The pandemic and its eccentric nature has revolutionized the work approach across the globe. Employees throughout the world are coming to terms with the new working style, and we’ve also got the workspaces shaping themselves to adapt to the changing times.
With vaccinations being in full swing, platforms are gradually shifting towards a hybrid work culture. This in turn has set companies on the lookout for flexible workspaces leading to quite an upswing in the demand for coworking spaces.
Making cost efficiency a priority and with the goal of conserving energy and cutting down on expenditure in the COVID19 world, energy efficient systems have become a growing trend in coworking spaces. Yet another preference is given to the workspace’s air quality, with the health and wellbeing of the employees being of utmost priority.
This is where the promising technology startup 75F steps in, offering a predictive building intelligence system by self-optimising solutions like HVAC, indoor air quality (IAQ) and lighting. These solutions are based on inputs from sensors, weather data, configuration settings and predictive algorithms, delivering up to 50% savings on energy
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75F, a fast-growing Building Intelligence Solutions provider has been leveraging IoT and cloud computing to predict, monitor and proactively manage different elements in a building. This exclusive interview with Gaurav Burman, VP & APAC President, 75F, delves into the workings of the company, how it cuts down energy consumption and expenses and promotes energy efficiency in workspaces.
75F was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Minneapolis - USA. The platform launched its operations in India in August 2016, and has been growing steadily, acquiring several customers ever since.
The name of the platform, 75F, is based on the temperature 75 Fahrenheit, which was set by the United Nations in 2008 as the optimum temperature in all its offices worldwide. Seeking inspiration from this, the company aims to offer maximum comfort while simultaneously saving maximum energy.
In the last 5 years alone, 75F has notched up several customers including popular names like Border Foods, Magnet 360, Rockler and Yoga Fit in the US and has created hundreds of energy-efficient and intelligent buildings in this journey.
“We are a Building Intelligence Solutions provider that leverages IoT and cloud computing to predict, monitor and proactively manage various elements in a building including its temperature, lighting, air quality and its energy management needs.”
Burman mentions that 75F’s self-learning System optimizes comfort, enhances energy efficiency and offers insights regarding the efficient use of energy by commercial buildings.
He goes on to point out that the company has developed a unique approach to HVAC zone controls - Dynamic Airflow Balancing™. This solution leverages IoT design philosophy and cloud computing power for achieving continuous commissioning or perfect air balancing.
“We also offer Lighting Automation and Control, Outdoor Air Optimisation, and Indoor Air Quality Management solutions among others.” Burman adds. He states that the primary solution among these is Facilisight, a futuristic energy management tool that allows customers to manage temperature and lighting remotely and round the clock across multiple geographic sites.
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75F is a member of the United Nations Environment Program-Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI), an international platform for stakeholders to jointly carry out activities supporting sustainable development.
In case of India, the company has partnered with India Green Buildings Council (IGBC) and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).
“Our smart HVAC solution is designed to fit the dynamic needs of every building.” Burman says. He also adds that it uses data on temperature and air flow at different locations, maintaining optimal numbers and saving on energy and lighting costs by up to 50%.
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“In fact, our estimates show that if buildings deployed our solution globally, we could save three billion barrels of oil, take 277 million cars off the road and shut down 360 coal plants,” he stated. He also pointed out that the solutions can be optimised for adjusting older buildings and also new architectural plans, allowing the clients to benefit from sustainable building maintenance regardless of their infrastructure.
“We are proud that our solution is helping to construct a more sustainable world, and can support sustainability programs with 38 LEEDv4 credits, Arc score integration for benchmarking, and WELL building insights. “
People spend most of their time within the boundaries of the commercial buildings where shared offices and high-touch areas increase the number of microbes and viruses on surfaces and in the air.
Burman cited that several researchers have discovered that places like refrigerators, drawer handles, doors and coffee pots tend to have the highest concentrations of germs, calling for regular sanitisation on at least an hourly basis. “Regarding air transmission, our HVAC system products help control indoor air quality and better ventilation. They maintain appropriate circulation, filtration, humidity and temperatures to ensure that micro-organisms move rapidly through the system and that the air is kept fresh.” he added.
Burman emphasised that 75F’s Epidemic Mode has been designed to maximize ventilation and outside air, in order to maintain healthy and safe indoor environments amidst the pandemic.
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“The parameters of the application are based on the latest guidance from scientists, government organizations and global industry leaders. As recommendations from these authorities evolve over time, Epidemic ModeTM updates over the cloud to implement the most current strategies and minimize viral transmission, all while maximizing energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ).”
“75F’s system learns the building’s patterns over time and can predict the best strategy for the next day, effectively minimising the work of the facility team and maximising the occupancy comfort levels. And all this while maximising energy efficiency as well, leading to significant savings on energy costs.”
Burman has highlighted the benefits offered to the customers in the following ways: Energy Savings, Ease of operation through automation, Remote control and manageability, non-intrusive installation and quick ROI, a couple of which he has further elaborated below :
Energy Savings: 65% of the energy usage in a commercial building is for HVAC and Lighting and traditional systems can guzzle a lot of energy as they are reactive and depend on dampers. 75F’s solution on the other hand uses continuous commissioning with the help of sensor data and is predictive and proactive.
With the help of IoT and Cloud Computing, 75F solutions can save up to 50% of energy used for HVAC and Lighting leading to significant savings on utility bills. Not only this, but our smart sensors also consider other factors like indoor air quality and smart lighting that improves occupant comfort and indirectly leads to an improvement in employee productivity, thus improving the company’s triple bottom line.
Automation: Our technology is automated and can be controlled remotely through 75F FacilisightTM, a suite of web and mobile apps. Facility managers can directly make changes, check and get data from our web portal. The 75F® Occupant App™ empowers the occupants allowing them to personalize temperature and lighting for their zone.
Quick ROI: Unlike other energy management systems for HVAC, our solutions are not intrusive and can be installed without any kind of disruption to the normal functioning of the business. Our solutions are preconfigured, modular and wireless allowing for an 80% faster installation process than other competitors making it cost and time effective.
The fast installation process, almost immediate savings on energy and cost reduction due to automation means significant savings for our customers. Based on energy savings alone, the ROI could be as low as 3 years.
“The APAC market offers incredible growth potential for us. While new building deployments unlock a tremendous opportunity, the potential for us is much bigger since our retrofit-friendly solution is suitable for the existing buildings too.”
Burman describes the platform’s underlying goal which is striving towards establishing a strong presence in certain verticals like IT/ITeS, BFSI, Healthcare, Retail, Co-working spaces and Hospitality etc. It is also deploying additional go-to-market channels.
“Over the next few years, we plan to expand and set up more offices in India, South Asia and the APAC region. We have ambitious expansion plans for the next 2 to 3 years.” he adds.
He concludes by stating that the platform is expanding its capacity to offer solutions to various vectors from making enhancements to the capabilities and the scope of the solution, bettering the services suite, deploying additional market ready channels and many such benefits.
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