Building automation

GFR – Your partner for building automation

GFR - Gesellschaft für Regelungstechnik und Energieeinsparung mbH with its trademarks DIGICONTROL® and DIGIVISION® is one of the leading providers in the field of building automation.

We are pleased to give you an insight into innovations and solutions of our company. We have been taking care of energy savings and providing solutions from a single source for building automation, building management and energy management for more than 40 years.

Building automation made by GFR – What are the advantages?
  • Automation of buildings since 1978
  • Short distances, fast response times
  • 15 subsidiaries in Germany and Europe
  • Integral and upwardly compatible system solutions from a single source
  • Energy efficiency of buildings can be increased by 30 % and more
  • Quality made in Germany, own production of control cabinets
  • More than 260 employees
  • Investing in DIGICONTROL means investing in in powerful, expandable and sustainable building systems which will meet tomorrow’s increasing requirements.

Take advantage of our expertise!

For all questions, starting with the planning, implementation, optimization and support of your buildings, you have only one contact person with GFR.


What is building automation?

Building automation (BA) is the automatic control of building functions like heating, air-conditioning, ventilation, lighting and shading. As an essential component of technical facility management, building automation aims at saving energy and operating costs, automatically executing functional processes across trades in accordance with defined parameters and simplifying operation and monitoring. All sensors, actuators, operating elements, loads and other technical units in the building are networked with each other. Processes can be summarised in scenes and enable an intelligent and optimised interaction of the different components.

The three levels of building automation

Building automation was introduced as official trade in 1993 and is subdivided into three levels:

  • The management level
  • The automation level
  • The field level (sensors and actuators)
Levels of building automation - GFR System topology
Click to enlarge image

Definition of the term “Building automation (BA)” in accordance with the standard VDI 3814 sheet 1:

“Building automation comprises equipment, software and services for the automatic control, monitoring, optimisation, operation and management for the energy-efficient, economical and safe use of the technical building installations.“

What are the benefits of building automation?

The topic energy efficiency has become a global challenge in the light of increasing energy prices and the drastically progressing climate change.

Savings of up to 30% in building operation are realistic when using building automation and measuring and control technology (without any loss of comfort and without changes on the building envelope). The energy efficiency and energy utilisation are constantly monitored (energy monitoring) and enhanced in a target-oriented way.

Building automation is becoming increasingly important because:

  • More than 40% of the energy consumption in the world arises in buildings.
  • The sustainable use of energy has become a business task as reduced energy costs lead to enhanced competitiveness.
  • The energy efficiency of buildings can be increased by up to 30 % by means of an optimised building automation system of the energy efficiency class A.
  • Integrated solutions for building automation and room automation are one of the essential means for this purpose.
  • Investments in building automation, even and especially in existing systems, usually amortise in a very short time.

In which buildings is building automation used?

Building automation can be found in almost all building categories, like office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, event locations, training centres, industry and safety facilities. Each building category has specific requirements with respect to building automation.

An excerpt of our references can be found here:

Which building components are automated by means of building automation?

Various trades and plants which are required for the operation of the building are contained in the technical building services. Those trades and systems are controlled and integrated by building automation systems and include energy centres and heat generators, heating, cooling, ventilation, air-conditioning, warm water generation, sanitary facilities, electrical engineering, lighting, shading, energy data logging, fire detection systems, hold-up alarm systems, access control systems, video surveillance, network technology, multimedia devices, stage equipment, elevators, telephone systems, communication systems, maintenance management systems, billing systems and facility management.

Areas of application and functions of building automation

  • Automatic control of temperatures, humidity, CO2 and air quality in rooms
  • Efficient automation of energy centres, ventilation stations and energy recovery
  • Demand-dependent dimming and switching the light on or off via presence, brightness or scenarios
  • Shading equipment/ blinds in dependence of sunlight, room temperature, wind and scenarios
  • Implementation of scenarios like central switching on or off, central room climate control and blind adjustment, presence and absence, anti-burglary protection etc.
  • Execution of emergency scenarios
  • All control processes and states in the building are centrally collected and displayed
  • Increased security via monitoring door and window contacts, motion detectors and hold-up alarm systems
  • Implementation of access control systems
  • Optimisation of energy efficiency by consumption data logging of heat meters, water meters, gas meters, electricity meters and energy data management
  • Controlling media devices and multi-room systems
  • Switching of electrical devices like washing machine, dryer, dishwasher and others by schedules and/or integration of smart grid
  • Peak load monitoring
  • Functions for the implementation of smart home
  • Remote monitoring and remote control of buildings by means of mobile devices via internet or telephone network

What components do building automation systems consist of?

The components for setting up a building automation system are:

  • Automation systems

    - Automation stations (AS), BACnet Building Controller (B-BC) and input and output modules (I/O modules)
    - Operating units and touch panels
    - Communication interfaces for KNX, DALI, Modbus, M-Bus, radio technology EnOcean
    - Room automation systems

  • Field devices

    - Sensors and monitors for temperature, CO2, air quality, humidity, pressure, level, etc.
    - Valves and actuators
    - Actuating drives for air dampers

  • Building management like management and operation controls (software for visualising the information from building automation – previously called: Building management system (BMS)
  • Energy management
  • Control cabinets
  • Overvoltage protection
  • Cable tray and electrical wiring
  • Data bus systems
  • Server and gateways

Contact us now

You will only have one contact partner as GFR is capable of answering all your questions concerning planning, implementation and support for your buildings.

Take advantage of our unique competence. We look forward to receiving your calls at 052 46 962-0

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