Frequently Asked Questions
Is any hardware needed?
Events2HVAC is a software application. Typically, no HVAC control hardware, electrical wiring, or panel mounting is needed to interface to existing compatible systems. The software will need to be hosted on a Windows server or PC, but typically these resources are already available in your facility.
You will need a server or dedicated device to host the software. You can use your physical or virtual server or we have an embedded hardware device that can be purchased with Events2HVAC pre-configured.
If your facility doesn't have an HVAC system that can talk to Events2HVAC, some hardware upgrades or add-ons to your HVAC control system will be necessary. There are many gateway and protocol converter options out on the market today that may work with your system. Your HVAC controls contractor will be able to give you some ideas on upgrading your system.
What if we have more than one type of reservation system?
Events2HVAC can pull schedules from more than one type of reservation system -- or from multiple instances of the same type of system. For example, your campus might be using one system for academic schedules, another one for the Student Union, and internal MS Exchange/Outlook for meeting rooms. All systems can be synced to your building automation system with Events2HVAC.
What if we don't use a reservation system?
Events2HVAC requires that a supported room-scheduling system is in use at your facility. See our list of supported event providers. If your system is not listed, let us know what you are using, and we'll look into the feasibility of creating a new event provider interface. If your organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server for email, you may already have the capability to interface to Events2HVAC just by scheduling a room resource in an Exchange Outlook calendar.
Events2HVAC can also allow fixed equipment schedules, building schedules, and other shared space schedules that would normally be set in the HVAC system to be moved up to the reservation system for a single point of control.
Can we install and setup the software ourselves?
Yes, it is possible to setup the software with an internal team. Events2HVAC is an off-the-shelf solution to HVAC integration. However, when you are dealing with connecting multiple systems together, a solid knowledge of how your HVAC control system is networked, basic IT skills, and some troubleshooting will be necessary for implementation.
It is highly recommended to get your local HVAC system representative in the discussions because they may need to enable certain features in the software or they may provide some value insight into how the integration should take place.
All new integrations include support for installation and setup by our support staff.
Is the license cost a one-time fee or a subscription?
Events2HVAC is currently licensed as an annual subscription based on the number of rooms or zones controlled. You can choose rooms/zones for your license based on occupancy rates and other factors to get the best energy savings.
How much does it cost?
The annual subscription cost per room is based on the type of facility licensed. We have discounted rates for higher education, K-12 schools, churches, and non-profits. Please contact our sales team for a quote.
What is the expected return on investment?
Some customers have seen 100% ROI in less than six months. Your ROI will depend on a number of factors in your facility.
If your rooms are scheduled based on building occupancy (i.e., if the building is open, all rooms are comfortable), changing to room scheduling control based on actual events has the potential to save on energy costs. Your actual savings will be based on the occupancy rate of the rooms and the operating cost for the HVAC in those rooms.
If you are currently manually scheduling HVAC equipment based on room/event schedules, then you will have less energy savings and more labor savings when using Events2HVAC. You will no longer need to get schedules from the room scheduling software and enter data into HVAC control systems.
Other factors that will affect ROI are weather, human behavior, and the types of mechanical systems in your facility.
Where can I find funding for upgrading my HVAC systems and implementing Events2HVAC?
There are many grants, rebates, tax incentives, and financing options available at the federal, state and local levels. In addition, some utility companies offer “on-bill financing,” which allows qualified energy-efficiency projects to be financed through the utility company, with the energy savings actually paying off the facility upgrades over time. The Database of State Initiatives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is an excellent place to begin researching available funding options.
How can I use Events2HVAC to schedule large AHU's or special areas like office areas or floor lighting?
You can create "spaces" in your room reservation system for these areas and reserve them like any other space. Once the spaces are defined you can map those spaces to AHU's, lighting zones, building card key access, etc.
For office areas that have multiple VAV's serving the area but no reservable rooms, create an office area space and reserve the space for the daily office hours. Assign the office space to multiple VAV's in Events2HVAC.
If you want to start the building AHU whenever any space in the building is in use, just map all reservable spaces to the AHU in EventsHVAC.
Using the new zone action triggers, you can also trigger large AHUs on the first event start of the day and on the last event stop of the day. This will prevent on/off cycling of large AHU's throughout the day and also dynamically adjust the building occupancy based on all the events happening in the building each day.
Can I still override the HVAC system if there is a problem?
Absolutely. You can always control your HVAC systems the same way you always have in the past. Events2HVAC sends commands to your equipment typically at a higher priority. Either release the priority and allow your previous scheduling methods to take place or just do an operator manual override on the point.
What happens if an automatic schedule is missed?
In the event that an Events2HVAC command fails to command the equipment, an email message will be sent immediately to someone that can respond to the missed schedule. You can select who receives those important emails.
In addition, Events2HVAC will automatically begin to attempt to re-sync the state of the room periodically until the zone is returned to the correct occupancy state.
Can't occupancy sensors in the space accomplish the same thing?
Occupancy sensors are effective with lighting only because it is a reactive technology. They have no way of knowing when the meeting will be occurring so it cannot pre-start the HVAC to make sure the room is comfortable for the meeting not 30 minutes into the meeting. They obviously can't be used unlock any doors either.
Also, if the occupancy sensor has a long off delay, then you are also keeping things on longer than is needed throughout the course of the day.
See also: Top 5 Reasons Why Events2HVAC is Better Than Occupancy Sensors
Is Events2HVAC another user interface to my HVAC system or my scheduling system?
No. Events2HVAC is an interface between the two systems. When properly setup, Events2HVAC runs transparently in the background automatically scheduling your systems based on booked room schedules.
Do you have a Scheduling/HVAC specification section that I can include in my next construction specification documents?
Absolutely. Feel free modify our guide specification to your needs.