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Fire Station Forsthaus West-Bern - KNX Award Winner 2016

November 2, 2017


Automated operating sequences for lighting, doors and signals in the event of a fire alarm


If the fire brigade goes into action in the Swiss federal city of Bern, KNX has already done some good preparatory work. In the new fire station Forsthaus West-Bern an alarm automatically triggers switching operations, which support a rapid deployment of the fire brigade: corridors, bed and recreation rooms switch automatically to alarm light, KNX push buttons flash red, loudspeakers provide information about the operation, the doors of the vehicle hall open automatically and the traffic lights of the main street switch on red.


The approximately 140,000 citizens of Bern can rely on their fire brigade. In the event of a fire alarm the firemen should be – according to the instructions – in any city district within ten minutes. The professional fire brigade moved into the new fire station in 2015. It offers a traffic-favourable position and a technically sophisticated and modern infrastructure for rescue missions. The fire station equally serves as a common room, training centre, workshop and storage facility. Central element of the building complex is the logistics building with its big vehicle depot, operations centre and the office, sleeping quarters and recreation rooms for the firemen.



Interconnection with the Operations Control System


The electrical installation is equipped with 620 KNX bus devices. They control the complete lighting on 12,400 m² of floor space and make use of the advantages of the DALI lighting control with the possibilities of dimming and monitoring of the lamps. In addition, the bus system controls the shading in summer as well as in winter and forwards the fault messages. A special advantage is the interconnection of KNX with the operations control system: In case of an alarm the head of operations determines the fire truck to be used and enters the information in the operations control system. This is forwarded to the KNX server and a predefined sequence of functions is started. For example, every second lamp in the corridors and recreation rooms is dimmed as an alarm signal and in the sleeping quarters, one lighting group is switched on in a dimmed state. But KNX is also responsible for other alarm functions. As a central interface, KNX integrates the public address system, telephone system, car park management and access control system.



Double Security by KNX Emergency Operation


While inspection works of the operations control system are carried out KNX can be used as alternative operation system for alarming. The visualisation can trigger test alarms and records the data exchange between the systems. In the process delay times can be adapted to the chain. Also a double layer of security has been taken into consideration. If the KNX server or the operations control system fails, a KNX emergency operation based on logic modules is still operational. Simplified alarm lighting can be activated, the doors opened a