Aircuity, Focused on “Not Using Energy You Don’t Need,” Tracks and Streamlines Building Ventilation

7/29/10Follow @xconomy

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the operators of building management systems build big cushions into their settings to ensure that the facilities are meeting air quality standards. And when a building is reported as feeling stuffy, most managers just override the control settings to blast additional air into the entire space, because they lack the information to pinpoint the source of the problem, Brierley adds. He says Aircuity’s system can bring accurate information to the building management systems throughout the day, so an area isn’t blindly ventilated.

“In some respects, we don’t look a great deal different than a security system or fire system that hangs off of their network,” he says. “That building management system is taking that input in, and increasing or decreasing ventilation.”

Aircuity has some history building management control, though. It traces its roots to 1998, when Honeywell acquired Phoenix Controls, a maker of laboratory airflow controls. Two years later, the managers of the business unit acquired the assets and technology from Honeywell and spun out as an independent company. Their backers include Source Squared and Venture Capital Fund of New England.

Aircuity’s monitoring technology falls into the slice of clean and green technology focused on “not using energy you don’t need to,” to use Brierley’s words. I’ve written about other companies that monitor energy use and consumption in order to eliminate inefficiencies, like Boston-based Digital Lumens, which combines LED lighting with networking technology that determines how to illuminate commercial-scale warehouses based on the functions of the building, and Gloucester, MA’s GroundedPower, which helps households track energy consumption.

“Energy efficiency, carbon footprint, or sustainability is the initial driver” that attracts customers to Aircuity’s technology, Brierley says. But he says information and analytics are the next push for the business. Aircuity is transitioning to provide more for customers interested in this intelligence gathered through the OptiNet system.

Brierley says the company is developing a suite of software products with dashboards that distill the data, and break down the information for building managers based on conditions that effect their operations. He says these diagnostics and analytics features will give facility owners more insight to the trends and components of their buildings’ airflows. “We’re also able to tell them things about their buildings that they care about.”

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