At the new Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, ABB i-bus KNX technology is being used to maintain optimum conditions for guests. The temperature, ventilation and even the operation of glass heating in 71 glass igloos from luxurious Finnish hotelier, Santa’s Hotels, are being individually controlled with ABB i-bus KNX technology.
For the hotel owner, this automation guarantees that the experience for the hotel’s exacting customers is consistently of a superior standard, whilst ensuring that the energy costs remain in check.
Despite the design of the 20m2 glass igloos appearing simple, they conceal a lot of high-performance technology. The ABB i-bus KNX system controls everything from the internal and external heating of the hi-tech glass-roofed igloos, clearing the frost from the glass to give a perfect view of the sky to air source heat pumps and underfloor heating.
Maarit Aho, Managing Director of Santa’s Hotels commented: “Nearly all of our guests have travelled a significant distance, with the largest groups from Singapore, China and Japan. Our service must be of the highest possible standard to meet the demands of our customers. Their expectations of an appropriate temperature for example may be radically different from what is considered acceptable locally and we need to be able to meet those bespoke requirements as efficiently as possible.”
According to Aho, the idea in the design stage was therefore to automate all the everyday routines. With the ABB i-bus KNX and the optical fibre connection to the igloos, all the functions can be controlled from an info screen at reception.
For example, there is the option to switch the window heating systems for all 71 igloos on and off in one place. Also, if the humidity or carbon dioxide level rises in an igloo, ventilation is increased, while if there is a water leak, a magnetic valve immediately cuts off the water supply, and an optical fibre connection relays an alarm to reception and maintenance personnel.
Automation also enables customers’ expectations to be met remotely. At night, the around-the-clock on-call service for the igloo village is handled remotely from the reception of Hotel Santa Claus, located seven kilometres away in downtown Rovaniemi.
Another important design criterion was to save energy. When all 71 igloos are in use, even small energy savings amount to a lot over the course of a year as Aho explained: “With the help of automation, we can lower energy consumption to the minimum when there are no customers. During the winter, the igloos are not heated unnecessarily, and in the summer, they are not cooled.”
Mike Mustapha, Group Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Commercial Operations, Electrification Products division, concluded: “At ABB we recognise that power is more than just what comes from the wire. It forms the basis of the emotional experience for the customer in any hotel, controlling their comfort and enjoyment. We were therefore delighted to have had our market leading i-bus KNX technology selected for such a significant installation as the Santa Hotel.
“Our building automation technology is not only safe, reliable, durable and aesthetically pleasing, it is also energy efficient and sustainable, providing a comprehensive solution that ensures all technological components complement one another seamlessly and function together.”
KNX bus technology is an automation solution, reportedly with a long service life. The technology rests on broad shoulders, as there are globally approximately 400 component manufacturers, located in forty different countries.
The system, which is based on an open standard, can be extended and adapted for future needs, and there is also plenty of technical expertise available. For instance, in Finland there are 700 certified KNX programmers.