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KNX & Hotels - A study of Zennio's Guest Room Management Solutions
Hotel Solution

Design Case Study

Recently, Function Control were commissioned to investigate a hotel solution for a project in Scotland. We were given a brief of a staffless apart-hotel and the owners wish list included:

  • Access Control – Automatic keyless access through bluetooth
  • Room Control – Control of the lighting , heating & blinds by the guest
  • Advanced Occupancy – Switch off rooms when not in use
  • Energy Monitoring/Savings – Allow management to track energy use.
  • Fault Detection – Identify issues with the KNX System
  • Leak Detection – Monitor for water faults
  • Smoking/Noise Detection – Monitor smoking and/or anti social behaviour

Function Control have recently been working closely with KNX manufacturer Zennio and studying their hotel Guest Room Management Solutions (GRMS). We thought we’d delve a little deeper into what KNX and Zennio in particular could do for this project.

Zennio’s Hotel Solution offers a comprehensive range of guest room technology solutions, including room control, occupancy management, access control, and integration with third-party systems, as well as centralised monitoring. It emphasizes sustainability, with features such as energy efficiency, CO2 footprint reduction, and preventive maintenance, leading to reduced running costs and happy customers.

Zennio have been producing KNX products since 2006 and have evolved to specialise in developing hotel solutions throught the last decade. Their system is now in 100,000+ rooms worldwide.

The Solutions

Access Control 

Allow access to the guests to the front door and their assigned room automatically via bluetooth phone app. The app and code would be sent automatically to the customer upon checkin and deactivate at the end of their stay. In addition the guests coule pre pay for access to baggage drop or parking areas, which would automatically be activated on their phone.

Access control via Bluetooth or RF Card
Room Control – Heating

Each apartment has a dedicated temperature control for the heating system. In this case the hotel uses electric radiators in each room, but the system can control any type of heating & ventilation system including Air Con & underfloor.

Simple, easy-to-use controls give the guest the ability to change the temperature and because it’s linked to the GRMS system, the rooms are set back when they are unoccupied or unsold to help save energy. Management can also adjust the temperatures remotely if a guest requests it.

Window contacts can also turn off the heating if windows are left open. 

Zennio Z35 displaying temperature controls
Energy Savings

Zennio conducted their own trial by wiring two similar sized hotel rooms side-by-side. One was conventionally wired, whilst the other had the Zennio hotel system. 

The data was monitored in realtime for 8 months, and during this time the rooms were 80% occupied.

Over this period it was shown that HVAC savings were between 50%-70%, Lighting saved 10-20% and others (appliances, electronics, water heating) were reduced by 10-30%.

This translated to an energy cost saving of around £1300-£1800 per room per year using the Zennio GRMS system, roughly equivalent to the carbon footprint of 100,000 people! It shows a clear return on investment in the system.

Additionally, a fault in the Aircon unit was spotted using graphing that showed a large spike in energy usage in the Zennio enabled room, allowing a quick diagnosis and repair time.

Hotel Management – Energy Monitoring, Fault/Leak Detection

The status of the hotel can be viewed in real time by hotel management, whether that’s onsite at the concierge desk or in this case, via remote access. 

Energy monitoring enables management to view energy use for each room and historical graphs allow them to see exactly where and when the most energy is being consumed.

 Zennio’s system features “watchdog” alarms meaning that as soon as a device drops offline, a notification is sent to the building management and the part can be quickly swapped out, possibly even before the guest has noticed!

In this project, as it is unstaffed, leak detection was also specified. Leak detectors would be installed near kitchenettes and the hot water heaters and be linked to a water shut off valve. 

Hotel overview using Zennio's management software
Anti Social Behaviour/Smoking Monitoring

As the aparthotel is to be unstaffed, monitoring unsocial behaviour becomes trickier.

We investigated a few options and were impressed by the solution from Minut. This device monitors noise & occupancy levels as well as cigarette detection. Zennio integrates with any device that has an open API (integration) so we can pull data from the detector and dispaly it on the management system. 

