The World of Integration

When we first started eSPACE, I could not get another ChMS to sit down and have a conversation about integration…and yet we were inundated with requests from churches to be able to integrate to their HVAC systems as well as their ChMS. What is a boy to do?!?!

I am not one to give up easily…so here are some things we did:

  1. We developed an HVAC integration with the Niagara Framework to integrate with Building Automation Systems that had a JACE.
  2. We kept knocking on ChMS doors.
  3. We kept developing eSPACE into the BEST Facility Management Software solution for churches.
  4. We kept knocking on ChMS doors.
  5. We developed integrations with other HVAC control solutions such as WiFi Thermostats and XML converters (for BACnet, LON and Modbus).
  6. We kept knocking on ChMS doors.

Persistence finally paid off! 

Let me tell you what is going on to make your church more energy and operational efficient:

  1. eSPACE now integrates with 13 ChMS applications…check them out HERE!
  2. COOLSPACE offers integration with 4 Wireless thermostats, the Niagara Framework and many other Building Automation systems that communicate BACnet, LON and Modbus.
  3. We are in testing with a number of Access Control systems (more on that later).
  4. We integrate with a number of Digital Signage companies.
  5. We have a WordPress Plugin to integrate your WordPress site to digital signage.
  6. Our Dev team is exploring integrations with lighting controls, security cameras and other systems.

The world of integration is here to stay and we are thrilled to be the leader in this area to serve churches. Join the integration revolution and give us a shout!


Anyone Interested in Saving Time, Energy and Money

Saving-Time-and-Money-With-Data-1080x675

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For most churches, their greatest consumer of energy is associated with the heating and cooling of their facilities.  In fact, for most churches, 50-75% of their utility consumption is due to HVAC usage.  To further magnify this matter, space utilization can be sporadic and unpredictable in a ministry setting thus making the scheduling of the HVAC systems even more challenging.

Now, just imagine that there is a “user-friendly” room and event scheduling solution that was 100% web based and was easy to use and cost effective. In addition, what if this software solution had the capacity of interfacing with your HVAC system(s) allowing you to engage and disengage the systems based on actual usage.  Imagine not having to enter data in your room scheduling software and again in your Building Automation System (BAS) or running from thermostat to thermostat to set temperatures every day. Even better yet, imagine reducing your utility costs by 20% or more as well as saving on the wear and tear of equipment that runs when not needed…Imagine No More

Cool Solutions Group/eSPACE has developed COOL SPACE to bring these concepts to reality.  COOL SPACE provides an interface between eSPACE Event Scheduler and your HVAC systems.

CoolSpace_Logo-01

Hear are just some of the benefits of this application:

> Schedules your HVAC systems from a web based event/room scheduling software

> Provides a user-friendly, browser based user interface to allow for remote access

> Does not require changing major HVAC equipment

> Can be installed to any HVAC system that uses a JACE or that plans to transition to a JACE

> Can save energy costs and increase staff efficiency

Given the economy the past few years, we have found more organizations being intentional about reducing operational costs…and energy is a major factor.  In light of that we have seen an exponential increase in inquiries and installations of COOL SPACE just in the past 2-3 months. But don’t take our word for it…here what others are saying:

We have been using eSPACE with COOL SPACE for three years, and our church saw a 30% reduction in utility expense immediately after installation.  The interface is easy to manage, easy to teach to our staff, and we can make adjustments from anywhere.  COOL SPACE has now paid for itself several times over in return on investment as we’ve saved on electric bills and maintenance.  No more lock-boxes on thermostats, and no more forgetting to “turn the air up on the way out” after a service or event. Hank Garner, Executive Pastor, The First Family | First Baptist Church, Columbia, TN

Our church has been a client of eSPACE Event Scheduling and COOL SPACE for around 3 years. Using this cloud based software has allowed us to save around 25% on utilities and use those funds toward ministry and missions of the church to help grow the Kingdom. Very easy to use product and great customer service! Jeff McClanahan,  CPA, Living Hope Baptist Church, Bowling Green KY

Contact us today for more information…don’t forget to get your copy of the FACILITY STEWARDSHIP MANUAL!

Facility Stewardship Binder - Small

 

A JACE Can Increase Efficiency (and save money)

What is a JACE you ask?

If you are intimately involved with your facilities HVAC system controls, you probably already know what a JACE is and whether or not your system includes this device or one very similar (as there are various names by different suppliers for this component)

To get started, let’s look at some terminology related to the building automation industry to set the table:

Niagara AX/4 – The Niagara Framework is a universal software infrastructure that allows organizations to easily build custom, Web-enabled applications for accessing, automating and controlling “smart” devices in real-time over the Internet.

BACnet (Building Automation and Control networks) – A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks. A data communication protocol is a set of rules governing the exchange of data over a computer network. The rules take the form of a written specification that spells out what is required to conform to the protocol.

JACE  (Java Application Control Engine) – In order to integrate diverse systems, a physical connection to a device’s network is required. A JACE is a mechanism/device that provides connectivity to systems (HVAC, electrical…even security in some instances) within a building via the Niagara framework. By connecting common network protocols such as LonWorks, BACnet, and Modbus, along with many proprietary networks a unified system without seams emerges.

Enough technical terms.  Here is the long and short of the above.

The building automation industry…including HVAC, electrical, IT, security, etc… has developed several means, methods and protocols to increase the efficiency of building operations…thus saving money and time. The Niagara Framework is by far the most popular of the frameworks that we have encountered…and as such, BACnet protocol has become the most commonly used protocol…which in turn utilizes the JACE (think of it as the control module or “language” translator) as its access point to send the correct commands the various automation systems.

In the church world, the above is most commonly used in HVAC systems…but it is not limited to that.  HOWEVER…we need to note that utilizing the above with systems such as electrical and security are more complex and require significant hardware and equipment upgrades at the facility level.

So what does this mean to you?

One of the challenges many churches have is getting their HVAC system (and others) to operate based on room and space utilization. If you do not have a JACE or other BAS (Building Automation System) to control your HVAC schedule, you are relegated to running around your facility turning units on and off at prescribed times…or merely turning them on in the AM and turning them off at night..which is highly INEFFICIENT. Others may have programmable stats…which is a good first step, but still rely on a ton of human interaction and are usually limited to one schedule per day meaning the units may turn on in the AM, but may stay on all day, even if the space is not in use.

If you do have a BAS, you will be able to set schedules within the system to determine when the system needs to come on and off based on your room utilization.  The challenge we have seen with this approach is that if you also use a room/event scheduling software, you have to double enter all your events.  In most cases, you enter your event in the room/event scheduling software…get it approved…then print out the list of daily or weekly events…give that stack of paper to a facility manager or other team member…and they sit for “X” amount of time (usually hours) and  re-enter ALL that data again into the BAS.  WOW…sure sounds tedious. What complicates this process is when an event is added or deleted in the room/event scheduler…but not communicated to the BAS.  The possibility of incident, such as that, increases due to the reliance on human interaction.

That is where the JACE and COOL SPACE comes in.

If you have a JACE on site…and you want to interface your room/event scheduler to your HVAC systems, we have developed a pretty simple way to do that with our eSPACE and COOL SPACE applications.  We have developer a JACE “driver” (small piece of software that is installed in a JACE) that communicates with our eSPACE Event Scheduler allowing the Event Scheduler to communicate with your HVAC systems. YEAH!

> Time and energy savings just increased.

> Efficiency increases.

> Facility occupants, facility staff and business administrator’s joy just increased.

If you have a JACE…or want to consider obtaining a JACE…drop an e-mail to info@coolsolutionsgroup.com or call us at 1-888-448-5664.