An estimated 20% of energy waste in large commercial buildings and building portfolios is due to operational inefficiency, such as the improper control of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, or the degradation of equipment over time. Without clear data or a prioritized workflow, it’s common for facilities teams to get bogged down with addressing the immediate HVAC problems of the people living and working in the buildings, rather than the systemic issues causing them.
Bright Building, the newest company to join Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, is combatting energy waste by providing powerful and prioritized insights to facilities teams through an easily configurable software platform.
“The central control systems of these buildings are pumping out a lot of data that can be leveraged, but the evidence shows that most building operators are not using that data to the fullest extent,” states Bright Building founder, Jerone Gagliano, “Our platform takes all that data, transforms it into actionable insights using industry best practices and machine learning concepts, and then flags and prioritizes the issues into a clear and guided workflow, so facilities staff can make the best use of their time.”
Prior to founding Bright Building, Gagliano spent nearly 20 years conducting energy audits and delivering national trainings to improve the efficiency of building systems and operations. His previous roles include serving as the Director of Energy Management and Sustainability at Ithaca College and providing energy consultations to Cornell University.
During the course of his career, Gagliano identified a gap in the marketplace: “Many of the fault detection platforms that I have used and evaluated adopted a ‘one-size fits all’ black box approach, meaning they were not configurable, and often included tests that were not applicable, or difficult to verify which equipment is tested. Using customer input, I created a platform that incorporates industry best practices, but also allows users to adjust the test settings, turn off those they don’t need, and add their own tests.”
Bright Building recently launched a pilot of its software platform on a series of buildings at a major university in New York State. The first step is loading all the data points from the various systems used in each building into the web platform and making sure those systems are speaking the same language. Gagliano explains, “Imagine that each building is speaking 20 different languages, because someone used the naming convention ‘room temperature’ for a data point and others used ‘zone temperature’ or ‘z-temp’ for the same data point. We use a combination of machine learning and good old engineering oversight to translate their sensor points into a uniform naming convention, then we begin the testing and running of algorithms against the live stream of interval data coming from the buildings’ approximately 100,000 sensor points.”
The Bright Building platform was built from the ground up through local, firsthand experience by an energy manager, for energy managers. Gagliano believes Bright Building offers a cost-effective solution to the energy waste problem and envisions scaling across other regional higher education and business campuses. Additionally, he is excited about Bright Building joining the startup community at Rev: “It’s great to come here and know that you are part of something bigger. You’re not one isolated startup—you’re a part of Rev and you have a support network.”