For example if the noise levels go above a certain level for too long a warning chime could play and a meddage pop up on the touch screen in the room. If there are repeated problems, then there are the potential for further deterrents like placing a hold on funds or additional charges to the guests.

Zennio are also bringing out a native KNX detector later in the year that not only monitors presence but noise, CO2, temperature & humidity.

With the GRMS system being based upon KNX, unsurprisingly, it is extremely robust. Each KNX device is decentralised, meaning that in the unlikely event that a single device fails, the rest of the system will continue to function until the faulty part is replaced.

The KNX system runs on a single, low voltage bus cable that runs between all the devices, carrying power & data
For Function Control this was a fascinating look to see what could be done with Zennio and KNX in a hotel solution. The system could also be transferred to other managed properties like care homes and student apartments. If you’d like to see how we could help with a hotel solution for your project please contact us via the contact form.

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Latest Revision Date: 26 June 2023

About Us

Our Why

We enhance peoples lives by making buildings perform better.

Function Control Ltd was established by Nick Laing in 2015 offering services to design and implement smart building solutions for luxury homes, offices and assisted living projects.

We like to listen to our customers aspirations for their building and consider how we can help. Every project is individual but the following question is universal:

‘How do we create smart buildings that simplify daily life, improve the living environment for occupants and save energy?’

The Team

Nick Laing – Director

‘Buildings have an incredible ability to affect our mood and our behaviour. In the UK we spend 90% our lives indoors, I want the buildings we occupy to actively improve our health and wellbeing by responding to our needs.

I’m excited by every new project as it is an opportunity for a new relationship to be developed with trust and understanding. I love the feeling when I get positive feedback following completion of a challenging project.’

Nick studied Audio Technology and Electronics at Glasgow Caledonian University before taking his first real job as an AV engineer at the Millennium Dome. He then moved into the Film Post Production industry in London where career highlights included crawling around the feet of movie stars such as Michael Caine and Ewan MacGregor as he performed ad-hoc repairs during recording sessions.

Mark Hardie – Integrated system engineer

I had an early fascination with finding out how things work. This usually meant most of my toys & gadgets were opened up & dismantled (and to the disappointment of my parents, various other electrical devices around the home) Occasionally, they were even put back together!

I took this interest into an Electrical & Electronic engineering degree at Strathclyde University before getting involved in the audio visual and smart home industry. I take great pride in designing and implementing an integrated home specifically for each client’s needs.

Chris O’Brien – Integrated system engineer

When people choose to design their new dream homes thoughts are often for the exciting, the here and now. One of the great motivations about incorporating technology into a building’s fabric is knowing that a fantastic space has been created which is adaptable to the residents ever changing needs. Ideally this can ensure that people can remain in their homes for the longest time despite the challenges older age and circumstances brings.

Chris met Nick whilst working at the Millennium Dome where he honed his skills for driving a golf buggy to faulty plasma screen walls, climbing very high ladders and foiling diamond heists.


Poppy the Dog
Poppy – Office Dug

I’m still learning the ropes, but I think I have already found my niche in information security, shredding any paper I can get near. I also take pride in enforcing regular screen breaks for the rest of the team.


Chris and Mark in Office
Mark Working On Plans
Chris Wiring Rack

Join Us

You might already have a job, but would you like to join our journey?

Are you excited by the prospect of working in a small innovative team where you will regularly be asked to step outside the constraints of your main job role? A job where you can grow and develop?

As a small tight-knit team each of us has to cover a number of job roles at once. You may have an unusual combination of skills or an interest to learn new ones.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the qualifications you think you need yet. It is far more important to us that you have enthusiasm and a genuine interest in making a difference in our industry. We train our people and help them gain industry recognised qualifications.

Would you fit a combination of any of the roles below? Treat it like a pick’n’mix and drop us an email if you think you are a good fit. Tell us who you are and why you would like to get involved.

