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Building Automation on the iPad

Low energy consumption was one of the main goals that Günther Heumann pursued when he was planning his new corporate headquarters. At the same time, he wanted to demonstrate modern building automation to his customers. A WAGO ETHERNET Controller and an app for the iPad form the basis of the building automation.

The new corporate headquarters for Elektro-Service Heumann GmbH offers CEO Günther Heumann and his ten employees 400 m² of office and storage space. During planning, special focus was placed on providing optimal comfort in the space while keeping energy costs low. For example, the south-facing facade is nearly all glass, allowing the sun to warm up the rooms during the colder seasons. Blinds ensure that the temperature does not climb too high in the summer. A wood-fired furnace with an output of 14.5 kW provides the building with warm-air heat if the solar radiation alone is not sufficient.

In cold weather, a cross-stream heat exchanger uses the exhaust air to warm the supply air so that very little energy is required for heating. COMFORT AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY Building Automation on the iPad It is also possible to cool the rooms using the supply air. To accomplish this, ground heat collectors were situated under the parking garage; these use a brine pipeline and a heat exchanger to cool the supply air.

Elektro-Service Heumann GmbH Company Building

  • Central Air-Conditioning Control
  • Light, Sound and Video Monitoring
  • Operation via iPad

Central Air-Conditioning Control

Günther Heumann uses the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM with the 750-881 ETHERNET Controller to automate the air-conditioning system. The ETHERNET Controller adjusts the supply and exhaust air flaps in the individual rooms, the cross-stream heat exchanger, the ventilator motors, the heating, the pump for cooling and the SMI drives for the blinds. Temperature sensors in the rooms provide the current actual value; the controller compares this to the setpoint specified by the user in order to adjust the ventilation flaps accordingly. The WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM thus automatically controls the entire air-conditioning system. Günther Heumann and his team created the CODESYS programming themselves in accordance with IEC 61131-3.


Light, Sound and Video Monitoring

The building automation at Elektro-Service Heumann was also designed to meet another important requirement: The company would like to demonstrate to customers what is possible using this type of solution. To achieve this, all systems were to be incorporated into the central automation if possible. Thus, in addition to HVAC for individual rooms, the WAGO controller regulates the lighting via DMX bus, and also controls video monitoring and a Bose multi-room sound system. Touch-panel controls in the individual rooms transmit user inputs to the automation technology using EnOcean wireless technology. Special sensors in the window handles also communicate via EnOcean; signaling the controller whether the window is open, tipped or closed.


Operation via iPad

However, the highlight of the entire automation system is the user interface on the Apple iPad. The user can program all automation settings centrally and access all functions individually. At the same time, the “AmbientRC” app, created by Günther Heumann, provides an overview of the current status of the building automation – it displays the current electrical power consumption for the entire building, among other things. Reduction of lighting energy consumption Parameterization and visualization of building automation via iPad Control of HVAC, lighting, video monitoring and a Bose multi-room sound system

To display the building automation information on the iPad, the controller generates the appropriate XML files and stores them on the internal Webserver. The app then visualizes the information on the iPad. Company owner Heumann is completely satisfied: “From the lighting control, to the blinds, to the incorporation of sound systems, the WAGO ETHERNET Controller offers a lot of possibilities that we’ve used here in our own building.”


  • Lighting energy reduction
  • Parameterization and visualization of building automation via iPad
  • Control of HVAC, lighting, video monitoring and a Bose multi-room sound system

By Detlef Holfeder | 2013-03-19

Image sources: Elektro-Service Heumann, WAGO

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