Driving Energy Efficiency – New Carbon Tax Planned in Singapore

The message is loud and clear: Consume less energy! Yesterday’s Singapore 2017 budget announcement contained the proposal of a new carbon tax to start in 2019. According to the Bloomberg report above the tax is proposed to be levied on the 30 to 40 biggest producers of greenhouse gasses in Singapore at a rate of…

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BuildingIQ (ASX: BIQ) – Q4 FY2016 Market Update

Financial Summary ● Q4 revenue: A$0.956 million, compared with A$0.955 million in the prior corresponding period (YTD revenue: A$3.762 million) ● Q4 cash receipts from customers: A$1.006 million (A$1.246 million in the prior corresponding period) ● Q4 net cash payments: A$2.316 million, reduced 6.46% from Q3 FY2016 ● 2nd half operating expenses reduced 29.09% from 1st half ● Q4 contract bookings: A$1.955 million, compared with A$1.017 million in the prior corresponding period (YTD bookings: A$4.432 million) Operational Summary ● 23 buildings were added in Q4 for a total of 927 buildings (approx.70m SF) active on the 5i Platform ● FW (Facility Worksite) Service processed over 53,700 work order requests / transactions on the Platform in Q4 (YTD: 215,400) for 600 plus users ● Launched partnership with GE Current ● Recognised as a CSIRO distinguished partner for the 2016 CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award ● Increased size of business pipeline during the quarter to more than A$40 million, driven by the take-up of the new 5i Platform offering. This increase included a portfolio of 8 buildings signed up by Energy Conservation & Supply, Inc., (approx. 480k SF as a single customer) Note: BuildingIQ is incorporated in Delaware and has a 31 December financial year end. BuildingIQ Inc. (ASX: BIQ) today announced its Q4 Market Update for the 3 months ending 31 December 2016. President & CEO, Michael Nark, highlighted both the financial and operational results achieved over the final quarter of 2016, indicating they were attributable to the performance of BuildingIQ’s 5i Platform combined with efficiencies in business operations (as anticipated in the Q3 Market Update). “Over the course of the 4th quarter, we have secured several new customers, which further diversified our portfolio by adding 23 buildings.…

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BuildingIQ (ASX: BIQ) – Removal of US Investor Restriction

Since listing in December 2015, US residents have been restricted from investing in BuildingIQ through the Chess Depository Interests (CDIs). Following an application from the Company, ASX Settlement has advised that the restriction will be removed. “In accordance with ASX Settlement Operating Rule 5.18.9(a), ASX Settlement hereby provides notice that, the following class of Financial Products will be removed from Schedule 1 of the ASX Settlement Operating Rules as FOR Financial Products on Wednesday, 1 February 2017. Issuer Financial Product ASX Code BuildingIQ Inc. Chess Depository Interests 1:1 BIQ   For further information contact: Ian Gilmour Company Secretary Ph. +61 401 700 106 E: gilmour@bigpond.net.au Christine Bowen communicaterelate Ph: +61 414 861 629 E: christine@communicaterelate.com.au

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Finding Balance in the Comfort Zone

By Estatio Gutierrez, Ph.D., Optimization Engineering Manager January 26, 2017 Research has been conducted around the topic of discomfort in the workplace and how it affects productivity. Stuffy, hot rooms make people distracted, while comfortable rooms equate to more socially engaged, constructive, more collaborative people —in other words, more productive. It is the ability to monitor, analyze, and balance all of the critical factors involved in the conditioning of interior space for optimum human comfort that drives what we do at BuildingIQ. Our 5i platform is based on a five-pillar approach that begins with monitoring and data capture, and goes on to advanced modeling, predictive control, and expert human analysis, and client consultation. In the end, our customers know comfort is delivered when their building’s tenants (occupants) are comfortable. This usually happens when the supply air temperature resides within a narrow comfort zone —between 71-75 °F in summer and a little lower in winter. And when the supply air is moving at just the right speed, and the return air has been refreshed, mixed with outside air, and conditioned to filter impurities and bring humidity into alignment. When all of that is in balance, the tenant can put his/her comfort concerns aside and focus on the people around them and the task at hand. A Real Case Scenario One of our recent clients provides a great example of how comfort can be improved by monitoring the performance of a commercial office building, and using predictive energy software to interact with the BMS. One of the first tasks was to help our client identify and resolve technical and mechanical issues that hindered the ability of the HVAC to deliver balanced comfort to the tenant. Our client’s…

