BuildingLens Wags the Dog with Traction in the Long Tail Market    

A graph that shows that the number of buildings under 100,000 square feet, which is: 95% of commercial buildings, 50% of commercial floor space, 44% of energy consumption. Only 13% have a BAS.

As a group, “Long Tail” buildings use 44% of energy in the United States. This makes them key for grid stability and climate change mitigation. Even so, only 13% of long tail buildings have a building automation system (BAS) that controls HVAC, the primary load in the building. In contrast, 71% of larger buildings have a BAS installed.

This is according to research published in recent research by Nexus Labs and their partners at Keyframe Capital. This paper makes a great argument for services like BuildingLens.

“Without scaling up controls… all of this energy waste and potential grid flexibility will remain untapped.”

They note that energy efficiency programs for small building and business owners have not fulfilled their promise. This, even though savings on bills and increased productivity are good for business. For instance, “a comprehensive body of research suggests that better indoor air quality… can lead to productivity improvements of 8-11%.” 

This means businesses that do use controls have an edge. COVID-19 has driven a desire for safe indoor air. People expect upgrades in their tech at work, because they’re experiencing them in their daily lives. Buildings with these services are more likely to be rented, used, and in service longer than buildings without.

We invite you to check out the excellent work the authors have done defining the problem statement and barriers. These are arguments our CEO David Burchfield, PE makes in his pitches all the time.

Authors sum it up like this: What building owners really need, as a group, can be boiled down to simplicity, a non-energy reason to care, and easy purchase of the solution.

On simplicity, they write, “[Small building owners] need a solution removing all the layers of complexity that they can’t or won’t take on themselves.”

BuildingLens is a cost-effective solution buoyed by energy engineers at Burch Energy Services who can manage the actual upgrades. With BuildingLens, owners really can “set it and forget it”, because we won’t.

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Authors suggest that the industry needs to meet building owners where they are. Industry needs to appeal to something that they care about more than energy, which polls and this paper corroborates, have shown is pretty low on their list.

For AirLens customers, this means they want to offer modern services in their buildings that renters and others have come to expect, especially after experiencing technology boosts during COVID. AirLens makes buildings more appealing to the average renter and buyer.

Finally, the purchase of the solution needs to simple, but there is no simple solution for this market. The complexity of this tech is one of the biggest barriers for buildings without dedicated energy managers.

BuildingLens covers this one, too. Our software can be integrated into any hardware. This allows us to use our decades of energy efficiency engineering experience to choose the best hardware specific to a building.

In the BuildingLens rollout, occupants’ health and comfort come first while we maintain energy-efficient operations. We think the BuildingLens’ approach will simplify the complexity stack and allow us to scale in the Long Tail market.


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