We talk a lot about intelligent buildings today with smart software running in the cloud which can optimize operations, save energy, and automatically detect faults. Unfortunately, the reality is that most buildings are “dumb.” In North America, over 80% of the non-residential buildings were constructed before 2000, and most them use pneumatic (compressed air) thermostats to control temperature. They are not able to interface with the Internet, cloud, smart grid, or IoT, and they are less efficient and less comfortable than modern buildings.
Upgrading them using traditional “DDC” technologies requires ripping open walls and ceilings, and disrupting occupants and operations. The cost is prohibitive, and the payback periods are not attractive, which means most existing buildings are trapped in time —they are stranded with old technology. It also means that they cannot communicate with nor take advantage of the newest intelligent building solutions.
We produce patented “non-invasive” technology, which can upgrade pneumatic controls in a fraction of the time and cost of conventional Direct Digital Control (DDC) solutions. Our Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT) typically requires less than 15 minutes to install (vs. many hours for conventional approach), and does not require running wires, cutting open walls or ceilings, nor disrupting occupants. Energy savings of 20-35% are confirmed by independent M&V by the US Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, New York City DCAS, ComEd, etc.
Our technology is installed in over 100 million sq-ft in North America, spanning government, K-12, higher education, healthcare, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. We go to market directly to end-customers, plus also partner with major solutions providers including Honeywell, Trane, Johnson Controls, Siemens, Schneider Electric, GE.
BuildingIQ’s 5i Platform is a leading intelligent building solution. It works wonderfully with buildings which are already digitized and networked, and it can help to save energy and improve operations. However, when it comes to pneumatic buildings, even the 5i platform hits a hurdle; there is little or no data and control to interface with.
This is where our WPT technology comes in. We can very cost-effectively upgrade the existing pneumatic controls. Once done, we have communications and control of zone temperatures, setpoints, valve and damper positions etc. that can in turn integrate with the 5i platform. The combination of Cypress Envirosystems’ WPT plus BuildingIQ’s platform allows us to target the 80% of legacy buildings, which other intelligent building providers cannot do.
Harry Sim is the founder and CEO of Cypress Envirosystems, and is actively involved in developing products to improve existing facilities. He has a passion for low cost non-invasive retrofit solutions, and strongly believes that “green” should be both sustainable and profitable.