ABB lighting solution wins international award

2012-11-19 - An ABB solution for the new Princess Noura Bint Abdul-Rahmen University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has won a major international award for providing energy-efficient lighting and heat protection across a campus of 800 buildings and a 10-station metro rail system.

By ABB Communications

Part of the vast Princess Noura University campus, with the overhead metro rail system in the foreground

The solution was named winner of the KNX Award 2012 in the international category for Asia earlier this year. It is thought to be the largest solution ever to use devices that comply with the global KNX standard for energy-efficient home and building automation control.

Princess Noura University is the biggest women’s university in the world. The new purpose-built campus opened in January 2011 and has space for 40,000 female students and 12,000 staff. It covers an area of 8 sq km and comprises 800 buildings, including classrooms, halls of residence, research centers, recreational and sports facilities, a library, 700-bed hospital, as well as kindergartens, schools, mosques and its own 10 station driverless overhead metro system.

The ABB i-bus® KNX solution enables the university to automatically and remotely control lighting and sun protection systems in each of the 800 buildings using one single interface. A similar ABB i-bus KNX solution controls the lighting in each of the 10 campus metro stations.

With strong sunlight and temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius to contend with, sun and heat protection are key features of the ABB solution. Thousands of blinds provide protection from the glare and intensity of the sun and prevent high levels of solar heat from entering the buildings. The blinds shift automatically according to the position and strength of the sun, or can be adjusted manually, reassuming their automatic settings via presence detectors when people leave the room.

Each building is divided into zones with presence- and daylight-dependent lighting control. Classrooms and lecture halls are equipped with dimming and darkness control to facilitate presentations, and large rooms and halls are divided into smaller lighting areas to create ambience and save energy. When no one is present in a room, the climate control system is automatically adjusted to eliminate the wasteful use of air conditioning.

By using lighting control efficiently and by reducing the need for air conditioning with presence detection and effective sun and heat protection, the ABB solution is helping to make Princess Noura University a landmark in energy-efficient building control.

Not only does ABB i-bus reduce building energy consumption by around 40 percent compared to technologies that do not use the KNX open standard, it has opened the possibility for many of the university buildings to apply for green or gold ratings within the LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) of the US Green Building Council.

ABB was selected for the project by the two main construction companies that built the university, Saudi Oger and SBG, and the two system integrators subcontracted to install the solution on the construction companies’ behalf: MTTS and Honeywell HBS respectively. The KNX award was made to MTTS.

An ABB i-bus KNX solution for the new Terminal 3 building at Delhi Airport was the previous winner of the biennial KNX Award for ‘International Category – Asia’ in 2010.

The entrance to the university (left) and one of the university colleges (right)

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