Greenbuild DC introduced the next generation of user controlled systems that make environments more interesting and comfortable. In our studio, there seems to be a constant struggle to find a temperature on which everyone can agree. These new technologies allow users a whole new level of control, without the use of more energy. In some cases, they can even result in the saving of energy. Some of the promising options include:
Comfy: Comfy is a web and mobile app that allows coworkers to request a temperature change in their office work space. Working with all major building management systems (BMS), Comfy is easily installed on-site. Users login to Comfy, select their location, and make a request for the temperature to be cooler or warmer. Over time, Comfy learns people’s preferences and optimizes their spaces, saving 15-25% of HVAC energy. Building management can also access the interface, allowing them to see where energy saving adjustments should be made in the system.
HyperChair: HyperChairs offer a solution for individuals who can’t stay comfortable in the same temperature zone as their coworkers. The chair integrates heating and fans into the seat and back for individual comfort control; similar to heated seats in a car. While office chairs are not inexpensive, the potential energy savings from the HyperChair are worth investigating. Instead of heating or cooling an entire space, individuals decide their personal temperature.
Wristify: Studies have shown that local warmth or cold gives your whole body a sensation of thermal comfort; Wristify is a bracelet that locally heats or cools the wearer’s wrist. The bracelet glows blue when cooling, and warm orange when warming you up. It is not yet available for purchase.