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The Four Top Trends Shaping the Building Energy Management Industry

By Steve Nguyen, VP of Product & Marketing January 23, 2017 Many factors influence the building energy management industry on an ongoing basis—some are specific to the field, some spurred by the broader tech industry— and it can be hard to distinguish what is and isn’t a short-lived fad. But, there are some trends that have been picking up steam and are expected to help shape its future. These are four that I think I worth watching: Digital Twinning The tech industry is infatuated with the idea of recreating the world around us in a digital form —from turning people into avatars, to creating digital worlds, to 3D printing. Within the energy management industry, the ability to create a digital version of a building’s physical infrastructure has an actual practical application. Occupancy, comfort, thermal, and weather models contribute to the creation of a digital twin of a building. These models provide valuable information into a building’s performance from an energy consumption perspective. The digital twin can be further enhanced by the addition of machine learning and cloud computing to create a system whose output is insight into the predicted behavior of a building that simply cannot be obtained from merely observing models by themselves. The digital twin is able to show how a building would respond to numerous variable changes in real-time and can help create a responsive building design. A responsive built environment can overcome the intermittency problem of renewables—the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine! This real-time capability of solving intermittency and the need to respond to future energy related data —such as power source— can only be made possible through a digital twin equipped with machine learning and…

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Integrating Alternative Energy Sources Into Demand Response

Ken Hejmanowski, Director of Product Management January 6, 2017 Utilities have created Demand Response (DR) programs as one of their tools to help them balance their operations by managing the flip side of supply. By decreasing demand from their customers at peak times, they’re able to reduce the total supply they must produce, and thus avoid higher costs involved with increasing supply, as well as avoid the risk of generating too little electricity to meet demand. DR programs rely upon customers volunteering to participate in a series of events in exchange for financial incentives. During DR events, participating customers must drop —and validate— their energy demand by agreed-upon amounts in order to qualify for the financial incentives. The methods used by participants to live up to their DR obligations have been largely manual and rather brute force. Many times, it means that a facility manager must push buttons or throw levers to do things such as: Turn off lights Shut down some elevators Shut down heating, venting and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment Reduce HVAC usage through re-setting temperature set points Shut down production processes Shift production processes to other times Many times, these things are done in ways that significantly impact occupant comfort and productivity; yet 90% of a business’ operating costs is tied up in people and their productivity. According to the report, Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices, by the World Green Building Council (Sept. 2014), employee productivity drops by 6% when temperature exceeds the maximum comfort level. So, while a 10% variation in energy cost might contribute only a small amount to the bottom line for a single building, it can have a disproportionate impact on the business’ total operating cost.   Impact of…

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Time to Bundle Up: Combining Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Programs

Steve Nguyen, VP of Product and Marketing November 30, 2016 The idea of bundling services is not new. Television, phone, Internet, insurance have been using this model for years, and utilities have been slow to take a page out of their book. Both commercial buildings and utilities have historically viewed energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) as an “either/or” decision. While there have been barriers to keeping these initiatives apart, BuildingIQ’s technology has proven that it can overcome the hurdles that have kept EE and DR from being bundled to benefit both the utility and the customer. Hurdle 1: Overcoming Upfront Costs Since EE and DR are often siloed from each other, they typically have different allocations —when it comes to funding set aside— for each program by a utility. Bundling the services allows for the utility to share its deployment costs between the DR and EE buckets. As a cloud-based solution, BuildingIQ’s platform requires little to no upfront costs and is offered on a subscription basis. The technology works on top of the existing Building Management System (BMS)— provided that the system uses BACnet/IP. A BuildingIQ Appliance loaded with our Site Agent interfaces with the BMS and acts as the intermediary to read and write points and schedules. Zone temperature setpoints and/or air handling unit static air temperature and static air pressure are the only points that are actually written to the BMS. In all other respects, the BMS software and processes are maintained. In a practical sense, commercial entities get a two for one deal. If the end-client enrolls in an energy efficiency program on BuildingIQ’s platform, demand response is enabled by flipping a virtual switch that, in effect, uses usage and…

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Technology is not meant to replace humans…

