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Montreal office building achieves energy cost savings in first 5 months

Context

This BrainBox AI client, a leading cheese and dairy product manufacturer,  has multiple commercial buildings in the Greater Montreal Area. To start its smart building journey, the company chose to install our AI-powered HVAC solution in its headquarters. Considering Quebec’s energy cleanliness, the client was primarily looking to reduce its head office’s energy costs while improving its employees’ comfort levels.


Increased comfort has been proven to have a direct correlation with employee productivity and satisfaction with their working environment. This was one of the many benefits the client was looking forward to by implementing the solution.


*Hydroelectric resources generates 94% of the province’s electricity, thus energy

utilized is predominantly clean and renewable.

Commercial Office Building

  • Location

    Montreal - Quebec

  • Controls system

    Tridium Niagara 4

  • Total square footage

    133190

  • HVAC equipment controlled

    Air handling units (AHUs) & Fan coil units (FCUs) & Variable air volume (VAVs)

Process

A seamless AI upgrade using a custom built driver for Tridium Niagara


BrainBox AI’s solution, having proven to be able to connect to the vast majority of HVAC controllers, connected to this commercial building via its custom built driver for the Tridium Niagara framework. The technology was able to map all 130,000 sq. ft. of the client’s headquarters in no time while also normalising the building’s dataset and priming it for any machine learning tools.


The simple update and process allowed the solution to seamlessly transform the HVAC system into a pre-emptive one with the integration of both internal and external data sets, including weather forecasts. Using this new enriched data, the AI underwent a learning period to best predict the building’s thermal behaviour. After this advanced building analysis, the technology began instructing unique adjustments in real time by autonomously writing back to the system’s controller. To ensure the most cost efficient optimisation approach, the solution also considered  utility tariff structure data to avoid peak energy costs.

Proven results in just 5 months

Electricity

-11%

Electricity savings on HVAC equipment

Electricity (Kwh)

-81,066

Electricity savings on HVAC equipment

Average runtime reduction by equipment type

  • Supply fan runtime

    -48%

  • Air handling unit cooling modulation

    -92%

  • Air handling unit heating modulation

    -35%

  • Variable air volume reheat modulation

    -62%

Results

In just 5 months after deployment, the solution amassed electricity consumption savings of 81,066 kWh during the coldest months in Montreal (October - February). This was equivalent to 11% of the building’s energy consumption and just over 7,600 CAD of utility costs. As the solution continues to learn and adapt, the impact will only continue to increase.


Furthermore, the technology significantly improved the building’s HVAC operational efficiency with equipment runtime reductions exceeding 30%*. These results helped lower energy consumption and costs, and will ultimately extend the building’s HVAC equipment lifetime in the long run. Most notably, the client was able to realise a 35% decrease in runtime of its air handling unit heating modulation during winter months while still keeping zone temperatures optimal for its occupants.


This success story clearly outlines the power of advanced artificial intelligence solutions for HVAC and the speed at which they can generate significant savings. At BrainBox AI, we are proud to have helped the client achieve these great results.

 

*Based on an assessment completed from October 2021 - February 2022