How smart office control with KNX works in a smart software company can be seen in these modern premises of lise Ltd. in Cologne/Germany. Our touch panel Controlpro is the central control unit in the company's recreation room and the team members control various devices in the open office via the panel, the app and the YOUVI visualisation.
From classical office to innovative ensemble
In Cologne's Butzweilerhof quarter, lise Ltd. and its more than 80 employees have worked in around 1,250 m2 of the new and modernly designed "kite" office complex since summer 2022. The name of the three-part building stands for “upwind” - which is not only a good omen for the companies located in the building in a figurative sense, but also refers to the airport grounds formerly located on this site. For more than 23 years, lise GmbH has been active as a service provider in individual software development and IT consulting and had already been previously located in the Butzweilerhof quarter in the north of Cologne. The Corona crisis with mobile working from home showed that a new office concept was needed, so that the office itself would still be needed and uses. Thus, the lise employees felt a general sense of motion towards a more modern and open office world. "It quickly became clear to us: we don't just want to react to the crisis, we want to evolve and shape change," says Managing Director Daniel Schwarz. After an intensive planning phase, the solution was an open office concept on the 5th floor of the "kite" building with a roof terrace and a view over Cologne.
Modern working atmosphere in an open space office
lise GmbH is keen to push the issue of digitalisation even further. The latest technologies are used to find individual solutions for customers while maintaining the high quality of services. In doing so, the multi-award-winning employer focuses on offering its passionate team ways for creative, communicative and collaborative work in shared premises on the one hand. At the same time, it also wants to provide retreats for concentrated and focused completion of tasks. Ideal for these purposes is the new open-space format with modern, innovative equipment, divided into different zones, where employees can be creative in their daily work and use the time in the office according to their needs. The new office has freely selectable workstations, telephone booths, interior conference rooms and the so-called "lise lounge" as a large recreation room with table tennis, musical instruments and disco ball, sofa corner, dining area and a fully equipped kitchen.
Innovative office control
As a central component, the KNX building control system rounds off the innovative concept. It enables automated control of lighting, shading and ventilation. Both the lighting and sun protection systems function with a DALI interface. The new building complex had already been equipped with KNX and DALI cabling during the construction phase. The control runs via the Controlpro operating panel with the YOUVI visualisation software from PEAKnx, turning the entire 1,250 m2 into a smart office. Dr. Tobias Krautkremer, also Managing Director at lise, uses KNX himself in his home and is pleased with the opportunities that the panel and YOUVI offer the company: "We were specifically looking for software in which we can independently make changes and adjustments to the building control system. The solution from PEAKnx convinced us because of its many functionalities and the possibility to further integrate other devices, as well as the freely usable Windows interface. We manage the project file ourselves. Recently, for example, we have independently integrated our new, smartly controllable screen including beamer in the recreation room into the system. Last but not least, the appealing design and the good price-performance ratio made us buy the panel."
KNX touch panel Controlpro and YOUVI app make everyday work easier
The introduction of the touch panel was received positively by the employees. Due to the intuitive possibilities to operate the panel, training was not really necessary. Each team member has free access to the Controlpro installed in the kitchen area and can make settings according to individual needs from there at any time. Numerous lighting options are also integrated into the control system, such as the lamps at the ceiling in the various zones, the designer lights in the dining area and spotlights on a three-phase track in the lounge. The lamps in the lounge are controlled exclusively with the panel. Via the logic module, the lamps are controlled so that they are automatically switched off at a certain time in the evening and switched on during the day when it is too dark.
The employees prefer to use the YOUVI app for smartphones. For one thing, the employees do not always sit in the same place on their office days, and the app eliminates the need to search for switches and to operate switches that are far away. In the app, everyone knows their way around and can, for example, conveniently control the shading individually at the freely selectable workstations. It also happens that the team members are in other zones in the meantime and then simply use their smartphones for control. Other highlights of the office control system are the workplace lights with presence sensor, so that lighting is only provided where one of the free spaces is actually being used. The Sonos speakers can also be conveniently controlled. Currently “Alexa” is integrated as voice control and enables, for example, the control of the lighting in the kitchenette.
Happiness after the change
Overall, lise GmbH draws a positive balance from its move to the "kite". The sophisticated and smartly planned office concept has been a complete success. Every day a happy and efficient team works together in a creative way at all levels and in a pleasant atmosphere - not least thanks to the smart office technology.