When 75F founder and CEO, Deepinder Singh, talks about most current-day building controls, he likens them to Lego blocks. Opportunities abound for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, comfort, and innovation in the built environment, but it takes a Lego master to put the building automation pieces together and turn them into a bespoke solution.
Student health and safety is the foremost concern of educators across the country as fall classes commence amid COVID-19. In this Healthier Buildings webcast session, viewers learn how educators can use increased outdoor air ventilation to keep their classrooms safer without sacrificing energy efficiency, and garner parent trust.
Viewers took a deep dive into indoor air quality in this Healthier Buildings webcast, where hosts discussed the latest guidance from ASHRAE on increased outdoor air ventilation, IAQ in commercial buildings, and your air quality’s effect on your physical and cognitive health.
It’s been the better half of a year since COVID-19 first started to spread in China’s Wuhan City. Since then, buildings around the world shut down as governments enforced strict lockdowns that limited in-person interaction. All these months later, countless buildings remain unoccupied. Building owners that have reopened bear the fundamental responsibility of keeping their occupants as safe as possible.
In this installment of 75F's Healthier Buildings webcast series, viewers learn how to form their building reopening strategy in accordance with the International WELL Building Institute's Health-Safety Rating.
Since launching our Healthier Buildings webcast series in early June, our hosts have covered a wide range of topics to help viewers better understand commercial building operations during COVID-19. In this session, webcast hosts look beyond single building operation and discuss how facility managers can effectively implement health and safety strategies at scale across their portfolio of buildings.
Meet 75F's Support & Customer Success Manager, Matthew Mulheran — though you won't catch anyone calling him "Matthew" around the office. Mully leads product support for our customers and manages energy and indoor air quality reporting services. His role with the 75F Disruptors ensures our building intelligence customers have a valuable post-installation experience.
In Meditations, Roman emperor and stoic Marcus Aurelius encourages leaders in times of crisis to rely on their own good judgement, rather than the fears of others. “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
75F's latest Healthier Buildings webcast session pulls on expertise from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Arc Skoru, Inc. to help viewers better understand what they should consider when reopening their facilities.
Like people across the U.S., the 75F Disruptors worked remotely as COVID-19 shuttered buildings for months. Our new office space, completed just before government-mandated shutdowns, sat empty. Now, with plenty of health and safety measures in place, we're finally settling into our new home.
This installment of 75F's Healthier Buildings webinar series walks viewers through the latest news surrounding airborne COVID-19 transmission, and how advanced economizer controls can help you implement increased outdoor air (OA) ventilation.
As facility managers take steps to reopen their buildings amidst an ongoing pandemic, most already know about expert-recommended HVAC control sequences to reduce the spread of COVID-19 indoors.
No world-altering event such as war, famine, or economic recessions in the past century has had as much of an impact of CO2 emissions as COVID-19, and the pandemic has only been here a few months. Indications are that we are currently living through an unrivaled drop in carbon output, however even though we will see a massive fall in 2020, the concentrations of CO2 that are in the atmosphere and warming of our planet won't stabilize until the world reaches net-zero.
75F's latest session in the Healthier Buildings webcast series combines expertise from Belimo and Building Automation Monthly to explore strategies for returning to the workplace while spaces are partially occupied.
75F’s second session in the Healthier Buildings webcast series covers the energy efficiency implications of COVID-19 indoor mitigation strategies and offers viewers guidance on saving energy where possible under these extreme conditions.
75F’s Healthier Buildings webcast series exists to help the proactive building owner, facility manager, and installer understand how to make their indoor environment safer for occupancy during an ongoing pandemic.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak there had been a significant increase in attention focused on important issues such as indoor air quality, healthy environments, and occupant productivity. But now with a large percentage of the world's real estate on lockdown or in the early states of being re-opened, that level of interest has gone to an entirely new level.
Get to know our Director of Engineering, Matt Rudd! He is passionate about implementing scalable, lean agile processes and empowering teams to succeed via efficiency, team ownership, and collaboration to deliver industry-leading strategic initiatives.
Large and small business across the world have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. CEO Deepinder Singh sat down to discuss how the company is coping during this unprecedented time...
75F’s submission, Making Your Building Work For You, has been named an Honorable Mention Award Winner in the 'Best World Changing Idea – North America' category for the 2020 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards! Our abstract focused on how traditional building control systems have been cost prohibitive and difficult to deploy, creating a barrier to adoption for 85%+ commercial buildings. Furthermore, operational efficiency is one of the biggest draws to building automation tools as buildings consume 70% of the U.S. electricity and account for 39% of U.S. CO2 emissions, according to the United States Green Building Council.
Benchmarking has been a topic of interest and discussion for a long time now. In this blog, we look at what is benchmarking and why it necessary to achieve results. This is part one of our deep-dive into benchmarking. Stay tuned for the next one where we look at how to benchmark for building efficiency!
We all have some down time at the moment as the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic. We at 75F thought it would be helpful if we provided some book suggestions that you can read in your spare time. These range from fiction to non-fiction and humor to horror and everything in between. Enjoy and please stay safe and healthy!
A recent Gas Technology Institute (GTI) study on 75F’s Dynamic Airflow Balancing system in a California office space supports the potential for 45 percent gas and electricity savings over one year.
While we all continue to take important precautions during the outbreak of COVID-19, we wanted to bring some positivity to everyone by showing our amazing pets assisting us as we work from home! Please feel free to share on your social channels and be safe!
Ever since Google and Amazon’s fancy and fun offices became popular, many companies have gotten onto the bandwagon of building colourful and informal office spaces. But whether it is plush bean bags or the dedicated ‘nap’ room, is this enough to satisfy employees?
In this blog, we are taking a look at why smart office design goes beyond the fancier details and boils down to the necessities.
"Artificial intelligence is taking controls of some building air-conditioning systems in Singapore to make them more energy efficient." -CNA
As you know, 2019 was an incredible year for 75F. Following our $18M Series A funding news co-led by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures as well as Oil & Gas Climate Initiative, we have seen fast and furious growth and exciting changes within the company!
We believe in a future that is more accessible. Where a modern building management and intelligence system drives almost every commercial structure from a few hundred square feet on up; Where smart technologies like cloud computing, mobile apps, and wireless networks are used to drive costs down; Where building owners or facilities managers are squarely in the drivers seat with systems that are easier to install, easier to use, and easier to understand.
Josh was working as a freelancer and at local Twin Cities startups before making the switch to full-time PR extraordinaire at 75F. He told me recently that he came to a realization a few years ago that he wanted to make a change in his career. He said it was his "A-Ha!" moment where he wanted to start working at companies/organizations that actually make an impact for the greater good. Read on to learn more about Josh.
Following the announcement of our $18M Series A funding round, the largest Series A in Minnesota history, Deepinder interviewed with Fast Company to discuss the news. Check out the coverage here!
On Episode 6, Kevin McArdle, owner of SureSwift Capital and Jac Stark, community manager of Tech.MN welcome Deepinder Singh on The Tech.MN Podcast to talk about space heaters under your desk in the dead of summer, lego masters, and the number three reason employees quit.
75F continues to grow at an incredible rate. I thought it would be interesting to our followers to create a video that includes as much of the 75F team as possible that shows our growth. We want to let you know why we chose 75F and why we continue to choose 75F. I told my colleagues at 75F if they ever found themselves uninspired and wondering about the work their doing...revisit this video as a reminder to themselves of all the work they're doing and how impactful it all is to the bigger picture. What is YOUR why?
75F Building Intelligence System Named Building Automation Finalist for 2020 AHR Expo Innovation Awards
The AHR Expo and its co-sponsors, ASHRAE and AHRI, recently recognized the 75F Building Intelligence System as a finalist in the Building Automation Category for the 2020 AHR Expo Innovation Awards Competition. While the 75F product did not earn the winning score in its category, it came very close and a panel of industry professionals, selected for their knowledge and expertise in HVACR, found our product worthy of this recognition.
Our Series A is finally under our belts, but we can’t relax. We’re back to the races to help save our world and are continuously making a better tomorrow through building automation. To help make sure 75F can change the world smoothly and more proactively we've added four talented executives and Human Resources executives to our spunky startup team! Take a look at the new members of the team and say hello on our social channels!
On September 23rd, the local chapters of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) hosted the 2019 Minnesota Energy Expo at the Radisson Blu - Mall of America in Bloomington. 13 session speakers took the stage, including a few from 75F, to speak about energy best practices in commercial buildings and the future of building automation.
So grab a bag of popcorn, a notebook, and a pen, and enjoy a couple shortened versions of our sessions!
Do people in your building complain about temperatures at their desk? Are you constantly trying to figure out where, why and how your HVAC system is making them uncomfortable? We have designed the 75F® DUMstat™ to put those questions to rest – permanently. Don't be fooled by the name: the DUMstat is at the top of its class.
The system is simple to install and data starts streaming in immediately. Just plug it in and walk away.
According to the latest reports, buildings in India consume more than 40% of the total energy generated in the country. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) estimates that 19% of the energy related GHG emissions are also emitted by the buildings sector.
