Write an App to Improve Occupant Satisfaction and Energy Use

09/01/2013 |

Energy Manager Q&A

 

BUILDINGS Assistant Editor Chris Curtland talks with Brett Sverkas, FM at the Earth Rangers Centre in Woodbridge, ON, about how writing his own apps impacts energy use.

What was the goal of your app?
I wanted to write an occupant engagement application. I wanted to make my job easier and have fewer headaches. By building an app where people make requests and they appear on an interface viewable by my staff, I bridged the communication gap.

The app works on any platform that has a web browser. The user interface has a virtual light switch and displays temperature and humidity on a thermostat. The app is also integrated into the BAS, so it knows when occupancy sensors pick up activity, card readers open doors, and computers are logged on.

How did you build your own app?
I’m self-taught. There are tutorials on YouTube, but I learned predominantly through www.lynda.com and www.vtc.com. Both cost about $30 per month and after about a month of courses, I could write a pretty basic application.

From there, I thought, “Technically, I can tie this system in, and I can add this functionality.” It built over time into an interactive building management system.

How does an occupant engagement app end up cutting energy use?
The backend has huge energy benefits. Now that everything is integrated, we can see if someone has overridden the lights. Also, the building can shut down after 45 minutes if it doesn’t sense any action.

Instead of having the building rigidly scheduled until the latest possible time someone is here – maybe 8 p.m. – if everyone leaves early on Friday, the building will go into shutdown basically right away. Scheduling has become dynamic and responsive. This impacts all building systems.

These energy benefits weren’t exactly unforeseen, but they were an evolution. Having an interactive building management system instead of a strict schedule allows you to respond in the moment.

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Connectrac® wireways are the new standard for bringing power & communications cable management to all interior applications. Free yourself from core drilling!

Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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