July 2013
Interview

AutomatedBuildings.com

Award winning manufacturer of IT-based building automation.
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Nicholas GayeskiEMAIL INTERVIEW Nicholas Gayeski and Ken Sinclair

Nicholas Gayeski is a partner and co-founder of KGS Buildings. He has worked closely with KGS’ commercial and institutional clients to incorporate and adapt new software technologies into facility management processes.  Nick stays active in research and development to bring smart building applications into practice to support the needs of facility managers, operators and service personnel. He holds a BA in physics from Cornell University, and an MS and PhD in Building Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Cloud-Hosted Software as a Service

Tools to view automated diagnostics, trends in avoidable operating costs, data visualization, rule-creation and saving, asset inventory, document management, and utility allocations.


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SinclairWhat is your flagship product and what are its advantages over other industry solutions?

Gayeski:  Our flagship software, Clockworks™, delivers energy and cost savings by utilizing extensive automated analytic libraries to produce prioritized energy efficiency and maintenance actions for facility managers, operators and service providers.  Clockworks is a cloud-hosted software as a service with tools to view automated diagnostics, trends in avoidable operating costs, data visualization, rule-creation and saving, asset inventory, document management, and utility allocations.  We help our customers avoid some of the most difficult aspects of leveraging analytics.  They lack the time and the people to build and maintain robust diagnostic libraries, and the hardware and software to scale across an enterprise.  This allows our customers to focus on their ultimate objectives, capturing energy and cost savings, improving comfort, and delivering more services or proactive maintenance, rather than waste time dealing with the headache of managing analytics.

Sinclair Explain your use of the cloud and what implications or potential advantages it has to a building owner or operator.

Gayeski:  We leverage the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud as a platform-as-a-service to make use of powerful cloud technologies like blob storage, relational and non-relational storage, queues, and on-demand storage and computing resources.  Clockworks is built in a truly scalable way to spin up resources as needed to handle large volumes of data, analytics, or users.  This allows our customers to gain a cost-effective, enterprise-scalable software platform without having to build or maintain servers, cloud software architectures, and IT resources to manage them.

SinclairWhat are the most common problems revealed by your diagnostic software? Is there a typical savings associated with fixing these problems?

Gayeski:  Clockworks finds all manner of faults, inefficiencies and savings opportunities in a building.  Some of the more common problems we identify include, for example, leaking valves, overridden control sequences and schedules, improper staging of fans and pumps, or broken dampers.  These problems can be the culprit for a significant amount of avoidable energy cost due to subsequent issues like simultaneous heating and cooling on air handlers, economizers operating in the wrong mode, hydronic loops that are underloaded causing inefficiencies worth as much as a few hundred dollars per day.  The most significant simultaneous heating and cooling fault we saw was the cause of over $20,000 per month on a large air handler during the winter.

SinclairWhat trends, market patterns and innovations did you notice at IBcon 2013?

Gayeski:  There were a lot of vendors at IBcon offering innovative solutions for open integration, data analytics, energy optimization, and supporting software tools.  It’s pretty clear that the market demand for integrating disparate building data into a common interface and analyzing it to produce useful information is strong and growing.  I think customers realize that in a world where we can pick up our smart devices and get access to volumes of personalized information, or pay different auto insurance rates based on measured driving behaviors, it is long past due to change the way we operate, maintain, manage and service buildings with better information based on actual measured performance.

Reliable Controls SinclairLeading into IBcon 2013, KGS announced a strategic agreement with Schneider Electric. In what capacity are the two companies working together? 

Gayeski:  Schneider Electric has a strong set of offerings to deliver life-cycle services to its customers with solutions for HVAC, lighting, security, video, and a comprehensive approach to energy management.  Schneider and KGS are working together to incorporate automated fault detection and diagnostics into a broad range of energy management solutions and services, supporting efforts such as new construction commissioning, maintenance services, and other solutions.  We are fortunate to be working with a forward thinking company which understands the increasing value of connected, digitized, and smart buildings and the tools that will achieve them.

SinclairWhat major projects has KGS Buildings recently added to its portfolio?

Gayeski:  As an MIT startup, KGS has been honored to include MIT as one of its customers, where we are deployed in over 60 buildings and recently expanded our scope to support their goals of comprehensive stewardship and proactive maintenance and operations.  We have been growing in the Boston area to serve more universities and laboratory customers.  Through partners, our global reach is expanding to deliver solutions to customers in the UK, EMEA, Australia and parts of Asia. 


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