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What are smart building controls?!



We keep hearing that smart controls are revolutionizing buildings everywhere, making them more energy efficient, saving people money, making buildings safer, and more comfortable.

And yet, what I keep seeing over and over again are antiquated legacy controls calling themselves smart.

At the simplest level, smart building controls make every system in a building smarter in an open and transparent way.

So, what is a smart building control? Let me break it down into the components:

1. Smart controls improve energy efficiency and make comfort consistent

Smart building controls use sensors and software to run the systems in the building in a smarter way to deliver better outcomes for that building.

"Smart controls have such a transformative impact on energy use that most local utilities will pay you to install them."

For example, smart controls can make the heating system run much more optimally, which means that the temperatures in the building are more comfortable and you save a ton of energy.

They can also do things like detect when a heating system goes down instantly so that people can be dispatched to fix the system before anybody notices.

2. Buildings are easier to manage with smart controls

Smart controls make buildings vastly easier to manage because management doesn't have to manually adjust every setting in the building. The control monitors the building and makes adjustments to various systems automatically.

A smart control platform uses the same set of sensors and hardware and can easily be easily used for controlling the heating system, cooling system, electric systems, fans, motors, lights, water - everything in the building.

The platform doesn't necessarily have to do everything from day one, but it has to be designed in a way that it can eventually manage every system if the owner chooses.

smart control transparency

Most legacy controls simply aren't designed that way. They require a new control and a new set of hardware for every system, which is not only very expensive, but, operationally, very clumsy. 

3. Smart controls are transparent with data and outcomes

The third part of this definition is in order to have a true smart control, you have to have transparency around the results it's driving.

Anybody can say that their control is smart, but very few can actually prove that they've actually made a building smarter with published data on thousands of buildings.

True smart control platforms show you in real-time how much energy the system has saved, how much carbon it's reduced, and how many problems it's detected in a transparent way that you can actually audit.

Smart controls are having a transformative impact on buildings and utility companies are supporting it

Because smart controls are so effective and you can audit their outcomes, utilities will pay to have them installed in your building. Use this form below to see if your building is eligible for utility funding.

Everything says it's getting smarter these days, but the reality is very few technology products, particularly in the building space, actually do it.

When buildings actually have a real smart control platform installed, we not only make buildings smarter, we make cities smarter, and, at Runwise, we have the data to prove it all along the way.