Re-lamping and LED retrofit projects are popular methods for reducing energy costs. Re-lamping can be an effective source of energy savings – but there are even larger opportunities you may not have considered. Recent advances in cloud computing technology means that an automated lighting system offers larger savings opportunities and an even shorter ROI than re-lamping or LED retrofits. Plus, smart lighting systems offer benefits like meeting WELL building standards for a greener, healthier building.
Our Advanced Lighting system considers local weather, building orientation and geography, and occupancy status to adjust the lights, ensuring that no energy is wasted. Our interconnected system also ensures you're never left in the dark – and we offer remote scheduling and control, too.
Restaurants are the most energy intensive commercial buildings in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration, and they consume nearly three times the energy of the average commercial building per square foot. Special equipment, lengthy hours, and sheer demand create much of this consumption.
In addition to their costly energy consumption, restaurants are particularly prone to building pressure imbalances. A building pressure imbalance – either negative or positive – often manifests itself as difficult-to-open doors. If building pressure stays out of balance, restaurant buildings can suffer from a number of other symptoms, including trouble maintaining room temperatures, underperforming kitchen hoods, odors due to infiltration, back drafting water heaters (look for moisture, corrosion or melted plastic on top of the top of the heater), and condensation dripping from ceiling diffusers.
Here are some ways a smart building automation system can diagnose, solve, and prevent issues like pressure and temperature imbalances in restaurant buildings – while reducing energy bills by up to 50% in the process.
Nobody can juggle like a building owner. You likely have a mix of building profiles in your portfolio – and within any one location, you may have a combination of HVAC systems installed, including different topologies, brands, and models. Until now, you were forced to work within silos of these systems, or you faced an expensive and resource intensive investment to try to piece together these systems with custom programming and specialist involvement.
Today, you can retrofit sensors and controllers within that mix of systems. 75F is a flexible, affordable, easy to manage building automation system (BAS) that enables you to control your buildings’ HVAC, lighting, and indoor air quality, right out of the box. Whether you oversee one building or hundreds, you can manage your occupant experience from a single pane of glass, monitor equipment health, and save up to 50% on your facility’s HVAC and lighting costs. We handle your building's wellness so that you can spend less time dealing with HVAC problems, and more time focusing on what matters.
Rob Hagen gives "The Most Interesting Man in the World" a run for his money. In this employee spotlight, he speaks about his passions in music and how that translates into the job he does with 75F today. You wouldn’t think music would relate to operations, but it’ll surprise you. Read on to get to know our Operations Specialist extraordinaire!
With every passing day, technology progresses by leaps and bounds. Everything from our cars to our mobile phones are becoming more advanced, offering features we never thought possible. So how can we overlook the buildings we live and work in? It only makes sense for our homes and offices to become as smart as the devices we use. The world we live in is dynamic and therefore, spaces we live and work in have to reflect this by being dynamic as well.
Legacy Companies, Inc. is the Twin Cities' leader in commercial mechanical contracting, and has been the service contractor for HOM Furniture for the last few decades. When HOM Furniture was interested in boosting their energy efficiency and came across the 75F product line, Legacy was the go-to to install the system.
75F’s building automation solution is a green, easily-installed, low cost system that provides an exceptional occupant experience and makes it easy to balance temperatures across hundreds of zones. By studying and analyzing usage patterns and heat loads in your building, the 75F system can proactively manage the building’s temperature, lighting, and indoor air quality to keep the indoor environment comfortable and consistent.
Learn how we make your building work for you and your tenants!
'The World will be facing a cold crunch' warns International Energy Agency (IEA) in its 2019 Future of Cooling report. After all, space cooling which accounts for 10% of all global electricity consumption will more than triple by 2050, nearing 37%, – consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today.
As a developer, you have a lot on your plate. If you're looking to install a Building Automation System (BAS), that solution is supposed to make life easier – not more complicated. That's why we created the 75F smart BAS with developers and engineers in mind. It's fast and easy to install, saves 30-50% in energy costs, and can automate everything from HVAC and lighting systems to hydronic controls.
Here are a few of the advantages 75F provides to make our system the perfect fit for developers.
The Interdepartmental Neuroscience program of the Northwestern University in Chicago undertook a study titled, “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity and Quality of Life” which concluded that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and workplace experience and quality of life of employees.
Temperature and Indoor Air Quality Management
Is your medical clinic suffering from uncomfortable people and poor indoor air quality because of expensive, traditional building automation systems (BASs)? 75F can change that. Get individual temperature balancing for every exam room, monitor and ameliorate indoor air quality, optimize equipment performance, and save up to 50% of utility costs.
Melissa's journey took her life to both coasts before finding her home in the Mid-West. She was born & raised on the East Coast in Delaware. Then, made her way to San Diego where she lived and worked and ate the best tacos. Her last and final stop is Minnesota! She has found her home here. Read on to find out more about Melissa Baker, Office and HR Manager, and aspiring 75F Technical Writer!
Huge Energy Reductions at a Low Cost
What defines the load for chiller and boiler plants? It’s how the water is used throughout the building and it makes sense that the most effective way to improve plant performance is to reduce the load in terminal units, such as air handling units (AHUs), coils, and radiators. That’s where 75F excels. IoT sensors and machine learning predict and optimize terminal units to dramatically lower water consumption to save as much as 46% of the utility cost.
Losings bids to the competition? Looking for a high-margin Building Automation System (BAS)? 75F is on a mission to make BAS installations easy for mechanical contractors and more affordable for their customers. 75F drastically lowers the installation time and related costs to automate buildings between 2,000 and 200,000+ square feet with a complete building intelligence system for HVAC, lighting, indoor air quality, occupancy, and energy management. Total installed cost savings, plus features such as online analytics and mobile apps, combine to make you and 75F a big hit with your customers. Plus, you can install 75F with low voltage technicians – which means there's no need to sub-contract to local contractors.
Here are a few other ways we make life easier and more profitable for mechanical contractors:
As people become more aware of environmental issues like climate change, energy crises and depletion of non-renewable resources, more people are opting for options that would be beneficial for the environment. According to the UNEP, globally, 40% of annual energy consumption and up to 30% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are caused by commercial buildings.
Smart Buildings are the best solution for this problem and investing in a smart building also adds to the brand’s image. The largest companies and corporations in the world are starting to pay more attention to their environmental protection policies and have begun to invest in energy efficient alternatives.
But a smart building offers more than just energy efficiency. Here are three more reasons why smart buildings are the future of commercial buildings in the world.
Imagine a residential smart thermostat with machine learning, remote control, and a mobile app. Apply that to commercial buildings and you get the wireless-networked 75F Smart Stat: the world’s smartest commercial thermostat. Then combine the 75F Smart Stat with a full Building Automation System (BAS) and you get an incredible combination of group controls for several HVAC systems, along with lighting and boiler and chiller plant controls for a unified, wholistic commercial BAS at half the cost of the competition.
Let's take a look at how it works.
Breakthrough technologies from 75F bring unprecedented insights to senior living facilities. Monitor and trend ambient sound levels, occupancy, temperature, humidity, light levels, CO2 and VOCs in every single zone with one device, one thermostat in each zone. Download data from our award-winning Building Automation System (BAS) to perform advanced studies in the correlation of ambient conditions with patient health, all while saving 30-50% on your HVAC and lighting costs.
Here are four easy ways that the 75F system can improve comfort at senior living facilities.
Frustrated about how few of your Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) get implemented? Change the payback equation with a simple, low cost Building Automation System (BAS) from 75F that can support nearly all ECMs, prescriptive and custom. With modern technology, such as cloud computing, machine learning, wireless networking and mobile apps, 75F can rapidly implement ECMs with little or no programming and at half the cost when compared to a traditional BAS, with energy savings from 30% to 50%, a lower installation cost and a one to three-year payback.
MapleTree Investments Pte Ltd owns and manages S$46.3 billions worth of office, logistics, industrial, residential and other properties. With offices in Japan, India, Malaysia, US, UK and more, MapleTree is known for developing award-winning world-class real estate solutions. Their 13-acre Global Technology Park in Bangalore is a fine example of this and MapleTree has its own office within this Tech Park.
As a facility manager, your job is to keep your buildings operating smoothly. In reality, that can feel like a game of whack-a-mole (while a fire alarm is going off, and the basement is flooding). There's only so much you can get done in a day – and when it comes to making upgrades, the last thing you want is another piece of equipment to keep an eye on.
That's why we designed the 75F system specifically with facility managers in mind. We wanted a system with a dashboard view of building performance that could change the way you interact with buildings and reduce the time you spend driving and checking facilities every week. Our reporting tools provide insight into energy anomalies that would previously go un-detected – putting out fires before they begin. Quarterly health check-ins make it easy to coordinate with mechanical contractors, as well.
Multi-family housing can come with a whole host of challenges for building owners and facility managers – especially when it comes to balancing temperatures across hundreds of units. We know it's hard to please a crowd but, at 75F, we can make your life a little (or a lot) easier when it comes to zone control and the occupant experience, all while saving you energy!
More specifically, we can help you provide exceptional comfort for residents with effortless temperature balancing across your entire building and individual control for hundreds of zones (as well as multiple buildings) with 75F building automation. Reap the benefits of modern technology, such as cloud computing, machine learning, wireless networking and mobile apps, to get remote control and diagnostics for all areas at half the cost of a traditional Building Automation System (BAS) and save 30% - 50% of your utility costs. Our system can be spec'd into a new build or quickly and easily retrofitted into older buildings, as well!
