Energy management software company BuildingIQ has spent about $500,000 buying up intellectual property around CSIRO’s OptiCool and ComfortSENSE technology.

CSIRO’s technology, which was the foundation for BuildingIQ’s software, allows users to share information on their comfort levels in real-time, and can be added to big data analysis of building characteristics, meter data, demand response signals, energy tariffs and weather forecasts in order to optimise building energy use.

The purchase gives BuildingIQ exclusive use of the technology, which it plans to expand to provide better occupant control.

“BuildingIQ’s outright purchase of the technology was motivated by our desire to own the underlying core technology that we have built our platform and offerings around and also by our vision to dramatically expand the data capture, analysis and modelling capabilities by incorporating individual building occupants’ real-time feedback back into [the new] 5i platform,” BuildingIQ vice-president of product Sampath Gomatam told The Fifth Estate.

A media statement said the ComfortSENSE technology was built to provide occupants with a gateway to share real-time information on their comfort levels, and used within the new 5i software platform would enable occupants to act as “the ultimate building sensor”.

“The addition of real-time human comfort input will extend our ability to analyse and predict BMS performance and its impact on people,” BuildingIQ vice-president of engineering Adam Benson said.

“Building occupants are the ultimate intelligent sensor in many ways. We’re excited to be able to incorporate the human factor into our platform and ensure that we remain at the forefront of innovation in building energy management solutions.”

Consulting firm principal research analyst Casey Talon said the human element was “an extremely important piece to incorporate into an IoT-enabled intelligent building solution”.

“The institutional knowledge of facilities staff can uncover the rationale behind the trends documented by the raw data. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, solutions that balance technological advancement with human engagement may be the most successful in transforming facilities into intelligent buildings to deliver significant business benefits.”

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