CopperTree Analytics sponsored content 2015-09-15 12:55:11
Smart buildings have promised a lot: from simplified management, energy efficiency and workflow benefits, to occupant behavior insights and maintenance cost savings. But smart buildings often fail to deliver on those promises—and one company feels that needs to change. Delta Controls was born out of a commitment to deliver on a promise to a client, a philosophy which remains just as central today. Back in 1980, Energrated Systems Consultants was founded by Raymond Rae and Brian Goodchild to focus on improving the energy performance and operation of existing buildings. They had just won a contract to upgrade the building systems for three local schools when their product supplier discontinued the product they had just sold. They say that “necessity is the mother of invention” so Brian and Raymond built their own product, building upon the advancements being made in low-cost microprocessor technology at the time and spearheaded the development of one of the first direct digital control systems—which became the electronic manufacturer known as Delta Controls when it was incorporated in 1987. Now Delta Controls is one of the largest independently owned manufacturers of building automation equipment and software, with over 300 distributors, and many thousands of installations in more than 80 countries. Executive Vice President John Nicholls believes that the tremendous growth of the company is due to a very Canadian modesty and a determination to play their part in making the world a better place. Sure, advancing energy efficiency technology has a part to play in that, but the team at Delta Controls recognizes that every facility manager, building owner and even every occupant makes a sustainability contribution. By making the most customizable building automation systems, Delta helps building owners and managers take back control of their buildings. In this way, they work together to save energy—and a small piece of the world—one building at a time. The complexity of building automation technology continues to increase for operators as more systems are integrated, which is probably why many “smart buildings” have failed to deliver the huge energy savings they promised. Yet we keep investing in smart buildings. . . . A research report by Memoori* forecasts that by 2020, smart buildings will be one of the largest vertical markets for “The Internet of Things.” To put that in perspective, it suggests that we’ll be spending almost as much on getting data from our buildings as we will on the personal electronics, which facilitate our daily lives. “The problem with realizing energy savings in buildings,” says Dave Stephen, a Product Manager at Delta Controls, “is that they constantly change as they are used. Schedules are adjusted, pumps or fans on auto are switched to manual, and then we forget to change them back. It is a real challenge to monitor all the building systems and settings simultaneously.” The team at Delta designed enteliWEB to solve this problem. enteliWEB is a native BACnet front-end building and energy management system, which gives building teams the power to manage the performance and energy consumption of a single building, or an entire portfolio, all from one terminal. “We want to empower building operators to release the savings that an automation system should provide,” adds Stephen. A building management system dashboard should link seamlessly into its building automation system so that facilities teams can make real time changes to schedules and systems set points directly from the software. In the case of Delta’s enteliWEB product energy managers, facility managers, administrators and users across an organization can customize dashboards, mobile alerts and KPI reports to assign tasks, and address issues by making immediate BMS changes. These are all key factors in making smart buildings work for their occupants. But how do we know what changes to make to yield the greatest performance improvement? Part of the answer is right there in the buildings—in the equipment and components of building automation systems (BAS). Data. Masses of data. These volumes and volumes of building data can tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it—if you can make sense of it all—which is why Delta Controls created CopperTree Analytics. CopperTree Analytics knows how to make sense of the data. They combine an understanding of the technology that controls buildings with the practicalities of maintaining them, and provide a SaaS solution designed to help building and energy managers address both maintenance and energy efficiencies. Using a Delta manufactured data archiver called CopperCube, CopperTree pulls BAS data directly from buildings and stores it securely in the cloud; useful if you ever need a full systems backup. Then CopperTree’s analytic engine—Kaizen—adds insight about the impact of variables unique to the building. Kaizen transforms BAS data from streams of numbers into meaningful information that identifies issues and triggers, so that managers know where to focus their attention to save energy and target maintenance efforts. This simplified, targeted information enables Energy Managers to drill down into energy performance, even to a device level, which was prohibitively expensive before. It enables Facilities Managers to change from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance because they can target their efforts based on fault detection and diagnostics straight from their systems. Building Managers are able to see the performance of a whole portfolio; be that a university campus or school district. This wider perspective provides a more accurate lens through which to view operations, informing and potentially changing the way they allocate resources. Kaizen combines Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) and Energy analytics to give building professionals the most complete picture. “With most energy applications today, you’re getting less than half the story about what’s going on in your building,” says Kevin Binnie, Director of Product Management at CopperTree Analytics. “Kaizen combines both types of analytics to give deep insight into the performance of your building, allowing you to make key operational decisions that optimize your building’s performance without compromising comfort.” But knowing where to act is only the start of the solution. “Separate energy measurement and building operating systems now just don’t make sense,” says President of Delta Controls Brian Goodchild. Your system needs to be flexible enough to track building performance and adjust the building systems. This is why the integration of CopperTree’s Kaizen building analytics, with the enteliWEB building management front end is so powerful. Kaizen shows you where to act and enteliWEB gives you the control to make those changes directly in your building automation system. Through Delta Controls’ goal of making buildings more sustainable—by helping making them simpler to run—they’re working to restore the integrity of smart buildings. They’re working to make good on a promise. Memoori Business Intelligence Ltd. Big Data in Smart Buildings: Market Prospects 2015–2020. London, UK. 2015. Web.
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