Steve Nguyen, Sr. Director of Marketing November 14, 2016 When I started working in the controls industry 20 years ago, it was after a lifetime of tracking and trying new technology. New “stuff” tended to be my passion —from the first epoxy resin tennis racket to the first PCs with micro-channel architecture, to the world’s first laptop (the gigantic Compaq with the 4 inch amber screen). As a young man, I worked at the Sharper Image and sold the world’s first mountain bikes, bread makers, and even baby sound soothers. Even then, technology seemed to be the answer for everything. By the time I joined Echelon —a true IoT pioneer—, I was convinced that instrumenting the built environment was the tipping point that would change the world. I could envision buildings that automatically incorporated wheelchair controllers for actions like calling elevators initiating a fire alarm. At that time hospital wards were already using technology to lock doors when babies got separated from their moms. We were able to build smart environments so we could stop worrying about aging loved ones or make street lights smart enough to dim 5% during evening rush hour (imperceptible to drivers but helped with slowing traffic) commutes. Funny thing though, as we’ve moved to smarter and smarter buildings and the seemingly inevitable “IoT-ification” of life, we find that there’s a disconnect between cloud intelligence and the built environment. It’s as if we’ve hit our equivalent of the uncanny valley —the one that separates life-like robots from human acceptance. How is it, for instance, that a perfectly-optimized building system can be undermined by a poorly shaped hallway? The IoT devices and sensor networks all point to perfection in the environment, but…

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Simultaneous Heating & Cooling – It Could Happen to Anyone

By: Estatio Gutierrez, Building Engineer October 31, 2016 When driving a car, you would never simultaneously hit the accelerator and brake with varying amounts of force to try and reach your desired speed. It would surely waste gas and add unnecessary wear-and-tear to your vehicle. The mental image of such a thing is quite comical. Now, imagine a commercial building instead of a car and it using simultaneous heating and cooling to reach the ideal temperature – it happens more often than you would think! Over time buildings will naturally drift away from original operational targets. The systems that were once painstakingly commissioned and tuned will degrade due to a variety for reasons —from operational changes to maintenance issues to product failure. This was the case with Vista Peak Preparatory School in Aurora, Colorado. Within roughly four years, the school drifted away from LEED Gold certified operations and nearly doubled its energy intensity. By deploying our technology-enabled services backed by our remote team of energy experts, data scientists and building engineers, provided the team at Vista Peak with the information and guidance needed to understand the building’s HVAC system at a granular level and pinpoint problems between equipment and programming, the detection of which would have otherwise been impossible. This access to previously unobtainable data uncovered the existence of simultaneous heating and cooling. The heating coil would control the heating in the morning and around noon turn to a pre-cooling function. The result was that during a short window of time the BMS system tried to both heat and cool the same space! (Read our Vista Peak case study to learn more). This isn’t the only situation that could lead to the overlap of heating…

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Understanding the Value of One Degree of Flexibility in HVAC Setpoints

By: Jen Jackson, Director of Product Management October 31, 2016 On a hot day, many people are inclined to raise the thermostat temperature if they do not plan to be in the house and then lower it to a more comfortable temperature when they return. This practice shows that on some level we understand the strategy of dynamically adjusting our heating and cooling temperatures, even if we do not have a clear picture of the true value these changes provide. This is also true in terms of commercial buildings, where HVAC operations account for a significant percent of overall energy consumption and, thus, can have a sizeable impact on bottom lines. In simplest terms, HVAC costs stem from the energy it takes to change the temperature of the outside air that we bring inside, and the energy it takes to circulate that air. Given this, the greater the difference between outside and inside air temperatures the more energy it takes to change it. When you think about it this way, it is easy to understand why even just one degree of adjustment can yield HVAC savings or added expense. From Concept to Quantification Quantifying the value of each degree has been an exercise undertaken by many. One such study, performed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, used simulations to estimate energy savings for common re-tuning/RCx measures and found that buildings can realize as much as a 20 percent savings by changing both heating and cooling setpoints by as little as two degrees. As a rule of thumb, savings for a single degree fall within the three to six percent range, but this can still have substantial impact on overall savings or expenditures. It’s important to…

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BuildingIQ Speeds Energy Savings Validation with Release of Automated Measurement & Verification Service

