of tomorrow. It also offers the best conditions for testing the interoperability of GEZE products and other product groups under real conditions, i.e. with the people who work there daily.

The building allows flexible grouping and the addition or replacement of products, so that new networking solutions can be tried and tested over and over again. The insights gained are used to continually develop the intelligence of all GEZE products and expand and roll out the benefits for users with the aid of GEZE Cockpit. The building automation system can be operated as an independent system, or integrated with the BACnet and KNX communication standards in an overarching building control system. Data communication between GEZE Cockpit and the integrated products and systems takes place via interface modules.

In addition to the visualisation of all integrated products in a central location, the system offers a unique added value: for the first time, it is possible to incorporate the complete intelligence of GEZE products - i.e. all available control options and status information - into the building network. Doors and windows can thus be controlled and monitored with the highest degree of precision. Examples include the exact knowledge of the status of a door or a window, the value of a sensor, or feedback from a command that has been executed and alarm messages. GEZE Cockpit offers many other benefits: increased building security, predictive maintenance and efficient building management.

Increased security and short distances through networking

With more than one hundred multifunctional doors and windows integrated into the building management system, building managers are always aware of the status of each door or window. You can centrally open or close them as needed, change the operating mode of a door and be sure that all elements in the building shell are locked or bolted. Time-consuming inspection rounds are eliminated. Commands can be issued for single, multiple or all doors (central locking). Individual door-scenarios can be saved in GEZE Cockpit, so that doors can be automatically opened, closed or locked as controlled either by time or triggered by an event. All processes on a door - and therefore also irregularities - are reported back. Whatever happens at a door, immediate action can be taken.

'Climate goals' for pleasant working

Various scenarios, e.g. the 'climate-active façade' and the 'preconditioning' of rooms are currently being tested in the new building in connection with GEZE Cockpit. Optimal air quality is essential for a pleasant office environment. Meeting rooms should be ventilated again ahead of use. Scenarios created in the building management system ensure intelligent, energy-efficient interaction between product groups. The complete façade technology responds automatically to changes in the external climatic conditions. The blind is lowered automatically when there is solar radiation. Windows open or close depending on the outside temperature. The automatic and centrally controlled night-time cooling down of devices has already created a good indoor climate at the beginning of the day. In this scenario, the IQ windowdrives range of RWA drives and GEZE's Powerturn swing door operators, presence, location, air quality and temperature sensors, heating, ventilation and the air conditioning system, lighting and shading and the room occupancy system interact with each other to control the windows and ventilation flaps and the fresh air doors.

Smart bodyguards on automated windows

Window safety system as intelligent sensor solutions in the building bus secure the windows integrated into the building management system in all generally accessible building areas. The intelligence remains 'local' because the information from the safety sensors takes precedence. Ventilation will be delayed or stopped if there is an obstacle in the window opening such as a hand and closing operations have already been initiated by the building regulation due to sensor information (rain, wind or temperature).

Optimum climate: Actuators control each other

GEZE is also testing a very unique combination of air conditioning, window drives and weather sensors. The actuators control each other depending on the sensors' data. For a highly efficient and energy-saving air conditioning, the performance of the air conditioning system is intended to automatically adapt to the exact opening width of a window. A constant balance between the outside and the preset room ambient temperature for climate control in the individual room zones on each building level is also tested by the interaction of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. When programming the scenarios, physical parameters such as the size and position of a room in the building have been taken into account thoroughly via the building management system.

GEZE products in the new development centre