Do you have several rooftop units (RTUs) with nothing more than a thermostat to control them? 75F provides a simple way to get remote control and group your RTUs at a lower cost. Imagine having the capabilities of a building automation system at the cost of a WiFi thermostat.
Retrofit existing or spec new build rooftop units with 75F to increase energy efficiency and enjoy remote control and diagnostics at a fraction of the competition. Advanced economizer controls, including Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) and comparative enthalpy economy, from 75F improve efficiency by up to 30%, while improving occupant comfort and indoor air quality. An easy installation and a lower cost, as well as payback in as little as one year, makes this an easy decision.
Looking to design buildings which are green, efficient, and delivered to clients exactly the way you designed them? The 75F Building Automation System (BAS) is designed with architects in mind. Our system is easily spec'd into new buildings and supports numerous sustainability initiatives and our automatic, continuously commissioning BAS is the most efficient HVAC system on the market.
HOM Furniture is one of the nation's largest furniture retailers serving customers in the upper Midwest, with an average store size of 100,000+ square feet. Since 2010, they have been tracking their utility and energy performance data with EnergyPrint's Utility Dashboard – a cloud-based energy management software – to better understand their energy usage.
With energy as one of HOM Furniture's top 3 operating expenses – costing them over $227,000 annually – they were looking for a more cost-effective solution to increase energy efficiency across their portfolio of retail stores. Watch the video to learn what HOM Furniture's Real Estate Manager, John Pierce, loves most about 75F Outside Air Optimization package...you know, besides the $18,400+ in electricity savings!
There's a lot of waste involved with VAV systems commonly used in office and commercial buildings. Typically, VAV systems operate with roof-top units (RTUs) in cool-only mode. The supply air temperature is held constant at 55°F and, when a zone falls below its setpoint, the damper closes and reheat is enabled. When a zone is above its setpoint, the damper opens fully to allow as much 55°F air as possible into the zone to cool the space quickly. This cycle often involves first cooling and then heating the same air. Since the RTU operates in cool-only mode, the 55°F air must again be reheated before it is discharged back into the space to keep the zone's air temperature in balance.
See the waste?
Back in 2016, the WHO published a report which revealed that 92% of the world’s population breathes in sub-standard air. Three years later this number could only have increased as we continue to see rising pollution levels that have made people all around the world battle several health issues especially lung related problems. In fact, the study found that 6.5 million deaths worldwide could be attributed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Of this only half, i.e.; 3 million were attributed to outdoor pollution, meaning 3.5 million deaths were caused by indoor air pollution!
Struggling to deliver buildings to clients as you designed them? Looking for a way to ensure commissioning is done right, without corners being cut? 75F offers an easily-installed, wireless building automation solution that delivers sophisticated HVAC, IAQ and lighting control, while reducing utility costs by 30-50%. Our system comes in at a fraction of the installed cost of comparable systems and is the winner of the ‘Global Customer Value Leadership Award’ in Building Automation per independent research by Frost and Sullivan.
Here are 4 ways that our automatic, continuously commissioning Building Automation System (BAS) has your back and can help you not only support operational efficiency and sustainability initiatives, but also improve the occupant experience starting Day 1.
The 75F® Smart Stat™ can easily be used to control a conventional package unit or split system. If you're in a commercial environment looking for the simplicity of a thermostat with added benefits – such as increased security, better data insight and simple programming and installation – look no further. In this blog, we'll outline some of the benefits of the Smart Stat when used with a conventional rooftop unit (RTU) and take a look at how it operates.
Although we hear the word sustainability a lot these days, for many business owners, sustainability is still just a buzzword. As a building owner or manager, maybe you'd like to make improvements toward sustainability, but green building features are still on the "nice to have" list, maybe shuffled behind mechanical and cosmetic upgrades.
But investors don't see it that way anymore – and the numbers show it.
We have all watched in awe as sci-fi movies in the early days showed a futuristic technology where a motion-sensor detected villains and sounded alarms. Well, fast-forward to today and motion sensors have almost become common place. Today, the technology has evolved to include what is now known as Occupancy Mapping, which goes far beyond just motion sensing. From commercial buildings to even apartments, occupancy mapping is being used to manage space, automate lighting and HVAC, understand occupant behavior and make buildings more efficient and comfortable for occupants.
The 75F® Smart Stat™ provides an integrated, in-room, wall-mounted user interface with 7 onboard sensors and thermostat zone controls for single and dual-stage HVAC equipment. The Smart Stat can control a range of equipment to support comfortable, healthy and efficient buildings. When the 75F Smart Stat is used to control a Heat Pump Unit, it operates very similarly to a typical thermostat with a few added benefits for a commercial environment. Here's why the Smart Stat works so well with Heat Pump Units:
Why is the Central Control Unit So Important?
Every 75F building implementation must have at least one Central Control Unit (CCU). The CCU is critical to the value of data aggregation and cloud computing that 75F provides. The CCU is the front-end of the system on-site, serving as a wireless gateway to the cloud. The CCU is a removable tablet with wireless communications. It replaces a standard thermostat and easily installs, connecting to low-voltage relay contacts that activate the equipment’s heating, cooling and fan signals. The CCU provides a primary user interface for building management including mobile pairing, configuration and settings, zone status, schedules, sensor input graphs and much more.
According to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), artificial lights are responsible for almost 17% of the energy consumed in a commercial building and can be even higher depending on usage. However, saving on the energy consumed by your lighting system is also easily achievable.
Every office knows the afternoon slump. Employee eyes glaze over as they find themselves stuck reading the same line of an email. A yawn spreads contagiously around the room. A small crowd gathers around the snack table. If your office had a nap room, you know it would be full.
Maybe it's just fatigue – but it's likely to be something more, especially in an older building. Commercial buildings are notorious for trapping CO2 and VOCs, which can cause lethargy, headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms and reduced cognitive abilities. In a room full of people, these compounds build up throughout the day, causing the dreaded afternoon slump. Learn how you can use your commercial building to combat them!
"Data is King." That’s one phrase we have heard multiple times and when it comes to buildings, we agree that data and its analysis is of great importance. For Facility Managers, especially, building data is essential as it is a comprehensive way of understanding the functioning of the building and its weak spots. However, good data is also the most overlooked aspect in Building Management. While there are many advanced data collection systems that can provide facility managers with comprehensive data reports there are very few BMS systems that provide this data in an easy to understand format with actionable insights.
In this blog we look at why good data is important for efficient Building Management and how 75F's Building Intelligence System can provide you comprehensive data analytics and help you improve your building.
Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI) is a world leader in the IT industry with an annual revenue of over $1Bn. When they decided to take that extra step towards becoming energy efficient, LTI chose to partner with 75F to achieve this goal. Energy efficiency in LTI's large offices could greatly impact energy savings and result in a reduced carbon footprint. With over 25,000 employees, their strong commitment towards sustainability was backed by their efforts to provide a comfortable working environment for their employees.
Are you looking to improve your building or workspace by implementing the Internet of Things?
Internet-connected devices offer sensing, actionable data insights, remote monitoring and automation to make buildings work smarter for the people who own, manage and occupy them...cutting costs and improving comfort, health and productivity. At first, the concept of deploying IoT in your building may seem like a complex, unreachable goal. However, it's more affordable and easier than ever!
A smart building can mean a lot of things. It could be a system overhaul from the ground up – or, maybe you were gifted a smart speaker over the holidays, and already made your home smarter without realizing it. Some smart building upgrades exist just to make life easier, like smart lightbulbs that can dim themselves with voice commands. Others, like smart HVAC upgrades, can save considerable amounts of money on utility bills, even 30-50%.
Here are a few smart building technology options that can both make life easier and save money for building owners, facility managers, and all building stakeholders.
There has been a fundamental shift in the design and operations of office buildings over the past decade; from being places that will please investors to spaces that prioritize the needs and desires of their tenants. Recognizing that a healthy, happy workforce is a crucial component of a productive, successful business, companies have been investing in ergonomic, technologically equipped, impressively designed workplaces. But, their Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) remains one of the most crucial yet often neglected parameters.
Multiple studies have conclusively tied indoor air quality to employee health, absenteeism, productivity and employee morale and retention. But what is the business value in investing in better IAQ? What does improved IAQ mean to your business’ bottom line? Can you afford to ignore ‘Indoor Air Quality’ and its impact any longer?
Case Study: Co-Working Space Improves Occupant Experience & Operational Efficiency Through Building Automation
When they decided to open their third location in the Twin Cities metro area, The Reserve, a premiere suburban co-working space, wanted their newest tenants to enjoy the same zone-controlled experience they offer in Woodbury and Edina. After deploying 75F in their first two locations, and seeing how efficiently the buildings were operating, the choice was clear to partner with 75F, once again, for an accessible, affordable building automation system.
Watch the video to learn why The Reserve's Chief Operating Officer, Mary Bartlett, sees 75F as an operational advantage and puts her business in a position to succeed!
According to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), commercial buildings consume 70% of US electricity. The US Department of Energy has also found that commercial buildings waste 30% of the energy they consume. This presents a huge opportunity for Facility Managers to take advantage of smart building efficiency measures to save energy. Seeing as lighting and HVAC accounts for roughly 40-60% of a commercial building's utility costs, it makes sense as a starting point for energy savings.
