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Featured Integration: Casas Church

May 28

Written by:
5/28/2014 9:55 AM  RssIcon

Integration at a glance:

  • 90 rooms in several buildings
  • Hot climate (Tuscon, AZ)
  • AsureSpace™ Resource Scheduler
  • Beta test of new interface
  • Staefa Controls
  • Trend Controls
  • BACnet IP Interface

In 2011, Casas Church in Tuscon, Arizona purchased event scheduling software to manage events. But the software was missing one key feature that the church leaders wanted – integration with their HVAC controls. Rhonda Sprunger, Data Systems Administrator at Casas Church, explained that their interest in schedule integration was motivated by several factors.

“It was taking a staff person approximately 32 hours a week to maintain the room scheduling and manually input it into our HVAC system,” Sprunger said. “We wanted to reduce that time, increase accuracy, and ultimately save energy usage.”

Enter Events2HVAC – the software that pulls data from room scheduling systems and sends commands to control HVAC, lighting and security in individual rooms based on schedules. 

Though Streamside Solutions did not have an Events2HVAC interface for the room scheduling software Casas Church was using, AsureSpace™ Resource Scheduler, we developed one with the assistance of Sean Mulvey from Asure Software who provided the Resource Scheduler API (Application Programming Interface). Then Casas Church tested the new interface for several months on their campus.

“We began by testing five of our portable rooms, our Chapel, and one of our newer buildings which has multiple rooms,“ said Sprunger. “We will eventually have around 85-87 zones, and they have already been configured in Events2HVAC, but we are currently waiting for the contractor who services our HVAC system to finish connecting the points from our system to Events2HVAC.”

Though the development of the new interface and subsequent testing took some time, Sprunger said the customer support throughout the process was exemplary.

“Streamside Solutions has been very good to work with,” Sprunger said. “Brian was very helpful, quick, and ready to get things in place and functioning well.”

But before they started using Resource Scheduler and Events2HVAC for event automation, things were not functioning so well.

“Most of our old systems, resources and processes were stuck in people's heads so first we had to track down and understand what all the pieces of the puzzle were and how they all fit together. For example, one person entered all of the room requests into the calendar, and everything was then transferred to a master calendar,” Sprunger said. “However, if the item was entered wrong, which was very easy to do, or if there was a delay in getting it entered, it would often cause conflicts, or get missed on the master calendar. This often meant the room wasn't set up and/or heated or cooled when needed.”

Today, event planners at Casas Church schedule events in Resource Scheduler, and Events2HVAC automatically sends commands to two different control systems – Staefa Controls are used in some buildings at the church, and Trend Controls are used in other buildings. Because the schedules are entered just once, the church is saving time and eliminating scheduling errors between systems. They will also save energy and money by running heating and cooling in individual rooms only when they are scheduled for use.

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