April 2013


Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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EMAIL INTERVIEW Etienne Veilleux and Ken Sinclair

Etienne Veilleux, President and CEO, Distech Controls Inc.

As Founder, President and CEO of Distech Controls, Etienne Veilleux has been the driving force in evolving the company from a regional controls contractor to a recognized leader of innovative building and energy management solutions. As the main driver of Distech Controls' vision, Etienne leads corporate strategy, and also continues to be an active contributor to the development of new products and solutions. Etienne is an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and the Entrepreneur Organization (EO). In 2010, Etienne received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award for the province of Quebec in the Cleantech category, and a National Citation for manufacturing, innovation, and design.  

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We’re very excited to bring the Integrated Room Control solution to North America.

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SinclairAt the AHR show in Dallas, Texas, Distech Controls presented a number of new products. Can you tell me more?

Veilleux:  Indeed, we had quite a few new products on display at the AHR this year – our 50 Series of controllers with a color LCD display, new models of our Allure™ EC-Smart-Vue communicating sensor line, and finally, our Integrated Room Control solution.

SinclairWhat exactly is the 50 Series?

Veilleux:  The 50 Series are versions of our existing programmable BACnet® and LONWORKS® family of HVAC controllers featuring an integrated color LCD operator interface. Using graphical menus and a jog dial, they provide quick access to the controller’s data points, and color-coded control and override features, along with alarm management without any extra programming required. Our Partners are also really enthusiastic about the PID tuning feature we built into the controllers. A technician can now easily tune a PID control loop in real-time with live graphics of the loop parameters.  

SinclairWhat’s new with the EC-Smart-Vue products?

Veilleux:  We’ve released new models of our popular Allure EC-Smart-Vue communicating room sensor line that include integrated CO2 and motion sensors, along with temperature and humidity. This four-in-one communicating sensor reduces installation time and costs and offers additional energy savings. With these new sensors, it’s simple to accommodate demand-controlled ventilation and occupancy-based control strategies for HVAC and lighting. 

We’re really focused on delivering products that reduce installation time and that make it easy for our Partners to get on and off jobs quickly.  This is why the Allure EC-Smart-Vue series has been quickly adopted by our Partners.  They find that the integrated configuration features simplify application programming and commissioning – from menus to perform air flow balancing, to dynamic option selections for configuring our VAV controllers’ pre-loaded applications.

SinclairWhat is the Integrated Room Control solution? 

Veilleux:  We’re very excited to bring the Integrated Room Control solution to North America. This solution was developed by our business unit in France and has been delivered successfully across Europe and the Middle East. It’s a modular solution for integrated control of room systems such as HVAC, Lighting, and Sunblinds; and is an ideal all-in-one solution for offices, schools, and other variable occupancy applications. The concept is all about providing the occupant with personalized comfort, while delivering energy savings by leveraging the interaction of the room’s systems. Light-level sensing, dimming, daylight harvesting control, reduction in solar gain, glare reduction, and occupancy control of HVAC and lighting are some of the strategies that can be employed.

All of these products will be integrated in our new office building. 

Control Solutions, Inc SinclairYou’re planning to move?

Veilleux:  Yes, this new building will replace the current head office, but we are staying  in Brossard, Canada, just moving one street over.  Everyone at Distech Controls is really looking forward to the move this spring. The building will occupy twice the current area, providing the necessary space for our growing teams.  We’re also putting a lot of emphasis on creating an efficient and comfortable work environment for our employees and guests.

The building will of course be fitted with Distech Controls’ products, providing a real showcase for our energy efficient solutions. We’re also committed to reducing our carbon footprint, so our new head office will be LEED® certified upon completion.

SinclairIt sounds like you’ve been quite busy!  What makes Distech Controls successful?

Veilleux:  I really believe that our success stems from our commitment to a common vision, our dedicated employees, and the support of our Partners worldwide.  We’ve grown about 30% compounded for the last decade through our continued expansion in existing and new markets.  I’ve been working with some of our Partners since our first AHR Expo show in 2001 and it’s still rewarding to see how excited they get every time we release a new product!

We’re really proud of the growth that we’ve achieved by working together with our System Integrator Partners globally, and we’re always interested in meeting System Integrators that can complement our team and help us provide additional support to customers in local markets. Our vision is all about delivering innovative products and solutions that help more and more customers worldwide realize energy efficiency.


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