Ecorithm: Efficient Building Maintenance with AI and Analytics

Don Kasper, President, EcorithmDon Kasper, President
It’s a no-brainer that floor space in commercial buildings continues to rise at staggering rate, especially in urban areas. And, equipping these energy consuming infrastructures with the means to detect and avoid wastage can translate to humongous savings. Given the disparate ways in which building systems— such as HVAC equipment, energy meters, and other functional equipment—are manufactured and designed to operate, translating their effectiveness and impact on building performance into a common, digitized input has been a historic roadblock. These dynamics have largely kept building management from truly leveraging the power of AI-based analytics until the advent of Ecorithm. Ecorithm has innovated and built expertise in the art of seamlessly collecting data from building systems, applying advanced analytics, and deriving actionable insights from that stream of data.

Today, Ecorithm’s cloud-based True Analytics Platform (TAP) strengthens building management teams with capabilities such as real-time data collection, automated fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) enhanced with artificial intelligence and KPI analysis. For data collection, Ecorithm leverages and enhances open source technologies developed by the Department of Energy and national labs such as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Our plug and play hardware collects data and pushes it to the cloud for in real-time for analysis. For corporate campuses or entities with spaces spread across multiple buildings, we can provision our software on virtual machines or on-premise and configure it with the settings that meet IT and Cybersecurity requirements,” says Don Kasper, President at Ecorithm. A typical large commercial building, such as a high-rise city building, can install Ecorithm’s offering and utilize streaming analysis typically within a day.
Igor Mezic, Founder & Chief Technology Advisor, EcorithmIgor Mezic, Founder & Chief Technology Advisor
The AI stack that powers the company’s platform corresponds to the third wave of AI technology, whose potential matches to that of the ones used in self-driving cars. Unlike preceding rules-based and pattern-learning AI models—which when applied to building systems could trigger non-actionable and unnecessary warnings— Ecorithm’s AI is context-aware, which is enables ‘self-management’, as Dr. Igor Mezic, the company’s, Chief Technological Advisor and Founder, points. “For instance, if the temperature sensor in a room sends a persistent high temperature signal, despite the cooling being applied, the AI considers all the systems and sensor readings leading to the zone to detect the root cause of the problem,” says Mezic. “It could be that instead of a faulty sensor, we are dealing with reduced cooling capacity on the chiller side.”

Following Ecorithm’s philosophy of ‘digitize, analyze, and optimize’, the TAP platform is capable of streaming data to analyze the performance of various systems and sub-systems within a building with a high degree of accuracy. The platform also makes proactive recommendations for the building management staff to review and take action on using Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD). It also enables users to manage faults by assigning them to other users, adding context, creating projects, changing fault statuses, and even allows them to add notes. Furthermore, the platform can evaluate building performance based on a data archive of over 42 million square feet of commercial building space to allow building owners and operators to know how their buildings compare globally to other buildings.

The unique value proposition of Ecorithm’s capabilities reflects best through a customer success story. Infosys, a large IT services company based out of India, decided to trial the platform on one of their many buildings. After an impressive 3-month pilot, Infosys has now deployed Ecorithm across their entire portfolio including over 100 buildings across nearly 20 campuses and monitoring over 1 million data points in real time.

Ecorithm sets the basis for their clients to unlock ‘self-management capabilities,’ a checkpoint that stands tall in their roadmap. The company’s leadership team also envisions broadening the platform’s application areas to other verticals such as industrial plants, grid applications, and smart cities as well as applying analytics to other industries altogether.