When you run an office center, it’s important to motivate tenants to choose your space – and cost savings from reduced energy consumption is a great incentive. It worked out for EWoffice Business Center, an 11,000-square foot facility in Costa del Este, Panama City, Panama, which leaned on ELAN control and integrator Domotic Design for an automation solution.
“The original scope of the project was to use an automation system to reduce electricity consumption generated by lighting and HVAC, and lower the costs of building operation,” says Daniel Ramirez Parma, Domotic Design owner and project manager, in an ELAN press release.
“Once we began building out the design, we recommended that they take advantage of the other sub-systems ELAN can automate and control, like audio, video, security, access control, intercom, motorized shades, and more. The end-result satisfies our customer’s initial request, and provides tenants with one more reason to rent space at the EWoffices Business Center opposed to other Panama City shared workspaces.”
Here’s what Domotic Design installed:
- An ELAN gSC2 controller
- ELAN g1 controller to anchor the entire building’s system
- Two ELAN gTP7 and gTP4 touch panels for one-touch audio and video control in central shared boardrooms
- Remote access enabled by the ELAN App
“Since the occupying businesses and the building’s managers use the ELAN system for completely different reasons, we configured the ELAN touch panels with custom pages that only allow tenants to control the audio and video,” Ramirez Parma says. “Other involved systems throughout the entire building, like lighting, HVAC, and security, are only accessible to the owners locally and remotely.”
Inside the Energy Consumption Impact
In its press release, ELAN says the automation significantly streamlines management of the building. It specifically highlights the benefits on the building’s HVAC:
Since the EWoffice Business Center’s HVAC is entirely dependent on an adjacent cooling tower’s pumping system, the corresponding cold water pumps do not function 24 hours a day and thus need to be closely managed so as to not rev-up energy consumption costs.
With ELAN, Domotic Design configured an automated HVAC system that turns on and off on a strict schedule without any action needed on the manager’s part. Every day at 7:00 AM, the system enters ‘Home Mode,’ which manages the complex HVAC system, as well as lighting and security. ‘Away Mode’ goes into full effect at 8:00 PM, which safely powers down all systems.
“This new automation functionality is extremely helpful for building management,” Ramirez Parma continued. “We configured the system to even send push notifications to the owner and administrator alerting them that, on each day, everything turned on and off on schedule. They can check in on HVAC as well as their security camera feeds stationed around the building from anywhere in the world.”
More from ELAN’s Press Release on Energy Consumption Impact
Similarly, the building’s owner wanted to facilitate control of the lighting depending on the day and time, and based on the occupation of the offices. Domotic Design integrated 16 loads of Lutron RadioRA2 lighting in the common areas into the ELAN system to effectively manage when they powered on and off. “Lighting control significantly reduces costs,” Ramirez Parma added. “They never again have to worry about a tenant leaving the light on overnight and driving up the electricity bill.”
The ELAN system also has enormous benefits for tenants occupying the space. Domotic Design installed a Niles Auriel multi-room audio system, enabling occupying businesses to stream audio and video instantly whenever desired. As Auriel is based on the ELAN Control Platform, it was particularly easy to integrate. The system is divided into four independent zones, including the building’s reception area, the coffee lounge, and two board rooms — both of which have an integrated AppleTV and ELAN video matrix for presentations. Different businesses can play their own music in designated areas thanks to the multiple Auriel zones.
“The multi-room audio system creates a more pleasant environment for renters and visitors,” Ramirez Parma said. “They have full control over the content they’d like to show in the boardrooms during the meeting, or during a break in the coffee lounge. It’s so incredibly intuitive and easy to use.”
According to Ramirez Parma, ELAN was the best system for this particular project because it was easily personalized to all of the customer’s needs, and it seamlessly integrated with pre-existing technology in the building. “It wasn’t necessary to run additional cables because ELAN integrated well with the pre-existing wires,” he said. “The building was already equipped with Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostats, which we were easily able to integrate into ELAN with a HouseLogix driver. It was so easy to install, configure, and now, it’s easy for the customer and their tenants to use!”
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