Martin is president and chief executive of Pasadena-based InteliGlas Corp., which integrates artificial intelligence systems into existing buildings for a variety of uses.
“There are a lot of companies out there that put sensors in the building and grab data ... which is half the solution,” Martin said. “The rest of the solution is our artificial intelligence, which we named Ripley, and Ripley takes immediate action.”
Ripley, for example, can scan through 40 years of weather data and adjust air conditioning in buildings based on weather patterns.
If a day is expected to be extremely hot, Ripley might start cooling the building at night instead of letting it get too warm, which would force the AC to work overtime in the morning. This approach can help users save on energy costs.
Ripley will also work to understand utility trends.
“This artificial intelligence we created is really, really powerful. It’s a game changer as it relates to saving energy,” Martin said.
It offers the potential for huge cost savings.
Martin said InteliGlas’ AI program can save building owners an average of 35% on their power bill, and that’s just for starters.
“We know we can save a lot of power. That’s about 20% of the value. The other 80% is really on the operational side,” Martin said.
He added that the system can be used for waste management or as a leasing tool for brokers. It can also work with tenants to control their individual suites, allowing different spaces to be set to different temperatures.
“It makes a big difference for tenant enjoyment,” Martin said, adding that tenants feel more empowered.
Landlords can use the Ripley system to monitor sump pumps to ensure they are working correctly, and the system even has emergency warning capabilities. For instance, the program’s terrorism model could notify tenants if a building is under attack. Martin said no one has purchased this capability yet.
Ripley can also be programmed to look at seismic reports, and if a building is in a location that has a 6.5 magnitude or higher earthquake, it can turn off power and water to the building.
And with Covid-19, Martin said the system could be even more desirable because it can do things like monitor air filtration.
“That’s drawing a lot of interest from clients right now,” Martin said.
He added that many buildings were seeking WELL certifications — similar to LEED certification, but for health and wellness factors — and InteliGlas’ product would give a property 19 points toward that goal.
Silver requires 50 points, WELL Certification Gold needs 60 points, and the platinum level requires 80 points.
The system costs about 65 cents per square foot to install and then requires a monthly fee of 4.5 cents per square foot.
Martin said it usually takes about 18 months for owners to see a return on their investment in terms of power savings, but some see returns in as little as six months.
The product is mainly in mid-sized buildings. Martin said that properties in the 50,000- to 300,000-square-foot range are Ripley’s “sweet spot.”
The program was in use in seven buildings in early September. Martin said he expected that number to reach 15 by mid-month.
He added that the company, which was founded two years ago, has raised $1.5 million from family and friends and generated $750,000 in revenue. It is looking to raise venture capital money to scale up.
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