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Neiman Marcus Deploys SCIwatch™ Automated Continuous Commissioning Solution From Scientific Conservation

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Control Solutions, Inc Premier Retailer Avoids System Outages and Trims CAPEX and OPEX Expenditures with New Software-as-a-Service Solution

Berkeley, CA – September 14, 2009 – Scientific Conservation Inc., (SCI), a leading provider of energy efficiency solutions for the $5 billion commercial building market, today announced that The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. (“Neiman Marcus”), one of the premier retail brands in the world based in Dallas, is rolling out its SCIwatch™ Automated Continuous Commissioning (ACC) solution across its fleet of specialty retail stores. Neiman Marcus is using SCIwatch to proactively detect, identify and diagnose potential faults and anomalies affecting key mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems well in advance of service interruptions or outright failures. As a result, the company believes that it will reap considerable savings on CAPEX and OPEX expenditures. In addition, Neiman Marcus hopes to extend the lifespan of strategic and highly expensive systems and save a significant amount on annual energy spending by ensuring power-hungry electrical, mechanical and HVAC systems are running optimally.

Forty-one Neiman Marcus stores are currently operated across the United States, along with two Bergdorf Goodman stores in Manhattan. Neiman Marcus also operates 26 Last Call clearance centers. These store operations total more than six million gross square feet.

Mark Boraski, vice president of property management with Neiman Marcus oversees the energy management, sustainability, environmental compliance and system-wide maintenance for this fleet of properties.

“For the past 15 years, we’ve been trying to integrate weather data, utility data, and control system data across our fleet of properties in order to automatically diagnose problems and tune systems to run optimally,” said Boraski. “Until recently, we’ve never had a comprehensive automated system that had the ability to automatically perform analysis and diagnostics. Building Automation Systems display valuable information but unless you have a process for this level of analysis, you just have raw numbers on a computer screen.”

This 15-year search for a solution ended when Boraski and his team piloted and now deploy SCIwatch, a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based ACC platform that detects, monetizes and prioritizes system faults. To date, Neiman Marcus is deploying SCIwatch across 21 of its facilities and intends to apply the platform for every property over time.

“For the first time, we have an automated process that continually checks system assets across our properties from a centralized dashboard to pinpoint which systems are performing outside of acceptable tolerances,” said Boraski. “This enables us to intelligently assign technical resources to address system issues on a prioritized basis. It has proven to be an effective resource allocation tool.”

SCIwatch Diagnostics Uncover System Faults

SCIwatch is an ACC platform that interfaces with any building energy management system for automatic data collection, warehousing, diagnostics and work order issuance and tracking. It also serves as a centralized system that consolidates up-to-the-minute views into energy usage and system-wide performance levels with reporting parameters tailored for executive-level and operational staff.

“When we started applying SCIwatch in our first 21 facilities, we found a number of sensor errors,” explained Boraski. “More importantly, SCIwatch identified sensors we thought were reading correctly that were actually misleading.”

Reliable Controls Even with Neiman Marcus’s rigorous system maintenance programs and state-of-the-art building automation and control systems firmly in place, SCIwatch discovered hard-to-detect anomalies affecting strategic equipment such as short cycling and equipment sequencing problems. The platform also discovered abnormal pressures in some refrigeration circuits that could result in compressor failure if left unresolved.

“Without SCIwatch, these problems probably would not have been caught until the next regularly scheduled maintenance cycle. This means systems would have operated in a less than ideal state for a month or more, thereby potentially jeopardizing major equipment while eating up unnecessary energy,” cautioned Boraski. “It was quite surprising how many issues SCIwatch uncovered—ranging from economizer systems not working optimally to refrigeration systems with high evaporator and condenser pressures, to intermittent Chiller surging—all problems that surfaced right after these systems were just serviced.”

For Boraski and his team, SCIwatch’s automated anomaly detection capabilities underscore the reality that there are simply never enough technical resources available to dedicate to the task of ongoing system diagnostics. “You simply must monitor systems on a round-the-clock basis, especially for an organization like ours that expects equipment to be operating perfectly once our doors are open to our customers,” Boraski said.

About Scientific Conservation

Scientific Conservation Inc. (SCI) is a leading provider of energy efficiency and system optimization solutions for the $5 billion commercial building market. The SCIwatch continuous commissioning solution is the industry’s first software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to help cut annual energy spending up to 25 percent by comparing predicted energy and system efficiencies against real-time operation. SCI is headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., with offices in Atlanta. Follow us on Twitter at


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