Smart building platforms becoming smarter

| by Steve Arel

Managing a system of HVAC units poses a host of challenges for commercial facility operators. Those challenges are even more formidable when the systems are spread across multiple structures in several locations.

But facility managers don’t want to – and can’t – spend gobs of time perched in front of monitors keeping tabs on the functionality of their facilities.

The advent of smart technology has helped managers to provide better oversight of their operations, but they don’t completely give them the ability to still be in touch while away.

Ventactity Systems is working to change that by building upon smart platforms, making smart technology more intelligent.

The company, started just a few years ago, outfits heat recovery ventilator (HRV) rooftop units with cellular and wifi antennas, along with GPS, to connect directly to the cloud. Those technologies allow managers to have access to a multitude of controls and visibility – with the building networks sending updates to those managers.

“When we developed this platform, we did a lot of research,” said Barry Stephens, Eastern region sales manager for Ventacity. “We brought in contractors, engineers and architects. They told us, ‘I don’t want to have to watch something to monitor buildings. That would be too much for me to do.’ So what we’ve done is take that away.”

The Ventacity technology texts and emails reports to managers wherever they are and is accessible whenever they want it. The information shows data at all levels, from overall building energy consumption, to room temperatures and occupancy, to specific unit operation.

The system even can send notifications to tell service providers when an filter needs to be changed.

“They can monitor indoor air quality, and they can sell indoor air quality by having that data and showing that to potential renters,” Stephens said. “They can confirm that their building is a healthy building. That’s becoming a building with value.”

Ventacity Systems also has teamed with Fujitsu General America to provide a more efficient heating, cooling, ventilation and controls solution for commercial buildings.  

The companies are offering a solution that combines Ventacity’s energy-efficient ventilation and its new Ventacity HVAC 2  Smarter Building Platform whole-building controls technology with Fujitsu’s full line of Airstage VRF heating and cooling systems. The two systems working together enhance comfort, provide better zoning and create a healthier indoor environment, officials said.

The plug-and-play integration between the Airstage system and Ventacity’s cloud-enabled, HRV effectively lowers the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) capacity needed to keep buildings at setpoint temperatures while ventilating per ASHRAE 62.1. The addition of Ventacity’s HVAC 2 platform adds a cloud-based system that helps cost-effectively monitor and manage HVAC systems in a single building or across entire building portfolios, capturing vital building analytics that can optimize the system’s performance. 

 


Topics: Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Construction Firms, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Office Buildings, Technology, Ventilation


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