5i platform for intelligent energy management powers new service to allow repeatable, on-demand measurement & verification of energy initiatives for commercial building owner/operators, hospitals, educational institutions and government properties San Francisco – October 27, 2016 – BuildingIQ today announced the general availability of a measurement and verification service that allows building owner/operators to automatically measure and verify the effectiveness and impact of energy saving measures in order to qualify for utility or organizational savings incentives and mandates. Called Automated Measurement & Verification (AM&V), the new service is compliant with the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) practices and is designed to deliver faster, more reliable M&V while being much more cost effective than traditional approaches. AM&V rides on top of the BuildingIQ’s recently released 5i energy intelligence platform. With AM&V, organizations can deploy M&V technology once, and use it frequently—saving time, money and complexity. “Automating data gathering and making M&V calculations transparent can reduce project costs and improve confidence in the energy savings,” said Teddy Kisch, Senior Project Manager at Energy Solutions. “Incorporating automated M&V protocols into a platform solution like BuildingIQ offers is a critical component of next-generation building technologies and will someday be ubiquitous for many energy consuming devices.” Energy Solutions is a clean energy consulting firm implementing a 25-building pilot with BuildingIQ and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The pilot focuses on building customer confidence developing supply-chain infrastructure to scale intelligently-managed building energy services throughout the state. According to Sampath Gomatam, BuildingIQ’s vice president of product, “Measurement & verification is an essential component of sustained energy efficiency and sustainability. The decision to develop AM&V as both a standalone service and as an element of our premium…

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BuildingIQ Stands Tall Among Giants in Navigant Research’s Leaderboard

By Steve Nguyen, Sr. Director, Marketing September 26, 2016 Navigant Research recently released its Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) leaderboard, which provides an objective evaluation of intelligent building solution providers that are active in the global marketplace. Given how competitive the intelligent buildings market is, it’s an honor to be among the select 15 companies reviewed for the report. It’s an even greater honor to have ranked sixth. This extensive report, developed using Navigant’s proprietary Leaderboard methodology, assesses a number of variables, including production strategy, technology, geographic research, sales, product quality, product portfolio, pricing, and staying power among other factors. As such, it takes a great deal of effort and excellence to not only be included on, but also move around this chart. Although not technically one of the two “Leaders” (yet), every company ahead of BuildingIQ is a multi-billion dollar and multi-national corporation with a lengthy, in some cases century-long, history that provides extensive building automation system hardware and software. Their rich pasts have enabled them to become household names and amass an extensive stock of clients. BuildingIQ’s placement on the chart among these giants, as a young company founded just seven years ago, validates our drive, long-term vision, and winning strategy. It’s a true tribute to the hard work of each and every member of our young company. As stated by Navigant, a BEMS is the cornerstone of any intelligent building. As such, it must be able to adapt to the growing complexity of the market and the ever-expanding number of inputs being factored into the decisions of facilities staff. Just like our platform, one of BuildingIQ’s strengths as a company is its ability to adjust for these changing conditions. Our recently unveiled…

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Automated Measurement & Verification the BuildingIQ Way

By Jen Jackson, Director of Product Management, CMVP September 16, 2016 One of the favorite parts of my job is building new products that make life easier for my customers. With the introduction of our 5i Platform, we’ve taken the wraps off of one of the cooler features of our Predictive Energy Optimization™. (PEO) solution and given it life. We call it Automated Measurement & Verification, or AM&V for short. What we wanted to do was make the process of M&V faster, simpler, more reliably accurate, and —very importantly—repeatable. Our M&V process is largely automated and adheres to the key principles set forth by the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP). Once deployed, AM&V can be used any number of times for qualifying for utility incentives, rebate programs, or measuring and verifying the results of other energy initiatives. And if systems change, adjustments can be calculated with just a few clicks. We offer AM&V as a standalone service and bundled with BuildingIQ’s Predictive Control services —Demand Response and PEO. How We Do It We automate data collection (independent and dependent variables), baseline creation, baseline prediction output, savings calculations (baseline vs. actual), and non-routine adjustments. The baseline models go through rigorous review prior to use and all results undergo periodic quality assurance. With all functionality built into BuildingIQ’s cloud-based platform, the process is user-friendly and transparent. Equally important though is that the methodology is consistent and repeatable, and not as prone to human error. This means that stakeholders can evaluate system performance without costly and time-consuming, third-party analysis, yet all of the building blocks are available as auditors’ needs arise. Reporting Savings Once a validated baseline model is in place, BuildingIQ optimization is enabled (or…

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