Back in July 2002, Thomas Hartman of AutomatedBuildings.com talked about how people have been demanding better building comfort for years, and it hasn’t changed much since in the building landscape. Hartman says, “I predict a very strong movement to "occupant integrated" HVAC controls within the next decade. My prediction is that by the second decade of this century, most class "A" office spaces will be required to offer individual control of thermal and lighting levels. This integration will most likely be Internet-based.”
More than a decade later, less 15% of the commercial buildings are smart and adoption of individual comfort is a concept still being debated upon. In India, many class “A” buildings are yet to adopt measures to ensure comfort.
The Indian Facilities Management Industry has seen substantial growth over the past few years. Though not as developed as in western economies, there is a growing awareness of the link between the efficiency of a business and its office environment. More and more Facility Heads are waking up to the fact that the benefits of smarter buildings include not just energy efficiency and savings, but also a boost in employee productivity which translates to a far more substantial profit for the company.
Your office is brand spankin’ new. It’s got all the bells and whistles. Maybe a robot delivers coffee to your desk every morning – or maybe you just landed a great location and a great architect. You’re proud to have a Class A building. But is there anywhere else to go from here?
So maybe your office building isn’t the greatest. It’s been around for at least 20 years, and it’s starting to show its age. There’s a perpetually-leaky ceiling tile. The pipes make a rattling noise (or, is it something living in the pipes?). Your employees come into work huddled under blankets until the afternoon, when they switch to portable fans.
If this is the case, you probably have a Class C building. If you’re preoccupied with the day-to-day building maintenance and repairs of an aging building, a smart building upgrade may sound like overkill. But Class C buildings actually have the most to gain by becoming smart.
On some days, your employees are coughing and sneezing. On others, they appear to be sluggish and sleepy, experiencing what many have deemed the "2:30 feeling" since the airing of 5-Hour Energy's advertising campaign.
So what can you do about it?
Although a company curfew and extra caffeinated coffee could be the solution for a few, it may not solve the overarching issue. Why? Because many offices suffer from "sick building symptoms," including bad indoor air quality (IAQ). In fact indoor air quality is likely to be 2-5 times worse than outdoor air quality. Given that most of us spend 90% of our time indoors, improving your building’s indoor air quality can significantly affect employee and customer health, comfort and productivity, sometimes increasing cognitive ability by 101%!
So what can you do to improve the indoor air quality in your building?
The smartest commercial thermostat has hit the market. The 75F® Smart Stat™ Zone Controller supports the new WELL building standard with immediate data insights for temperature, humidity, CO2, VOCs, light, sound and occupancy from built-in sensors. Each Smart Stat also has a unique radial touch user interface and includes 75F’s cloud-based wireless building automation platform for HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, lighting and energy management to achieve energy savings in the 30-50% range in commercial buildings.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce 2018 Annual Meeting: Growing Minnesota's Future Together was held at the Radisson Blu Mall of America on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Deepinder, 75F CEO, participated in a panel with Shelly Peterson, executive vice president and general manager of Boldt Company, and Tom Sonderman, president of SkyWater Technology Foundry. The panelists answered questions on the practical applications of benchmark reports for businesses. Simply put, what makes their company successful and how to make sure other businesses are successful.
We are elated to announce that 75F India won the prestigious Services Excellence Award from ASSOCHAM India (The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry). The award recognizes and facilitates excellence in providing of services achieved by micro, small and medium enterprises in India.
We’d like to congratulate the whole team that has made this possible and a special shout out to the unsung heroes from our services and support team. We thought we’d make this fun and asked the team what really drives them to continually delight customers and their mantra for success. Here’s what they had to say:
Photo by: Kelly Huang
Traditional building automation systems have been both costly and complex for the majority of commercial building owners and property managers, accounting for the fact that less than 15% of buildings have a BAS. Misconceptions about cost often prevent the adoption of smart and sustainable buildings.
When budgeting for a building automation system, it's important to consider both the capital expense (CapEx) or Total Cost of Acquisition (TCA) - the initial cost for hardware, software and installation/services - as well as the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which is the ongoing cost to use, upgrade and operate and maintain (O+M) the system.
Newer technologies, like IoT sensors, wireless controls, and cloud computing, are helping lower the cost of building automation systems and making them more affordable and accessible to the majority of buildings that lack smart technology. Still, we know the allocating the upfront capital budget can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a variety of incentive programs on both federal and state levels, plus those from utilities and energy program partners, to make it easier on your wallet to go green.
In this post, we focus on TCA and related incentives that you might be able to leverage to lower your costs to install a smart building automation system. Here, we give you the low-down.
Could your office building be described as… average? Maybe it doesn’t have a fountain in the lobby, or a view of the ocean – but you have four solid walls, a non-leaking roof, and only a few drafty cubicles. Have you ever tried to make your building work with an HVAC hack? Maybe you even taped a piece of cardboard over the vent to manage the airflow. That would be pretty clever of you, MacGyver.
So, if your office building is around 10-20 years old, has some wear and tear, but is generally in good shape, you probably have a Class B building. This is good news. Investors tend to target these buildings since, with a few upgrades, they can easily become Class B+ and compete readily with Class A properties. One of those upgrades is making your Class B smart – and it’s probably easier than you think.
Firstsource Solutions Ltd. (FSL) is a leading outsourcing partner for the world’s leading brands and is a company known for delivering excellence in customer experience. As their employees are their key strength, the company aims to provide a world class working environment that keeps their employees comfortable and productive. However, a year ago, the Facility Management team at FSL’s Paradigm office in Malad, Mumbai often received complaints of employees feeling too hot or too cold and the temperature differences in many parts of the building was compromising employee comfort and productivity.
Daikin & 75F Share Story of Accelerated Innovation via Corporate-Startup Partnership at Twin Cities Startup Week
Daikin is the largest global HVAC equipment manufacturer. Daikin Applied Americas, headquartered in Plymouth, MN, is taking creative measures to accelerate innovation and growth for the brand in the U.S. One key step is partnering with MN-based 75F to leverage the company's cloud-based building automation solutions, as the companies shared in a Twin Cities Startup Week (#TCSW18 ) panel on Friday.
Vacancies hurt. They cut into operating costs to maintain. Meanwhile, you're spending on market listings to attract prospective tenants – all without a lease revenue stream. According to JLL Research's U.S. Office Outlook, total vacancy increased for the third consecutive quarter in almost all asset classes.
To save money, cost-conscious tenants are are looking toward older buildings that have been remodeled with tenant improvements in mind. It’s no wonder, then, that renovations to older buildings are on the rise. New generations of tenants prefer modern workspaces with minimal costs, with an emphasis on sustainability and cutting edge technology.
Amazing Lash Studio is a fast-growing, premium eyelash extension salon franchise. When they expanded into two new Minnesota locations, they needed an HVAC controls company who could overcome specific challenges. First, they needed zone control for their indoor environment. Since Amazing Lash offers a premium experience, occupant comfort is a top priority. The temperature in each salon room needed to be controlled individually – as well as the temperatures in each hallway, lobby, and office. One of the new locations had another challenge: large windows in the lobby were creating "solar gain", causing major temperature swings which needed to be balanced. Finally, humidity control was required for product performance. “We have an adhesive that we put on every single lash,” explains Patty C., a franchise owner in Minneapolis. “The glue only sticks at a specific humidity.”
Increasing your net operating revenue is sometimes easier said then done. However, building automation systems are an under-leveraged CRE technology offering huge potential to not only improve the occupant experience, but also increase your buildings' operational efficiency and bolster the balance sheet.
But how exactly can a BAS increase that revenue? Keep reading to find out!
Our friends at the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) outdid themselves this year at the 2018 Minnesota Energy Expo, hosted at the Radisson Blu in Bloomington, Minnesota. Programming spanned three rooms with 13 presentations, including the keynote speaker, ASHRAE National President, Sheila Hayter, plus energy project deployment stories, projections about the future of energy and building automation.
So find a cozy seat and enjoy some of our key takeaways from the 2018 ASHRAE Minnesota Energy Expo!
We all know it, green workspaces are in. Market demand for green buildings continues to double every three years, and the demand is only going up. In 2019, the green building market is expecting to climb from $43 billion to $69 billion in the US alone.
So why is that?
Looking for a little help controlling multiple buildings at once? You're not alone. When several of your buildings don't even share the same zip code, it can be quite challenging, especially if they do not share the same exact BAS and HVAC systems.
However, smart building technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are making multi-site management easier than ever with the use of building automation solutions and cloud computing. And, even with different building and equipment types, you can gain data, visibility, insights and controls to improve both building performance and your site portfolio management. Take a look at how smart building technology can help you manage multiple buildings at once!
When it comes to making your building more sustainable, you have a wealth of options and resources. Many building owners and managers start by replacing lightbulbs with energy-efficient options like LEDs or CFLs. You could retrofit your HVAC system with smarter sensing and controls, for even greater energy savings impact and overall ROI. And, you could go longer-term and structural – adding solar panels, replacing windows, or even redesigning your building from the ground up. Every step matters – but as a building owner, you want to be able to quantify those changes. That's why we've made a list of certification programs which help score and benchmark your building for sustainability, making it easier to qualify for energy rebates, keep track of your improvements and advertise your building to prospective tenants.
