Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
A new HVAC software sequence that ensures commercial buildings are healthier
while keeping employees and customers safe
|EMAIL INTERVIEW – Gaurav Burman is the VP & APAC President of 75F & Ken Sinclair|
Gaurav Burman, VP & APAC President, 75F
Gaurav Burman is the VP & APAC President of 75F. His previous position was with Schneider Electric, as their Director – Marketing where he was also a part of the Management Team of Schneider Electric, South Asia. Gaurav has handled diverse portfolios in his career including product management, alliances, channel sales, and enterprise sales.
Prior to Marketing, Gaurav spent 20 years of his life in Sales and worked with companies like PCL, IBM, L&T, APC, and Schneider Electric. He was recently recognised as one of the 50 Most Talented CMOs in India in 2013, and one of the 100 Most Talented CMOs in the World by the US-based CMO Council.
Gaurav obtained his Civil Engineering Degree from The Thapar Institute, Patiala. He pursued his MBA in Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
Various organisations such as ISHRAE (Indian
Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers), ASHRAE
(American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers) and
the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) have released new guidelines for the
operation and control of HVAC systems to reduce disease transmission from
infectious airborne particles and ensure a safe and healthy environment.
75F has announced “75F Epidemic Mode”, a new HVAC software sequence that ensures commercial buildings are healthier while keeping employees and customers safe and achieves the directives through its specific application profiles:
75F Smart Purge: This application profile works in pre- and post-occupancy settings and fully adheres to ISHRAE, ASHRAE recommendations to prevent re-circulation of air and to purge the air before and after occupancy.
75F Smart Enhanced Ventilation: This profile ensures the indoor environment remains as safe as possible during a building’s occupied period and reduces risk of infection from aerosolized particle.
Sinclair - What is the
science behind these guidelines?
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through
droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or
sneezes. Talking and breathing can also release droplets and particles.
Droplets generally fall to the ground or other surfaces in about 1 m (3 ft),
while particles (aka aerosols), behave more like a gas and can travel through
the air for longer distances, where they can transmit to people and also settle
The virus can be picked up by hands that touch contaminated surfaces (called fomite transmission) or be re-entrained into the air when disturbed on surfaces.
SARS infected people over long distances in 2003, SARS-CoV-2 has been detected as an aerosol in hospitals, and there is evidence that at least some strains of it remain suspended and infectious for 3 hours, suggesting the possibility of aerosol transmission.
This suggests that people exposed to infectious particles in a closed environment like offices where air is recycled could be at considerable risk of exposure. The guidelines ensure that the air is constantly purged and ventilation rates are increased to ensure occupants are not breathing in infectious particles that could be circulated via the HVAC system.
Why are commercial buildings at a high risk for viral build-up and exposure?
Gaurav People spend a large amount of their daily life in the confines of the commercial buildings where shared spaces and high interaction with shared surfaces increases the number of microbes on surfaces and in the air.
In other words, many of the high-touch areas in commercial buildings could be vectors for the spread of virus. And the more people that touch them, the higher the risk of contamination. Researchers found that places such as refrigerators, drawer handles, faucet handles, push-out exit doors and coffee pots tend to have the highest concentrations of germs.
While the above risk can be minimised by regular sanitisation and cleaning of all surfaces, the other risk is that of transmission via contaminated air. The circulated air of commercial buildings can contribute to the spread of microbes. In indoor environments, microbial life is circulated through the air vents and within HVAC systems.
Maintenance of systems and filtration has an impact on how contaminants flow through the air, so buildings that have not been properly serviced to maintain appropriate circulation, filtration, humidity and temperatures can contribute to higher amounts of microorganisms moving through the systems. There is renewed emphasis on controlling indoor air quality and better ventilation and this could greatly reduce the chances of viral transmission indoors.
Organisations like The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have released new guidelines for offices and recommend opening outdoor air (OA) dampers as high as 100 percent, keeping systems running longer hours, and disabling demand-control ventilation (DCV). ASHRAE also recommends a two-hour purge of indoor air before and after occupancy.
Sinclair - What are the
services that new clients are looking for these days and why?