Trainee smart buildings engineer
Admin assistant
Smart buildings engineer
Panel/rack builder
Marketing manager
Sales manager
Project manager
Assistive technology specialist
Systematisation guru

All roles are hybrid or office based, from our office in Loanhead, Edinburgh. Dependent on role, some work will require travel to building sites and client homes.

Virtual Golf
Labelling Beer Bottles
Charity Runners
Chris with Mug


Our budgets range from £15k to £250k+ dependent on the size and scope of the project. There really is no one-size-fits-all solution. We can very quickly provide you with a rough indication of price if you have plans and can answer a few simple questions about the scope of your project.

Click here to send us an email and we will get right back to you.

If you prefer to speak to us in person then please give Nick, Chris or Mark a call on 0131 440 1735

Our service is designed to support any competent electrician to be able to complete the electrical installation aspects of a project. Since electrical installation is not included in our services this leaves you free to choose your preferred Main Contractor who may have their own electrical team.

Not at all. Our service will support any competent electrician to understand and complete the electrical installation required for our systems.

We specialise in providing the most robust and versatile control systems which will provide decades of reliable service regardless of technological advances in the future. To achieve real smart home integrations different services in the home must be able to communicate and interact together. Linking IoT products using home network, wifi and the cloud can be unreliable and complicated to maintain.

At the heart of every Function Control system is KNX, the international standard for building control. Over 500 manufacturers make KNX compatible equipment and the range of products spans lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, motorised blinds, music systems and much more.

KNX has been used in award winning projects around the world and has both a proven track record and a future-proof design.

KNX devices each have a microprocessor and communicate with each other using a serial bus communication principal. This allows the system to be wired using a single installation cable which links each switch and device. Upgrades and additions to the system can be made with minimal invasive work.

Learn more about KNX

Wireless and battery free devices. EnOcean energy harvesting technology allows switches and devices to convert the energy they need using solar, thermal or kinetic energy. For instance, an EnOcrean switch will use the energy you put in by pressing the switch to send a wireless signal.

What this means is less toxic chemicals as EnOcean devices rarely need batteries, and since you don’t need to remember to replace depleted batteries the system requires much less maintenance.

We love to use EnOcean wireless devices where a cabled device is unsuitable, like window and door sensors or where a device needs to be added retrospectively.

Learn more about EnOcean

We can support you with maintenance, repairs and modifications to your systems on-demand. Just email to arrange an appointment.

If you prefer to speak to us in person then please give Nick, Chris or Mark a call on 0131 440 1735.

For complete peace of mind we offer smart home maintenance subscriptions. For a low monthly charge we will provide an annual service of your system and preferential rates for call-outs and modifications.

Click here to find out more about Premier Service.

Function Control use KNX as the basis of all of our projects as it is considered a future-proof solution. As a tightly regulated standard with hundreds of participating manufacturers KNX is the only option we recommend for professional smart home infrastructure.

Learn more

Let us help you! Because intelligent building control covers so many aspects of a building project Function Control like to work as part of the design team and get involved in the project as early as possible.

Initially we will work with you and your architect to form a provisional design to suit the specific needs and style of the project, selecting the building elements to control and offering products to suit.

If you would like to chat to us about a project please Click here to send us an email.

If you prefer to speak to us in person then please give Nick, Chris or Mark a call on 0131 440 1735.

You may have experienced a KNX smart building without realising it. Many luxury homes have KNX infrastructure and there are also many high profile hotels and commercial buildings which rely on KNX to provide robust and reliable controls.

The 2022 KNX UK award winning project was a new build passivhaus barn project by New Land Solutions.

Heathrow Terminal 5 and Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Children and Young People rely on KNX for their complex lighting needs.

A weather station can be a huge asset in a smart home system as the external climate information can be used in so many ways to make your building respond in a helpful manner.

Bastian Elsner from Elsner Elektronik explains many of the benefits here