75F Presents: Energy Efficiency Through Affordable & Accessible Building Automation - Electrification 2018
At the Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition in Long Beach, CA, 75F CEO Deepinder Singh shared news with the audience of utility and energy program leaders that advanced building automation, including sophisticated energy management capabilities, is now available to the majority of buildings who could not previously afford a BAS or EMS. 75F shared that building owners and managers with buildings under 200,000sf now have an affordable building automation option that delivers significant energy savings through sensing and predictive controls of HVAC and lighting, portfolio energy benchmarking and analysis, OpenADR 2.0 automated demand response, daylight harvesting, and other features to help limit peak demand and enhance overall building energy efficiency.
The U.S. Green Building Council cites that buildings consume 70% of the U.S. electricity and account for 39% of U.S. CO2 emissions and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) indicates that commercial buildings waste 30% of the energy they consume. This is a major opportunity for smart buildings' efficiency to save significant energy expenses and reduce environmental impact; yet, that’s just the start of the savings for sustainable offices!
Budgeting for Smart Building Options
Smart Buildings make for smart investments in cost savings and value enhancements, often with ROI in under 3 years. And, you may be surprised how affordable and easy a modern building automation solution can be. Here are 3 easy, strategies for budgeting for smart building options that can enable you to implement a building automation system in your buildings.
Smart Buildings reduce expenses and increase the value of your building. But the benefits don't just stop there. In fact, many of the advantages of a smart building can be felt by everyone involved from, the building owner all the way down to the occupant.
Is your building working for your occupants?
At 75F, we're on a mission to make buildings work for the people, especially the people buildings are designed to accommodate - their tenants. And, all building stakeholders, from building owners to facility managers to architects, can agree on the importance of creating the optimal occupant experience. However, comfort is recurring top issue and tenant complaint for commercial real estate properties. And, with 85% of commercial buildings lacking intelligent building systems, yet commercial real estate (CRE) properties are projected to have the highest growth in IoT connected devices deployments, the time is right to get smart with your building. It's more affordable and easier than ever to install a sophisticated IoT-based building automation systems to reduce energy and other operational expenses, while proactively optimizing workplace environments for employees and other occupants.
When considering smart building automation solutions (BAS), people often think their buildings are:
- Too small
- Too big
- Too old
- Too new
If this were the case, then no building would ever be qualified to run a smart BAS. The fact is, more that 85% of commercial buildings lack smart building systems.
But what if building automation could be affordable and easy to install, in as little as just one day? Find out which buildings are set up to benefit the most from building automation solutions, such as smart HVAC systems!
When asked why they haven't invested in smart building automation systems (BAS), many people zone in on the ROI timeframe based upon energy savings, questioning whether the energy payback period is short enough to justify the upfront investment for their commercial buildings. The energy payback equation really is quite simple. And, new intelligent building automation systems can offer payback in as little as 1 year. Though, a focus solely on energy savings leaves out smart building returns that can be 10x to 100x higher, further shortening the BAS ROI timeframe.
Traditional building automation and controls systems are complex and expensive to implement and manage, creating a barrier to adoption for some businesses. So, only about 15% of commercial buildings have smart controls. Newer, born-in-the-cloud building controls solutions like 75F offer an affordable option and shorten the energy payback period, as a result of the lower initial Capital Expenditure (CapEx) investment, in addition to several ongoing Operating Expense (OpEx) savings. In some cases building automation systems deliver a return on your investment in as little as a year on energy savings alone, before factoring the other operational efficiencies and occupant experience value.
How Smart Building Technology Can Benefit Everyone
Smart building technology is quickly being adopted by property owners and investors alike. In many cases, this move is a reaction to a need or a problem that their tenants may be experiencing. To many, this may seem like a one-sided benefit where tenant improvements are at the expense of the owner. However, smart building technologies tend to benefit more than just the end user as many building automation systems allow owners, facility/property managers, and mechanical technicians to be proactive, rather than reactive, many times saving on operational expenses (OpEx) along the way.
So who else gets to reap the benefits of smart building technology?
Thankfully, with the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT), you can improve the air in your commercial real estate buildings with 75F building automation solutions, all while cutting your HVAC costs by 30-50% and receiving a return on your investment in as little as a year! Match the cut in operational expenses and increase in property value with improved air quality management (and a great occupant experience) and you have a smart building that works for you and your tenants, not the other way around!
OE2 or "OE squared" is an expression 75F coined to share what we view as a simple formula for the key metrics of building performance, with the the two primary factors :
The Variable Air Volume (VAV) with reheat HVAC systems and box controllers commonly found in commercial office buildings present a great opportunity for building owners and managers to save energy, improve operational efficiencies and better manage occupant comfort, with more sophisticated sensing and controls orchestration. These VAV with reheat systems tend to use the rooftop unit (RTU) to first cool supply air to a standard 55 degrees, then typically use the electric heat at the individual VAV box reheat elements throughout the building for heating supply air to desired temperatures for the zones. Though, the traditional VAV system has several issues with inefficiency and lack of sensing and controls management.
Check out this video to learn how you can improve building performance with operational efficiencies and a better occupant experience with the 75F Smart VAV with Reheat solution.
This year was 75F's first trip to the League of Minnesota Cities Conference. And, the City of Saint Cloud and the League of Minnesota Cities did not disappoint! Attendees were excited, exhibitors were at the ready with impressive booth displays, and the decor sent you up north with a cozy, cabin feel. What else could you ask for from a Minnesota-centric conference?!
As the conference began, attendees settled in with a pre-conference workshop and dove right into the juicy (lucy) training all had traveled far and wide to attend. The 75F team began with the City Sustainability Meet-Up in the Alexander Room.
One of the many keys to success for a building owner is to find new ways to increase the commercial property value. As new tenant services and green initiatives grow as deciding factors for tenants, many building managers and owners are searching for ways to generate more revenue through improvements in the occupant experience and sustainability.
Thankfully, with the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT), you can achieve these goals with 75F's building automation solutions, all while cutting your HVAC costs by 30-50% and receiving a return on your investment in as little as a year. Pair the cut in operational expenses with an improved occupant experience and you have a smart building that not only works for you and your tenants, but for your revenue, as well!
Here's how you can do it!
As budgets continue to get smaller and the push for energy efficiency continues to grow, many building managers and owners are trying to find new ways to cut operating expenses and run a more efficient building. Thankfully, with the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT), you don't have to look too far to find new ways to achieve both of these goals. In fact, 75F's solutions can actually help you cut your HVAC energy costs by 30-50% and get a return on your investment in as little as a year, all while improving operational efficiencies and creating an optimal occupant experience!
Here's how you can do it!
The 75F Smart Node wireless terminal equipment controller features smart functionality designed to make installation and commissioning fast and easy, keeping building controls install costs down and team productivity high.
Clean Energy Trust (a nonprofit cleantech accelerator) announced to a sold-out crowd at their Co_Invest Cleantech event in Chicago yesterday that 75F had taken home the largest investment for their building control solutions delivering operational efficiencies, improved productivity and optimal occupant experiences. 75F is one of four new portfolio companies (and the only MN-based company) selected from over 100 applicants; and, the crowd of attendees voted 75F as the People’s Choice.
Clean Energy Trust (CET) awarded 75F with at total of $270,000, representing the largest of four investments in new companies, totaling $700,000. The CO_INVEST Cleantech event brings entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and students together for a day celebrating a shared belief in the power of entrepreneurs to take on the hardest challenges to sustainable life on the planet. The 75F presentation went over so well, the crowd voted 75F the People's Choice winner, adding $20,000 investment to the already allocated $250,000. The people have spoken!
So why did 75F take home the top prize?
Smart City and Smart Building technology is beginning to boom in U.S. cities like Seattle, Portland, and Nashville, as well as cities abroad like Paris, Singapore and Tel Aviv. But how are other cities leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) to get smart and connected, to better serve their citizens and visitors?
The Northern Minnesota town of International Falls, bordering Canada, is home to some of the most beautiful (and, at times, coldest) parts of the country. And, this past week, several buildings there got a lot smarter and a lot more comfortable for the people and pets alike, In a few hours per site, fast installations of 75F solutions, self-installed by on-staff facilities managers and electricians, were up and running - managing energy efficiency, indoor air quality and temperatures.
The City of Warren, MN, in the northwest corner of the state, is leading a B3 Benchmarking effort around public facility energy efficiency, and 75F is helping. Warren received one of 39 CERTS seed-grants in 2018 for their benchmarking of public buildings. With help from CERTS, Warren selected 75F building intelligence solutions to equip them with sensing and rich data available in 75F Facilisight software through Web or mobile app. They were also keen on the 75F system's quick install and commissioning, which was installed by the City electrician with on-site training from 75F.
