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The Advantage of Smart Building Monitoring

Mar 6, 2017 12:05:00 PM / by Jeff Knepper

Smart buildings integrate major building systems onto a common network and share information and functionality between systems. Monitoring these systems will not only improve building operations but also lower overall operating costs. Thus, the implementation of smart building technologies will improve energy efficiency, enhance operational effectiveness, and most importantly, will increase tenant satisfaction.

Using Canary software, customers can maximize energy efficiency, greatly reduce unexpected equipment failure, and transform the facility management process while implementing reductions in material use. For example, Energy Star reports that a simple one degree temperature adjustment can save four to five percent in overall energy costs.


Real-world Application

At the core of a smart building is the Canary system. Providing centralized visibility of a building’s components such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and other systems. Further examples of real-world applications include:

Air Handlers - Responsible for mixing and returning outside air to reduce temperature and humidity conditioning. Expenses are reduced by using less chilled or heated water. However, to keep the building’s air healthy, some external air is required. To optimize energy efficiency while maintaining healthy indoor air quality, the amount of outside air ventilation can be adjusted based on the measured levels of occupancy.

Chilled Water System - Primarily used to cool a building’s equipment as well as the internal air. This includes chillers and pumps. The chilled water system has analog temperature sensors that measure the chilled water supply and return lines. The chillers are sequenced on and off to condition the chilled water supply. The most important component of good chiller control is understanding the full and partial load requirements, and then properly matching those to system performance.

Hot Water Systems - Supplies heat to the building’s air-handling unit. Includes boilers and pumps. Analog temperature sensors are placed in the hot water supply and return lines. A mixing valve is used to adjust the heating water temperature loop. Boilers and pumps can then be operated in a manner that will both maintain supply as well as increase overall efficiency.

Lighting and Doors - Monitoring of lighting’s on/off status as well as interior and exterior door status, open/closed. A better understanding of building occupancy will allow for more efficient decision making as well as overall energy reduction. In addition is the added benefit of an increase in overall security.


Affordable and Scalable

Large initial investments make fast ROI’s difficult if not impossible. Canary offers extreme flexibility in its services and pricing models. Customers can choose from traditional perpetual models as well as lease and subscription services. Canary solutions start as low as $335 a month, and can grow with your operation. Able to collect and monitor as few as 50 data points to millions, the Canary software was designed with every size operation in mind.


Canary and its authorized partners are available to assist with installation and setup, as well as initial and on-going training. Whether your team has years of IT experience or is just beginning to explore building monitoring, Canary has experience that you will find valuable.


Monitor from Anywhere

No matter the device, Canary is designed to deliver information cleanly and without derogating from the user’s experience. The Axiom visualization tool allows users to analyze both real-time and historical time-series process data. Completely customizable, Axiom allows the individual user to quickly create custom dashboards and trend charts, record annotations, build ad hoc calculations, and share their findings with ease. Desktop application will allow for laptop and workstation access, but it is the browser application that offers ultimate flexibility for active users.


Connect to Axiom browser via tablet or smartphone without any need to download and install an application. To increase ease of use, the Axiom browser session is responsive; automatically resizing the screen content to fit your device. To better enhance the experience, the browser session was designed around touch functionality. Now you can easily load charts, add trends, create high/low limits, run ad hoc calculations, and more from your tablet or smartphone.


Ease of Use

According to an active user, “The Canary software is intuitive and requires very little training. Our employees and managers could use the software with very little help. A lot of the managers will use the software to monitor their various building components, looking at screens they designed themselves. These screens are very easy for the operator to look at and see our current power usage and monitor our efficiency. Canary gives us the flexibility to adapt to ever changing conditions, including new technology. We use the system to connect to new devices all the time. There is so much you can actually do. If the Canary system wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have access to a lot of crucial information.”


Topics: Case Studies

Jeff Knepper

Written by Jeff Knepper