Some of Australia’s largest commercial property owners could soon reap the benefits of an award-winning, CSIRO developed energy management system, following a new deal between the now US-based BuildingIQ and local outfit, BSA Group.
The deal, announced on Tuesday, will see BSA Group – a technical and commercial services provider with a network of more than 500 contracting companies – integrate BuildingIQ’s cloud-based energy management software into its services across major shopping centers, office buildings and hospitals around the country.
The BuildingIQ PEO platform – PEO stands for Predictive Energy Optimization – on offer to BSA clientele automatically makes changes to heating and cooling (HVAC) operations using real-time variables such as occupant comfort, building characteristics, historical data, weather forecasts and utility signals.
It works by calibrating itself to a building’s unique characteristics and, essentially, running itself with little need for human intervention and no disruption to a building’s occupants.
The technology is part of what BuildingIQ’s CTO, Peter Dickinson, calls the “participatory grid,” in a blog published recently on Huffington Post. (And this Rocky Mountain Institute blog post, re-published on RE today, explains the concept further.)
“This technology is more than just a logic-based, pre-determined-response set up. It is able to understand the situation the building and grid are facing and make changes that are beneficial 10-15 moves into the future instead of making changes for instant gratification that could void a future opportunity.”
According to Michael Nark, BuildingIQ’s CEO, the Australian founded but now California-based company’s PEO platform is an ideal fit for organisations like BSA Group, which provides a full inventory of services to a wide range of clients, including 24/7 hospitals and shopping centers, with heavy foot traffic.
“With Predictive Energy Optimization, decisions are based on data taken from customised variables, meaning our system can effectively generate (energy) savings under countless conditions,” he said.
These continuous energy savings can then free up valuable cash flow, Nark says, creating a new revenue stream for building owners that can be directed toward other services.
The product of another successful CSIRO spin-off, BuildingIQ’s software has won several awards, including most recently a National Energy Efficiency Industry Award for Best Commercial Energy Efficiency Project by EEC Australia; and the NSW gong for sustainability in this year’s Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) 2015 iAwards program.
It has also won a Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers Award, Fierce Innovation Awards’ “Best in Show”, a Cool Vendor in Green IT and Sustainability by Gartner and listed on the Global Cleantech 100 and AlwaysOn Going Green Global 200.
After completing a second round of private funding in the US in April, BuildingIQ was considering listing on the ASX, a move that was said to potentially value the company at around $100 million.
It was reported that, after trying to crack the US market, BuildingIQ was shifting its focus to Australia, where Nark said there existed a better opportunity to create “win-win partnerships”.
“There is a deeper commitment to ‘green’ in Australia than in the US,” he said. “Over there some places are focused on it, such as pockets of California and the north-east states, but elsewhere [in the US] it is really not mainstream.”