75F Machine Learning Engineer Madhushan Tennakoon and Software Intern Myat Mo created a program together called "Deep See," originally developed as part of the 4th Annual IoT Fuse Hack Day. Deep See utilizes the intelligence of Amazon's Alexa to help you see. Madhushan and Myat presented a track on Deep See at IoT Fuse Conference on May 3rd, 2018. It fascinated a lot of the audience who attended their presentation; however, with any live demo comes the risk that something won't cooperate. We were thankful for the forgiving audience that waited patiently in anticipation. So, we decided to film a brief video segment of the Deep See demo at the 75F office and share it here for everyone to be able to experience this amazing passion project by Madhushan and Myat.
The Internet of Things is moving from a buzzword to a reality. Connected devices are making us more informed, helping automate tasks at home, and are at play in more ways than we ever thought possible. But what about where we work? How smart is the building where we spend as much as 40 hours a week?
Employee performance and productivity are critical variables to your company's operating income and profitability. High performance and productivity are facilitated by engagement. Quite simply, engaged employees contribute more to the organization and the bottom line. Commercial real estate firms like Colliers International reinforce that healthy buildings are significant contributors to employee productivity, which has been stagnant in the United States since the Great Recession and is experiencing the lowest annual growth rate since World War II (1.1%), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In a world of new corporate tax cuts, rising interest rates and a stable economy that may be on a long plateau, real estate investors and managers wonder how property values can continue to increase. Besides reaching into our own noggins, we looked at what industry analysts from Deloitte, Cushman & Wakefield, JLL, Memoori, the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy have to say on related topics. According to the European Commission report on Macroeconomic and Other Benefits of Energy Efficiency, a smart, higher-performing building can conservatively add $0.10/sf or as much as 11.8% in lease value. and it can ultimately yield 5% to 35% higher sale values.
Lighting in commercial buildings can significantly impact the "triple bottom line," improving the planet's sustainability through energy efficiency and boosting organizational profitability. Though, most importantly, lighting can improve the wellbeing of the people who occupy the space. The WELL Building standard includes lighting as one of seven core concepts of health. LED lighting projects have been a popular building improvement in recent years, for energy efficiency returns alone. Did you know that advanced lighting controls and automation can add efficiency and health benefits to lighting programs?
The WELL Building Standard provides important guidance around the interests of human health, wellbeing, productivity and sustainability with a focus on the occupant. It includes benchmarks, goals and compliance requirements for owners and other building stakeholders. The WELL Building Standard covers seven core concepts of health: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind – for all types of buildings, including commercial office, retail, industrial, residential and restaurants.
Our last blog post on the WELL Building Standard discussed how building owners can maximize their "comfort" concept score for WELL certification. This post, the second in our series, is focused on the why the WELL Building Standard is so important for the "indoor air quality" (IAQ) environments of the future and how 75F can help you deliver improved air quality for your occupants and achieve top air quality scores toward WELL certification.
At the upcoming RFMA 2018 Restaurant Facility Management Association annual conference, 75F will share how restaurants can manage multiple locations with a single-pane-of-glass solution for HVAC, Refrigeration, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Pressure, Humidity, Lighting and Energy Management. In addition to the machine-learning capabilities automatically optimizing performance, a restaurant manager can view real-time temperature and energy status across sites, then drill down to specific stores, zones, equipment and sensor readings for analysis and remote diagnostics. And, they can push schedule changes and other updates across sites with a single click.
Every day I talk with facility heads and facility managers from different companies. We talk about their plans and aspirations for their facilities. We talk about bottlenecks in achieving these goals and the possible resolutions. We talk about making the shift from investment-laden facility management to contributing to the company's bottom line.
One topic that comes up over and over again with most of these facility managers is 'building a work environment that makes employees productive and healthy.
Wellness standards exist for people, so why not also for buildings? After all, we spend about 90% of our lives indoors. Many of us spend seven to 10 hours each workday indoors. This equates to about 25% of our life spent indoors at work. That's a real bummer, especially if our indoor environment isn't healthy. Several studies show that productivity, mood and creativity can be boosted significantly with better indoor air quality and indoor environment quality. The WELL Building Standard guides and advises on the seven factors that can most impact human health and well being.
75F made a splash at AHR Expo 2018, working with Daikin to debut Intelligent Solutions Powered By 75F. AHR is THE largest event for the heating venting air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) market. The show is produced by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Minnesota is hosting a flurry of events in this week leading up to the Superbowl. For a twist blending sports and entrepreneurship, check out the Startup Capital of THE NORTH Showcase taking place Tuesday, January 30th, at the U of M McNamara Alumni Center from 3-6 PM, produced by MN Cup and Greater MSP. It will highlight leading MN startups, including the rapidly growing sports, student, and craft communities, plus select MN Cup participants.
Check out the freshly shared Rise of the Rest 2018 Ecosystem Playbook from Steve Case and J.D. Vance's Revolution. Rise of the Rest (RotR) "is a nationwide effort powered by Revolution to showcase founders in emerging startup ecosystems across the U.S. Since the tour launched in 2014, Steve Case has traveled more than 6,000 miles on a bus to visit 26 diverse cities and personally invested more than $4 million in local startups." The Rise of the Rest Seed Fund recently announced several major financial backers who are helping support agile innovators across the country.
75F Recognized in "50 on Fire" Award from MinneInno
MinneInno, the regional media outlet focused on business innovation, technology and startups, selected 75F as an Inno Pick recipient honored in the new MinnneInno "50 on Fire" awards. The awards are meant to "shine a little extra light on the ones that are truly setting the scene on fire"; it recognizes "companies or individuals that have had a banner year across a variety of categories."
75F will be at the AHR Expo 2018 at Chicago's McCormick Center this coming Monday through Wednesday, presenting and demo'ing our vertically integrated suite of building intelligence solutions with Daikin Applied in Booth #5530.
The 75F® Smart Node™ terminal equipment controller enables flexible building automation with software-defined benefits. The Smart Node™ is a first-of-its-kind product design combining onboard OLED display, eleven I/O interface ports, daisy-chained 24V power, wireless-mesh networking, and software-defined hardware capabilities. The Smart Node is part of 75F’s vertically-integrated suite of smart building products for HVAC and lighting automation, delivering energy-efficiency, indoor air quality and healthy, comfortable indoor environments.
75F hosted the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for their Statewide Policy Tour at our headquarters in Burnsville, MN, yesterday.....for those who braved the slippery MN winter conditions.
Dr. Michael Vogt is a former U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientist, and the designated STEM Instructor/Mentor at Cyprus Classical Academy. Dr. Vogt is leading the students in a hands-on program where they apply science and math to the management of their indoor environment and their school's impact on the outdoor environment.
2017 has proven to be a year of change and growth, amid a challenging political environment. Despite the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, businesses continue to pursue sustainable, energy-efficient programs for the good of business, people and the planet. They #KeepBuilding.
At 75F, we keep building too, scaling across markets, clients and facilities types. In 2017, our solution suite has expanded to meet additional challenges and opportunities in the world of building automation, energy efficiency, sustainability and most importantly, the wellbeing of the building occupants: people!
Check out our brief 2017 Year In Review Video. And, here's a recap of major happenings:
Steve Case's "Rise of the Rest" (ROTR) seed fund announcement earlier this week in The New York Times article "From Bezos to Walton, Big Investors Back Fund for ‘Flyover’ Start-Ups" showcased a lineup of highly-influential investors who have joined the fund. Together, they are helping to pave the runway and fuel takeoffs for startups across America's often-overlooked "Flyover" markets (between the coastal hubs that see 75% of VC funding). This news caused us to reflect on those early days and how we've gained speed and altitude from ROTR in our flight path along the way.
Competition in commercial real estate is high and projected to remain high. New-builds and renovations are attractive to tenants seeking more open floorplans, more daylight, more amenities and better energy efficiency. In fact, when tenants want to lower their energy costs, gain insight into their own energy consumption and improve indoor air quality in their space, they usually look to new-builds and renovated spaces soon after discovering that they have little control over such things in their current space.
However, retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficiency and other green upgrades is often the better choice, and it can help property managers attract tenants and fill a vacancy quicker.
An HVAC system that incorporates variable frequency drive (VFD) with scheduling control can deliver significant energy savings, especially when deployed at scale along with a building intelligence solution offering predictive and proactive controls for incremental adjustments for variable loads.
In many states and cities, VFDs are required by building code on rooftop units (RTU) and air handling units (AHU) of nine tons or greater. HVAC systems are designed to cater to the peak design load of a building. However, most of the days the building experiences partial loads, either because of milder weather or lower than maximum occupancy load. VFDs offer higher efficiency during partial HVAC load scenarios. VFDs also help reduce inrush current at startup, plus lowered mechanical stress.
In AHU's with variable loading capacities, the 75F CCU will continuously adjust both the chilled water supply as well as fan speed to accommodate the building load. Such equipment can take advantage of the small granular control in capacity between 0-100% that the 75F system can offer.
However, 75F is often deployed with simpler HVAC equipment with only 1 or 2-stages of cooling or heating. In such a case, we follow an approach that modulates the fan speed based on 3 primary positions for 2-stage RTUs.
Vacant properties present an opportunity for smart enhancements that could fill the space faster and offer long-term value. Many landlords wait to make tenant improvements (TI) until a tenant signs a lease for a vacant space. But, commercial real estate is a competitive landscape, and rents have risen significantly in the past few years. Prospective tenants are seeking the most attractive environment possible for employee comfort and productivity, in addition to operational cost management. A quick-install wireless building automation system (BAS) offers a smart opportunity to differentiate property with value for owner and tenant alike.