Beyond a short Return on investment, plus
ongoing energy savings, clients prefer smart building infrastructure as it
improves quality of life for both owners and tenants by enhanced monitoring,
measurement and control capabilities of equipment and indoor environments.
With building automation, facility managers can analyse and improve efficiency, pre-empt costly failure or service with pre-emptive monitoring, and maximize investment of time and money across equipment and staff, freeing up people’s time to focus on higher-value priorities. With the current scenario of most people working from home, the ability to remotely control, monitor and manage multiple facilities has become more of a necessity than a luxury. Many companies are looking to incorporate remote management to ensure that teams can work from the safety of homes while ensuring all systems are up and running.
Perhaps the greatest value realized (and least measured) for clients, is that of providing a welcoming, comfortable, healthy environment with temperatures, air quality and lighting to maximize occupant productivity and well-being. The true value of healthy buildings is just beginning to come to light with the advancing WELL Building standard and other human factor assessments.
While sustainable buildings were once considered luxuries, they will be a must-have and widely beneficial choice for any building owner. The quick payback (further accelerated by incentives) and the ongoing energy savings potential from smart HVAC and lighting systems are significant. When combined with the quality of intelligent building and business management, and healthy, productive occupants, smart sustainable buildings are the clear choice of the future.
Sinclair - How can smart building technology help combat COVID 19 and other such airborne viruses and how is 75F playing its part in helping buildings do so?
Gaurav By implementing the latest guidelines which ensure infectious particles are purged at regular intervals from the indoor environment, Smart BAS systems can ensure the chances of viral transmission within offices can be significantly reduced.
Current recommendations for the commercial built environment include increasing
outside air ventilation and flushing indoor air before and after occupancy
hours. 75F Epidemic Mode achieves these directives through its specific
application profiles, Smart Purge and Smart Enhanced Ventilation. Both profiles
are ready to use out of the box – no manual programming required.
Where implementing CDC and ASHRAE guidelines without help from a BAS may damage equipment, 75F’s Epidemic Mode works to the extent possible for each individual piece of HVAC equipment based on its unique capacity and weather conditions.
This way, building owners can rest easy knowing their HVAC system is working within proper health guidelines without risk of equipment damage from running a system outside parameters.
Sinclair - What are the sectors where building automation demand has increased in the last 6 months?
Gaurav Sectors where building automation demand has increased in the last 6 months are Retail, Hospitality, Pharma and Coworking Spaces.
Sinclair - What are you expecting for the year 2021?
Gaurav The pandemic has emphasised that IAQ and Remote Control and Monitoring are two features that are very necessary for healthy and energy efficient offices. We hope to see a continuation of business growth we have seen since July 2020 and also expect to be adding more clients to the new sectors we have begun to serve.
75 F Company Profile
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Minneapolis - USA, 75F is a fast-growing Building Intelligence Solutions provider that leverages Internet of Things (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. The company’s Intuitive, Self-learning System optimizes comfort, increases energy efficiency and provides insights into how a commercial building uses its energy efficiently.
75F stands for 75 Fahrenheit, which was set by the United Nations in 2008 as the optimum temperature in all its offices worldwide. Inspired by this, 75F seeks to deliver optimal comfort while saving maximum energy.
In the last 5 years alone the company 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 the process.
75F launched its operations in India in August 2016, and has been growing steadily, acquiring several customers ever since.
About the Product
Another highlight of 75F’s products is Facilisight, a futuristic energy management tool with a dynamic UI. Fascilight’s suite of web and mobile apps allow customers to manage temperature and lighting remotely and round the clock. It is an extremely user-friendly interface that has simplified the process of overseeing and managing 75F systems across sites irrespective of geographic location or complexity. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android phones.
Awards and Recognition
75F has won numerous awards for its pioneering and disruptive technology. 75F India was awarded the ‘Hot 100 Race to Grace 2017’ award and had been listed as one of the Top 50 SMEs by ASSOCHAM in India. Committed to innovation, the company is well poised to revolutionize the way energy efficiency and comfort is managed in the future.
Globally, buildings are responsible for 40% of their annual energy consumption and up to 30% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. 75F’s solution can contribute up to 38 LEEDv4 credits and in the process help construct a more sustainable world and ecosystem for future generations..
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