– with Don
Kasper is VP of Strategy and Business Development at Sentient
Buildings, a New York-based software company and master systems
integrator. Don is a mechanical engineer and is a pioneer in the field
of FDD analytics in large commercial buildings. Prior to joining
Sentient Buildings, Kasper ran one of the first building analytics
companies in the market and has the largest analytics projects in the
industry by data point count. He has built his career on working with
large, notable commercial buildings across the globe. https://sentientbuildings.com/
Hi Don - It's been awhile since we've caught up. What are you up to now?
Hi Ken - great catching up. As you know,
in a previous life I ran one of the pioneering FDD analytics companies
in the commercial building space. Back in November I left and joined
Sentient Buildings which is a software company and master systems
integrator based out of New York.
I've spoken with Dave Unger (CEO) of Sentient Buildings before, can you
give me a refresher on what your company does?
Sure! Sentient Buildings has been around since 2014 and is working with
many of the large marquis buildings in New York. We are a master
systems integrator for Internet of Things (IoT) networks as well as
Building Management Systems (BMS) and we've developed our Neuro
platform to help buildings bring cloud services to their buildings.
Uniquely, we work both in commercial and multi-family buildings. When I
say we are master systems integrators, I mean that we leverage our
Neuro platform to integrate equipment to the cloud and provide a
software middle layer that can monitor, analyze, and even control
equipment. In commercial buildings, this may be as simple as
integrating their BMS systems with API data or integrating meters,
sub-meters, lighting, and wireless devices for creating an overlay to
the existing system. For multi-family buildings, we may integrate
boiler controls with a wireless mesh network that converges heat pumps,
sub-meters, window AC units, wireless thermostats, leak detection
devices, and more to a single access point to provide both the landlord
and tenants with powerful tools.
It sounds like
Sentient Buildings covers a wide range of buildings and applications.
Can you elaborate more on the Neuro platform and what integration
services you provide?
Neuro platform is really the key to our success. This allows us to be
adaptable to many different buildings and really expand the definition
of master systems integrator. Some of the biggest challenges we see in
the industry still are that there are many disparate systems and even
more partial solutions that cause fractured data within a building that
often goes under utilized. Secondly, and this is true especially in
multi-family buildings, is that equipment is outdated and not centrally
connected. At the end of the day, our goal is to provide the tools and
support in order to gather as much data as possible from systems within
buildings and allow proper monitoring, analysis, and control. We're
experts in deploying our Neuro platform to integrate these different
data sources and then we can provide managed services on top of the
platform to ensure data reliability, uptime, provide analytics, as well
as control of equipment. We have a specific interest right now in
Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) and building
electrification, both of which are key to adapting buildings to a more
efficient grid in the future and aligning with upcoming legislation
such as Local Law 97 in NYC
You mentioned both adaptability and GEB buildings which caught my attention. Can you explain further?
vision is to be the data manager in buildings and act as a broker of
sorts to different systems. We can enable simple "If This, Then
That" controls in buildings by connecting all of the various
data-producing systems at the building level but also at the market
level so simple interactivity can be achieved without impacting the
existing controls a building. We've spent a lot of time thinking and
creating our Neuro platform to help future-proof buildings and make
them smarter. Another key feature of Neuro is that it has a simple but
complex user management system that allows us building owners to
provision access to data to any vendor or platform through our API.
This user management system means that a building owner can give access
to a specific device, type of data point, or any system or sub-system
in the building. As an example, sub-meter data can be shared with a
tenant billing company and chilled water data can be shared separately
with an energy services company without having to repeat the data
collection process. This makes buildings highly adaptable since there
is one source of data that can be provisioned at any level to 3rd party
companies. How this applies to GEB is that we can broker data between a
demand response company and allow them to increase thermostats by 2
degrees through fleet management in anticipation of a demand response
This all sounds great
and looks like it is fulfilling a definite need in the industry. It's
been great speaking with you again - any final thoughts?
Thank you Ken, it's been great catching
up. In closing, I would just say that at Sentient Buildings we have a
very practical and reliable approach to converging IoT and OT networks.
Proprietary protocols, vendor lockout, and too many fractured solutions
still hamper the industry and cause confusion almost all of our
customers. We have some really interesting pilot projects underway that
I would love to share more details with you in the coming months. Our
industry seems to be a little slower to develop than others but I think
climate change regulation, utility incentive programs, and many
determiend companies like ours are going to keep pushing for a sea
change in the industry. Technology is really starting to multiply in
buildings and as we integrate more data sources, we hope to democratize
data and enable many forms of technology in the future.
Sounds fascinating! Looking forward to hearing more in the future and please keep us updated on those pilot projects.
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