Rick Mann, Director of Restaurant Sales, has been in the sales industry for over 20 years. His prior role working with water filter designs introduced him to the problems associated with systems which require advanced programming. Rick understands the discrepancies between what the end user wants, compared to what the programmer thinks the end user wants. He loves that 75F solutions provide an out-of-the-box user experience, putting the control in the users hands.
Tenant improvement (TI) packages and allowances that include smart building solutions attract and retain tenants in a time of rising rents and vacancies across the U.S. office and commercial real estate markets. According to JLL Research's Q2 2017 U.S. Office Outlook, total vacancy increased for the third consecutive quarter in almost all asset classes, rising 10 basis points to 14.8%. The greatest vacancy growth was in Class A buildings, as rent growth and new supply outpace demand from more cost-conscious tenants who are looking to Class B buildings with attractive tenant improvement and concession packages (e.g., rent-free first month).
The USGBC Greenbuild 2017 International Summit opening session kicked off this week with a presentation by Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru, announcing 75F's integration of the Arc performance score into the 75F Facilisight software Web interface included in all 75F solutions. The Arc platform delivers a holistic performance score for buildings in pursuit of more sustainable, efficient and livable buildings. 75F is the first building automation solution to integrate Arc and enable automatic score updates.
The USGBC GREENBUILD 2017 International Conference and Expo is taking place this week 11/6-11/11 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, with the theme "ALL IN." Everyone. Every Project. Everywhere. We Are All In. And, 75F is All In too. 75F is participating in the International Summit on Tuesday 11/7 and in the "Arc is All In" session on Thursday 11/9 at 11:45 EST, among other events.
75F has been getting noticed as a disruptor in media and awards for bringing a new approach to the traditional building automation market and deploying controls solutions in some of the largest established HVAC equipment systems. So, we were somewhat surprised and honored when Daikin Applied Americas, part of the largest global HVAC brand, invited us to present and exhibit at their own North American Daikin Group Sales Meeting (#DGSM17) in San Antonio, TX.
The 75F team arose from their warm beds around 3AM to gather and drive North from Minneapolis through the misty darkness to Duluth, where the crisp Lake Superior air greeted us for the USGBC Minnesota "Building Green" conference. We set up our table amid other USGBC partners, who represented architecture, construction, mechanical contracting, energy utilities services as well as efficient windows and lighting systems, among others. Our smart-building product demo and customer testimonial videos beckoned attendees from the side of the room. And, in the lobby, supporting the wellness breaks in between sessions, 75F hosted our new IAQ Bar (Indoor Air Quality), an aromatherapy station to help attendees enlighten their senses and allow some time to breath in a new quality of air.
"It was a win," says Rick Mann, our Director of Sales, as he recalls the day's event. Rick was able to get his feet wet talking to many restauranteurs – which included representatives from Culvers, Pizza Luce, Treasure Island, and many more.
The Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals Association, also know as MASMS, is the largest and most well-attended event for school district decision makers across the state. While 75F is not currently working with large school districts, we have had great success in helping smaller districts become equipped with building automation. Several other districts are interested in having us look at their buildings to add controls. It's known that most districts are using large solution providers.
We're hitting the road this weekend and heading toward San Antonio, Texas, for the The Disruption Tour presented by Daikin. The team will be taking off right after the USGBC Building Green event in Duluth. It's been a busy month, filled with events, presentations and exciting technology.
The team is making their move up north this week to attend the USGBC Building Green event in Duluth, MN. Sporting the all orange wardrobe, we're looking forward to attracting expo participants with our new oxygen aroma therapy bar. It'll be a nice break for anyone that needs a quick de-stresser. 75F CEO and founder, Deepinder Singh, will present "How Smart Buildings Improve Your Bottom Line."
Team 75F will be in full orange gear exhibiting at booth #621, sharing smart restaurant solutions and smart hospitality solutions the Minnesota Hopsitality Expo and Conference. It's all taking place at the St. Paul Rivercentre on Thursday Oct 5th.
A surplus of CAM funds gives property managers and asset managers options to attract new tenants and retain valuable tenants with building improvement activities. But what truly adds value that tenants will notice? How can you set your building apart in a way that not only impresses tenants but adds value to their businesses too?
It was the early morning of September 18th when Adam Beson, Director of Retail Sales, and Bob French, Chief Evangelist, headed to the annual MN Energy Expo by Ashrae at the Mall of America. They set up the bright orange 75F display materials at booth #1. Upon scanning the exhibit floor, they noticed a competitive group of mechanical representatives, manufacturers, utilities and service providers, including companies like Trane, CenterPoint Energy, Johnson Controls, Midwest Mechanical Solutions, Xcel Energy and more.
Adam Beson, Director of Retail Sales, has been focused on business development, sales and marketing for 11 years now. His prior role at Nextlight provided him with an in depth understanding of lighting, making Adam a great addition to the 75F team, especially as we launched Advanced Lighting that syncs up into the same Facilisight platform as the HVAC controls. Driven to save energy for customers, Adam discusses how 75F is experiencing tremendous growth in the commercial buildings market.
September 20th was an exciting day, as our CEO and Founder, Deepinder Singh, took the stage at the VERGE 2017 to pitch 75F to nearly 2,000 attendees in Silicon Valley, plus a global live-streaming audience. Wednesday afternoon's VERGE Accelerate program consisted of seven entrepreneurs, each given just two and a half minutes to promote their company's story before an audience of technology and sustainability thought leaders. After a quick discussion including feedback from a panel of judges, the crowd-sourced voting took place. It was a white knuckle event as Lilac Solutions and 75F battled for the win.
With rapid advances in technology, buildings are no longer perceived merely as brick and mortar. Organizations are beginning to rethink the role facilities play in achieving their sustainability goals, optimizing their workforce productivity and improving employee health.
Modern buildings can gather millions of data points that capture real-time information about occupancy, temperature, humidity, and air quality among many other measures. Intelligent data analytics empower these buildings to make occupants more comfortable and productive at the lowest cost, while managing energy and operations more efficiently.
But that's just part of the story. By applying the right set of tools, we can pull powerful insights from the vast amount of data garnered from a building. We can see patterns, we can build a model, and we can predict. We can make your building management predictive and proactive!
Three Square Market is gaining a great deal of exposure for microchipping employees to make simple tasks more efficient. They're leading the way in building automation by implementing more tech focused solutions than any other 75F client today.
Is the commercial real estate industry ready for performance-based pricing models? Will your firm stack up? According to Deloitte's Real Estate and Construction Industry practice, smart building infrastructure will enable the new performance-based model. At present, smart building infrastructure may still be in the "value-added enhancement" category, but it will soon transition into an expectation of commercial tenants.
When people can monitor energy usage and efficiency of each appliance, machine and light in their homes via smartphone apps, they will also demand transparency and control at work.
Matt Blount, 75F Research & Development and Product Engineer, graduated from University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) with a degree in BioChem. While his role today is far from what he expected when he attended school, it all worked out for the better. Matt found a career that makes sense to him, and 75F appealed to him more than working in a lab.
When they're your dollars, you pay attention. In general, a gross lease stipulates that the landlord pays for HVAC investments and maintenance. An NNN lease specifies that the tenant pays for HVAC matters. However, there are several types of modified gross leases and modified net leases, including absolute gross and absolute net leases.
It is important to pay attention to the provisions in your lease before signing it. If no provision for HVAC exists in your lease, now is a good time to add one or ask about it. Getting stuck with HVAC equipment replacement or maintenance bills you don't expect can be very expensive, especially if you're a tenant who can't benefit from the full depreciation of an HVAC investment.
The HVAC system of a restaurant maintains comfort and equipment efficiency. It affects the satisfaction of customers and employees. A dining environment that is too humid, too hot/cold or drafty can ruin the customer experience instantly. A kitchen that is too hot or smoky may lead to high turnover of your kitchen staff. An air pressure imbalance may cause unwanted odors or bursts of heat from the kitchen to waft into the dining room.
So, what is the cure? Do you need an energy management system (EMS) or an HVAC optimization in your restaurant?
Building technology is advancing quicker than ever, and landlords are facing difficult issues regarding how they will invest to attract and retain commercial tenants over the next decade. In reality, the next five years are crucial, especially if you're hoping to land large corporate tenants or innovative organizations.
Enhanced hot water controls give you comfort and peace of mind. Monitoring the mixing valve on the load side of your boiler(s) allows you to instantly verify your boiler is working, control the mixing valve based on predefined set points, modulate in-floor heat to maintain slab temperature and understand energy lost in the loop.
You might be able to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system with a renovation and recommissioning, but then you're spending several times more money than you could spend on a smart HVAC retrofit. Additionally, you'll miss out on the benefits of improved system monitoring, scheduling, control and zone customization.
Restaurateurs and franchisees will most often think of energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances to conserve energy and save on energy costs. While LED lighting and ENERGY STAR® appliances are fantastic, they may not offer the biggest bang for your bucks. The payback on many of these items is often well over five years.
Whether your HVAC system runs on Variable Air Volume (VAV) or Constant Volume (CV), you're currently missing out on energy efficiency and equipment efficiency opportunities.
