La Cuca Rural Cottage
In today’s case study, we’ll be travelling to Lerín, located in the province of Navarra, Spain. This picturesque region, sat on the banks of the river Ega, is an area of wineries, caves and beautiful homes. “La Cuca” is one of these, where extensive restoration work has taken place; particularly surrounding the issue of energy management.
Efficiency & Integration
It’s not always easy to keep costs down when running a guest house. Whilst the owners want to maintain energy efficiency (and therefore their profits), they also want to ensure maximum comfort for the guests that come to stay with them.
For heating and hot water, this project combines both a pellet stove and a gas boiler. The Miniserver intelligently controls and automates the use of these depending on the desired temperature, the time of year, and the number of occupants. of the house. This automatic control not only improves efficiency, but also gives the management peace of mind, who can control and monitor the status of the heating system wherever they are using the Loxone App.
Located at the front of La Cuca is a pellet stove, which, alongside a gas boiler, is responsible for heating the different rooms in the house, the jacuzzi, as well as the dehumidifier and producing hot water. With the help of Loxone, the energy usage of these is efficiently managed depending on the time of year and the occupancy of the house.
Although hot water is typically produced ‘on-demand’ using heat from the gas boiler, when the house is fully occupied, the Miniserver knows to store hot water in a tank so it’s available whenever anybody needs to use it.
Additionally, a recirculating hot water pump ensures a consistent supply of hot water in the pipes to the bathrooms, meaning that water isn’t wasted whilst the occupants wait for it to heat up. However, this only operates when the Miniserver knows the bathrooms are going to be used; otherwise, it saves energy by not recirculating the hot water.
At the entrance to the property, an iButton reader can be used to let the Miniserver know if the house is occupied or not. When an iButton is placed on the reader, the lights come on and the zoned heating ensures a comfortable temperature in the rooms. When nobody’s in, the house is in ‘All Out’ mode, which saves energy by switching off the lights, taking idle appliances off of ‘standby’ mode, as well as turning down the heating.
The Loxone door contact and iButton reader work together to inform the Miniserver if someone enters or leaves the house. When this happens, the sign above the door as well as the reader light up as a gentle reminder for the occupant to use their iButton.
The ‘jewel’ of La Cuca
In the basement lays the real treasure of La Cuca. A bespoke jacuzzi built into the stone adds a distinguished touch to the house, using the coloured LED lighting to create an intimate environment. When nobody’s using the jacuzzi, the Loxone motion sensor turns both the jacuzzi and lighting off to conserve energy.
In addition to this, Loxone’s temperature and humidity sensing capabilities intelligently control the dehumidifier to ensure ultimate comfort for whoever is using the spa.
Loxone Silver Partner Acimuth have been working with Loxone since 2013, specialising in energy conservation and renewable energy sources. With extensive experience in the energy sector, Acimuth have been able to automate the installation of solar photovoltaic panels, biomass stoves, amongst other renewable sources that help save energy all round.
Regarding their latest project, ‘La Cuca’, manager Javier Heredia gave us his opinion:
“The combination of automation with a classic look in a rural house has given us an end product where the traditional and the modern come together in harmony.”
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