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A+P Kieffer Omnitec : BACnet & Topkapi - Smart Building in Luxembourg

Building management

A first project in Luxembourg within a public-private partnership, Mersch's school campus was designed based on an innovating energy concept to achieve passive level consumption (30 kWh/m²/year). Centralized technical management based on an IP network and the Topkapi supervision software, processing over 100,000 variables with native BACnet protocol, contributes to reaching energy objectives.

Final customer

Entrusted with the design, construction and implementation of special techniques of this complex, A+P Kieffer Omnitec Sàrl is a Luxembourg-based company specializing in the construction and maintenance of technical and energy equipment in tertiary and industrial sectors, with extensive know-how in the fields of automation and regulation.

Its technical choices for automation and centralized management were crucial, involving them over the long term: indeed, the originality of this market resides in the partnership between the State and the private consortium, which in addition to financing and construction, will also manage operation and maintenance of the buildings for 25 years.
Built around an innovating regulation concept, the buildings are designed with an excellent thermal package (Basler energy design) achieving passive level energy consumption (30 kWh/m²/year). The complex is governed by centralised management allowing for automated operation of blinds controlled by shadow drop, topography and nearby buildings, lighting being adjusted according to natural light in the classrooms, as well as natural ventilation by motorized windows during day and night.

A communication infrastructure based on a redundant optical fibre IP network was implemented to concentrate information.

A Topkapi supervision station allows easy real-time viewing and control of data on:

  • Comfort (temperature, lighting, …);
  • Safety (triggering electrical protections, technical alarms, …);
  • Technical operation (hot/cold production, ventilation, consumption…).

This station also transmits technical and safety alarms remotely.
The BACnet protocol over IP network was chosen for technical communication, due to its many benefits:

  • Interoperability between equipment from different vendors;
  • Data exchange by notification – event-based – and not by polling (to limit network loads);
  • Object-based programming, particularly for time programming;
  • Independence of job functions with respect to equipment chosen.

At the heart of the system is the Topkapi supervision software with its native BACnet/IP protocol.
Topkapi supports all specifications of the protocol and integrated functions, including:

  • Database creation by importing EDE files or automatic discovery of the equipment;
  • Reading data time-stamped at the source;
  • Management of calendar objects and derogations (BACnet Schedule and Calendar objects) with corresponding synoptic objects for operation;
  • BACnet objects associated with Topkapi objects.

Topkapi also proposes characteristics indispensable to smart building projects:

  • Import of Autocad dxf files;
  • Report module for energy monitoring;
  • High processing capacity: over 110,000 variables declared;
  • Object-based programming;
  • Client/server architecture to operate in network with heavy, lightweight, web clients.

Thanks to these technical options, A+P Kieffer are now ready for smooth operation and maintenance of this campus over the next 25 years.

BACnet controllers:

  • PLC's Saia for production: 8 PCD3-M5xxx
  • PLC's Saia for ventilation: 16 PCD2-M5540
  • PLC's Saia for terminal regulation: 6 PCD2-M5540
  • PLC's Sauter for terminal regulation: 200 Ecos 502
  • Physical points: 7 733 IO's
  • Number of BACnet objects: 33061 objects

Other communication:

  • Boilers: 3Modbus / RS232 links
  • Thermal energy meters: 36 Modbus / RS485 links
  • Electric energy meters: 16 S-bus / RS485
  • Electriv energy meters: 39 Modbus / IP links
  • Water meters: 20 direct (pulses)
  • Pumps: 32 Modbus / RS485 links
  • DHW tanks: 8 modbus / RS485 links
  • Optical fiber: 3340 meters


  • Topkapi database: 110 000 tags
  • Thick client: 1 connection
  • Thin client: 5 connections
  • Web client: 1 connection

The Mersch school campus in a few figures:

  • Implantation on a 6.60 ha plot of land
  • Two new high schools, a music building, a residential shcool, a sports hall, and an outdoor sports field.
  • Accomodation capacity: 1600 students
  • Total gross surface of the buildings: 43 688 m²
  • 1 condensation boiler 294 kW
  • 1 wood chip boiler 270 kW
  • 1 heat pump 65 kW cold/75 kW hot
  • 670 m² 54 kW horizontal ground collectors for HP
  • 54 m² solar panels
  • 19 ventilation plants with double flow heat recovery from 1 500 m3/h to 22 000 m3/h
  • 1 medium voltage conversion station 800kVA

Article published in BACnet France N°5 of 09/12, available online.