The 75F Smart VAV with Reheat™ solution allows for variable air volume, temperature and pressure, as long as your desired space temperature is achieved. We work to optimize VAV with reheat performance with a continuous commissioning, pre-configured, out-of-the-box solution.
Why should you face limited choices when an energy efficient system is available that allows all variables to fluctuate for optimal comfort levels?
A building automation system (BAS) can be capitalized upon in just about any building, including retail stores, restaurants, commercial real estate, industrial buildings and warehouses. Proactive, automated building management is enabled by predictive technologies that provide the capabilities of remote scheduling, monitoring, and control of building equipment and lighting.
"...The building as a whole will perform most efficiently if all the building systems are controlled as a part of an integrated system. ...Well-designed control systems can increase building efficiency up to 30% without the need to upgrade existing appliances." — U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 2015 Assessment of Energy Technologies and Research Opportunities
We’re proud to announce that the GreenBiz Group's Verge Accelerate Showcase results are in, and we are one of 14 finalists selected to pitch at the VERGE 17 conference this September. Thank you to all who showed your support by voting for 75F in the Infrastructure and Built Environment category!
Commercial new-builds, renovations and building additions in the U.S. must comply with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016, which achieves about 8.2% energy cost savings on average, nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). That's the minimum standard for new construction! We can do better.
Also according to DOE, U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on heating and cooling costs with energy efficient HVAC control systems. HVAC-related savings potential ranges from 22% to 56%, depending on building size, building use, regional climate and local utility costs. The country's commercial buildings need a health check!
One of our customers, Todd Westby, CEO and President of TurnKey Corrections and Three Square Market, is making news across the country for the controversial microchip offering that’s newly available to employees. He is passionate about technology and always searching for the latest and greatest. Developer of software used in vending machines, Three Square Market, is not shy about the attention this is gaining the company. A whopping 50 employees (over half) opted in voluntarily to be chipped this week.
The One-Stop Efficiency Shop® for HVAC upgrades program, designed and delivered for Xcel Energy Minnesota by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), accelerates the 75F mission to deliver energy savings while improving comfort and indoor air quality.
You know you're about to read about the energy cost savings that can be achieved by implementing predictive technologies, but do you know they can also help to boost your top line revenue and operating margin? Consider the fact that more comfortable employees are more productive. More comfortable shoppers and diners tend to stay longer and spend more. Satisfied hotel guests tend to return and may spend more money at your lobby bar or restaurant.
Commercial tenants and consumers increasingly view LEED-certified / green buildings and sustainable business practices as positive differentiators for which they are willing to pay extra. More productive employees and happier customers are revenue positive. Higher wages, other employee/customer retention initiatives and new investments become more achievable as your margins grow, aided by reduced energy costs.
Energy costs are on the rise, and so is the demand for energy. As a result, reducing the energy consumption of your bricks and mortar is fast becoming a no-brainer for any business. After all, buildings consume 40% of the world's energy of which approximately 50% is wasted due to inefficient use.
Results are in, and we're a #VERGECon Accelerate semifinalist! We need your votes to help us become a finalist, where we could be given the opportunity to pitch at VERGE, where we'd have the opportunity to pitch to an audience of nearly 2,000 government officials, business leaders and investors. Please show your support by visiting the VERGE Accelerate community voting page and voting for 75F through Aug 4th, 2017. We're in the 4th column titled Infrastructure and Built Environment. You can vote once every day!
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that buildings in different geographies consume energy differently. We all know that everything from sunlight, the wind, ambient temperature, air quality, humidity and time of sunrise/sunset to the topography of a commercial building invariably affect how we use HVAC and Lighting. In other words, the location and environment of your building determine the way your building consumes energy.
And yet, there is a good chance that you have overlooked the importance of geography when planning for energy efficiency.
Ben Wallace, 75F’s new VP of Marketing, is passionate about technology, marketing, music, golfing, biking and skiing. He thrives on discovering new bands and attending live music events where he catches at least 2-3 concerts a month, preferably in intimate venues like 7th Street Entry, Aster Cafe and the Amsterdam Hall. His easy-going, casual personality combined with his unending brand advocacy make him a force to be reckoned with.
It never seems to end, does it? Half the year, the outdoor temperature is as pleasant as a frozen tundra (speaking for us Northerners). The other half of the year, we must defend ourselves from the onslaught of air conditioning so heavy we get goose bumps sitting at our desks or dining in public. How embarrassing! How revolting.
What's worse is that half the office (ahem, men) usually prefers the Arctic air stream all summer. However, at 6'0" and 150 lbs., I am often on the side of goose bumps. Now that the dog days of summer are upon us, we're fighting back!
When was the last time you performed a diagnostic check on your Energy Management System (EMS)? Have the complaints about heating, cooling or ventilation increased? Are they manageable? Can you see HVAC and lighting schedules and usage on one user-friendly dashboard?
Many buildings use EMS technology created in the 1990s or early 2000s. This limits building management and automation capabilities, exposes your business to avoidable cyber security risks, and frustrates building occupants. You don't have to deal with lackluster EMS performance when cost-effective, smarter solutions are available.
Imagine a restaurant entryway that's hotter than the warm air outside. Then, when you get seated, you're wishing you had brought a jacket! It doesn't make for a pleasant dining experience, especially if you were hoping for a nice, cold drink or two.
If you're a restaurateur, potential revenue is walking right out your door, or maybe not even entering your restaurant because of the temperature imbalances.
The true cost of the energy management system (EMS) is far beyond its initial cost of installation. The present architecture of most EMS products available today was brought to market in the 1990s, and most U.S. buildings have not undergone significant EMS upgrades since 2005. This means technology invented before the first iPhone was released may be managing energy efficiency and consumption in your building while also exposing your business to cyber security risks and depressing the productivity of people in your building.
Constructing your building management system with wireless devices can provide up to 80% labor savings and a 3-4x faster install, based on completed 75F projects. How is this possible?
The 75F pilot is flexible to several of your building's and organization's unique needs. Your objectives define your pilot of the 75F system.
Interview with Jay Schrankler: 75F Investor & Previous President of Environmental Controls at Honeywell
Veteran Honeywell engineer, Jay Schrankler, who once ran Honeywell's heating and cooling controls business, was one of our first investors in 2014. Jay now runs the University of Minnesota technology commercialization office. Read more in the Star Tribune article, Business heats up for Burnsville-based building control firm 75F.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has found that about 40% of energy costs for the average commercial building are spent on heating, cooling and ventilation. This equates to about 7.5% of total costs for the average office building, since 19% of total costs are energy costs.
In 2012, a DOE study found that U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on heating and cooling costs if they install an energy efficient HVAC control system. The range of cost savings (22% to 56%) determined by the study depends on building size, building use, regional climate and local utility costs.
Imagine if you were the building owner or operator who helped your tenants save between 30% and 50% on their energy bills each month by making an energy efficiency HVAC investment, which typically earns a three-year back or less.
What makes smart lighting so easy? The installation is a breeze compared to some other smart building retrofits, and literally no one needs to flip a switch once it is implemented. Commercial smart lighting solutions for interior, exterior, parking lots and signage can be entirely automated and controlled wirelessly via the Internet.
Building pressure affects guest comfort, utility costs and equipment life. You likely have a pressurization problem in your restaurant if:
- You have experienced unwanted odors or smoke creeping from your kitchen into the dining area
- Your guests have found the doors to your restaurant difficult to open
- Doors don't seem to close all the way on their own
- Maintaining room temperatures in your building is difficult
While these may seem like minor issues, the costs of discomfort, energy loss and shorter equipment life add up.
75F was listed among 15 startup companies to watch in the global smart building space making critical, innovative contributions to facility management efficiency, building security, energy cost reductions and real estate operations. The smart building research and thought leadership consultancy Memoori, located in Stockholm, Sweden, profiled 75F as part of its full Q1 2017 research report, "Start Ups and their Impact on Smart Buildings 2017."
Energy costs are controllable expenses. Paying attention to the data can help you see opportunities that impact other areas of your business, such as productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism. Optimizing the energy efficiency can offer some control over building energy load costs, impacting your bottom line, whether you are an owner, operator or occupant.
You should love the temperature, lighting and air quality controls in your restaurant. Your building management system (BMS) should be proactive or at least responsive to changing weather conditions. But is it? Do you love it?
Tina Turner sings that "Love is but a sweet old fashioned notion. What's love got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?"
If your BMS and your employees are your heart, and "weather" stands in for "love," we assure you that weather has a heck of a lot to do with your restaurant's operational costs. The best BMS will set its tune to the weather, and you should be able to love it!
Temperature imbalances are a big piece to the puzzle of optimizing the energy efficiency and comfort of your restaurant. Saving energy, and thus utility costs, might not be your top priority, but temperature imbalances in your restaurant also impact worker productivity, guest comfort and employee turnover rates.
75F prides itself on being an innovative company that finds new solutions to old problems. Therefore, when we were named one of the Top 100 Most Disruptive Companies in the World in 2017 alongside Tesla, we simply smiled. “Disruptive” is an interesting term because the verb "disrupt" indicates to cause disorder or turmoil, but when used in business it typically implies radical change. It is with this latter definition in mind, that we embrace being a top disruptor in 2017.