The current solutions to building energy management, monitoring and control are sub-optimized for Demand-Response (DR) and Building Utilization Efficiency applications because they generally fail to facilitate communications between products from different companies. Many communication-enabled energy/demand management devices (sensors, actuators, controllers) that originate from different manufacturers have limited options for interconnection between devices operating on diverse wireless- network protocols (ZigBee, WiFi, EnOcean, Blutooth, ZWave, etc.), and are thus unable to function as a cohesive ecosystem. There are often significant installation costs involved with installing ethernet cabling/wiring to interconnect the multiple coordinators/gateways per floor (to establish a robust network of wireless access points, eg. 0.5 mile of cable length per 100,000 sq. ft), and user interfaces are often incompatible. The lack of a cohesive ecosystem results in reduced ROI on the installed energy-efficiency systems, due a non-optimal, relatively smaller reduction in both the energy consumption and demand, while also compromising occupant comfort. Thus, there is a need for a protocol-agnostic distributed intelligent networking of end-devices, that ensures robust interconnectivity between the diverse sensor, actuator and controller end-devices in the building systems, along with a connectivity of this ecosystem to the BMS (in cases where BMS is implemented). In buildings sized less than 100,000 sq.ft, the lack of a cost-effective BMS implementation requires a solution that also offers an interactive analytics and reporting software user-interface. A cohesively functioning, spatially distributed sensor network (linked to distributed actuators and controllers) would enables the gathering of occupancy, traffic and ambient information, as well as the extraction of building utilization data. This could influence the building energy consumption via optimized predictive ramp-up/down of a building in its daily operating cycle, while also ensuring occupant safety & comfort, since even a 10% loss of productivity due to lack of occupant comfort in a workplace can result in costs that exceed the operating energy/utility costs by a factor of 10x.
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