Over the last several months, our blog posts have covered topics highlighting the need for concise, accurate, affordable, and digitized solutions for testing building health and efficiency. We’ve also highlighted some of the studies and new technologies coming out of that need and how ioAirFlow uses them to inform the development of our own platform.
But, what does ioAirFlow do? And, how is the MyBuilding Health Score going to help alleviate some of the hurdles needed for buildings to become healthier and more energy efficient?
A bit of background
ioAirFlow was founded in 2016 with a focus on wireless building automation. Since then, our core focus has pivoted to building health and predictive analytics using wireless Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and our proprietary analysis software.
We’ve learned through years of industry research and experience that understanding how a building functions and consumes energy is the first step to improving its energy efficiency and health and that building audits are a critical component to that process. We also know that as building energy disclosure programs, climate change targets and legislation increase, so too will the need for these audits.
The issue is that while understanding a building’s health and efficiency is commonly known to be the most critical first step in improving it, gathering the information needed to make informed decisions can also be the most cumbersome.
Numerous studies dating back to the 90’s have highlighted that the primary barriers to improving building health and efficiency are associated in some capacity with lacking information, or capital constraints. This is especially true for Class C buildings, which tend to be older, less efficient, have poorer indoor air quality, and lower profit margins than other classes of commercial buildings.
Audits are meant as a first step towards alleviating the informational barriers. However, as highlighted in previous posts, current industry practices are restrictive for both the companies offering these audits, and the customers requiring them. This is because traditional energy audits are manual and time-consuming, rendering it difficult for the companies offering these services to do so cost-effectively and efficiently. The consequences are that an entire group of building owners, those with older buildings, and lower profit margins are not marketed to.
In addition, based on our market studies, there is clearly a general frustration with the archaic manual building audit process. The combination of all of the aforementioned means there is a significant market opportunity for the building retrofit market, but that additional support needs to be put in place for both the companies offering audits and building owners needing them.
Digitization to support energy auditors and promote building health.
ioAirFlow wants to make commercial buildings healthier, for both people and the environment. To achieve this, we are preparing to launch our first iteration of the MyBuilding Health Score in January 2021 – a digital audit platform designed to be used by companies that are already offering energy audits, or by building managers interested in running efficient diagnostics on their building’s health and efficiency performance.
Unlike building automation systems, we are not a permanent automation. Using wireless IoT sensors and our proprietary analysis software, we support energy auditors, property owners, and property managers by identifying where problems exist in their commercial buildings and how to resolve them. Here’s how we do it:
Our team of experts have developed a process by which building performance is captured and connected to our software platform. This process has allowed us to develop the first of our novel building problem analysis tools. We’ve begun identifying unique building efficiency symptoms from data collected by our sensors. Each of these symptoms map out specific problems that commonly occur in commercial buildings and identify where these problems exist within the tested building. This information is translated into a concise and actionable report for our customers.
As we continue to collect this data and additional industry-specific research on the built environment, our machine learning model, aimed at further optimizing analysis, our software portal, and APIs will continuously be refined. In addition to generating actionable reports, we are also working with vendors and suppliers that can act on our recommendations.
By creating a digital audit solution, ioAirFlow is able to reduce the cost of testing sufficiently that building auditors are better equipped to expand their customer base and provide more options for improving the energy efficiency and health of their buildings - eventually offering predictive analytics by identifying problems before they reach a fail point.
There are over 6.1 million commercial buildings in the United States and Canada. Class C buildings make up approximately 70% of all building stock, with roughly 66% of those buildings constructed before 1990. We envision a world where every one of them can optimize their health and efficiency potential affordably and accurately.
If you provide energy or IEQ audits, or are a commercial property owner interested in learning more about our software and how we can support you, please contact us!
By: Amanda San Filippo, VP Business Development & COO, ioAirflow