Echelon Commercial Building Automation Solutions Boost Energy Efficiency, Reduce Costs, and Improve Tenant Comfort

The Challenge

Commercial buildings encompass far more than office buildings and warehouses, including facilities as diverse as medical centers, restaurants, factories, banks, movie studios, and wineries. While their functions and scale differ, all share the need to manage energy and other utilities to provide efficiency, comfort, safety, and cost savings.

One of the biggest challenges to building automation is the multitude of non-interoperable communications protocols that have evolved over the years. Buildings have separate islands of automation for indoor lighting, security systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and other functions. Bridging those islands without losing the considerable investment in each specialized control network—is the path to more effective building automation solutions, as well as to participation in the growing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The Echelon Solution

Worldwide, more than 300,000 commercial buildings, from the famous (the Louvre in Paris, the Bird’s Nest in Beijing) to the ordinary, rely on Echelon building automation solutions to keep occupants comfortable, safe, and productive—while reducing energy use and carbon footprint. Echelon’s smart building technology supports multiple protocols and applications, enabling the convergence of diverse systems—e.g., security, HVAC, lighting, fire detection—onto a single control networking platform.

Echelon’s proven, open-standard, multiprotocol platform includes solutions for OEMs, building owners, specification writers, system integrators, and energy management application developers. Echelon building automation solutions include:

  • Smart transceivers for OEMs, based on free-topology twisted-pair wiring
  • SmartServer Controller for OEMs and system integrators, a complete system manager and field controller able to support multiple protocols (e.g., LonWorks, BACnet, Modbus) individually or over Internet Protocol (IP)
  • OpenLNS operating system and development and integration tools for software developers and system integrators, supporting plug-in applications from leading building automation system (BAS) manufacturers
  • Third-party software for system integrators and building owners, available in hosted or server-based configurations, from trusted Echelon partners

The Results

Commercial buildings that incorporate Echelon technologies into their building automation systems have achieved:

  • Up to 50% reduction in energy consumption
  • Lower capital and operating costs
  • Greater safety and security
  • Reduced maintenance time and expense
  • More accurate control of business-critical conditions such as temperature or sound levels
  • Increased tenant satisfaction
  • Unified facilities and utilities management
  • Preservation or enhancement of decorative or historical building details
  • A platform for additional networked applications

The [Echelon-based] system has greatly reduced our energy use. We’ve saved 40% in air conditioning and 25% in heating, all while maintaining comfortable humidity and temperature levels in the rooms, avoiding sharp changes in temperature that can affect the residents’ health.

Real-World Examples

Office buildings as diverse as  14 Wall Street, a Manhattan financial district landmark; the European headquarters of  DaimlerChrysler Automotive in Warsaw, Poland; the regional office of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Santa Monica, California; corporate headquarters for Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore SpA media company; and the super energy-efficient Balanced Office Building (BOB) in Aachen, Germany, use the Echelon platform to control multiple building automation systems. With these Echelon-based systems, building owners slash energy costs, keep tenants safer and more comfortable, simplify maintenance, and easily integrate specialized multivendor solutions for energy analytics and management, intrusion and fire detection, digital closed-circuit TV security, business information systems, and more.

The team of system integrators, OEMs, and application developers in charge of facilities management for the massive Beijing Olympic Village incorporated Echelon-based technologies to successfully stage a ‘green’ Olympics, contribute to Beijing’s goal of reducing energy and water consumption per unit of GDP by 5%, and maintain a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment for the athletes.

Operating rooms and intensive care units at Innenbüren Hospital in Germany use Echelon-based devices and sensors to monitor and control room temperature, air pressure, and humidity to the stringent requirements necessary for patient health. Easy-to-use Echelon-based building automation solutions at the Geriatric Ximará nursing home in Spain control HVAC and lighting, reduce energy use by more than 50%, and provide alarms that alert staff in the event of a medical or technical emergency.

Alcampo Supermarket’s huge store in Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar shopping center integrates several different monitoring and control networks, covering 18,000 square meters, into a single reliable, unified building management system. The Echelon-based technology reduced installation time and costs, it lowers energy expenditures by 20%, and it improves indoor climate to provide a better customer experience.

The Pointe, a 44-acre movie studio in the heart of ‘Hollywood’ in Burbank, California, takes advantage of Echelon-based solutions to optimize energy efficiency in its eight sound stages, technical and production area, 165,000 square feet of warehouses, and 970,000 square feet of office space, including a 14-story, 485,000 square foot LEED Silver-certified office tower.

The U.S. Army base at Fort Hood , Texas, was the first Army facility to implement a web-based system to monitor, control, and manage the heating, ventilation air conditioning, and water distribution systems for the entire facility. The Echelon-based system helps Fort Hood reduce energy waste, save money, and demonstrate the superiority and cost-effectiveness of open-standard, non-proprietary approaches.

Using an Echelon-based building management system developed by Honeywell, BioCentiv GmbH, a German business incubator that leases laboratories and offices to life-sciences companies, is managing its multi-tenant facility more easily and cost-effectively while being able to halve its operations staff.

Echelon technologies also help optimize specific building systems, such as two European companies that are making elevators smarter and more efficient; lighting giant Phillips, creating high-performance indoor lighting control systems that dramatically decrease energy use and expenditures; fast-food restaurant kitchens monitoring and controlling temperature for ideal cooking and baking and to reduce food waste; California wineries with wine fermenting tanks that communicate with one another to keep temperatures precise and proper; or prison bathrooms applying auto-flush technology to prevent damage to the building’s plumbing system caused by accidental or protest-driven over-flushing.

Lencore Acoustics uses Echelon’s SmartServer controller for its sound-control systems that help cubicle workers concentrate and provide conversational privacy when it’s crucial, such as for gathering depositions in a law office or conducting sensitive meetings at military facilities.

Two California schools—Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District and The Harker School in San Jose—have turned Echelon-based energy control and analytics networks into powerful tools to motivate facilities managers, students, and teachers alike to better understand and improve their energy conservation efforts.