Comfy is a cloud-based software application that delivers exceptional workplace experiences by enabling people to personalize their workplace environment while providing real-time, actionable insights for workplace leaders.
Comfy integrates with existing building systems that use the BACnet/IP protocol to dynamically change their environment based on the need. Comfy ties with the building’s mechanical system to manage zone temperatures based on occupant feedback. A Comfy user can request an immediate 10 minute stream of warm or cool air through the Comfy mobile or desktop application. Comfy communicates with the BMS to moderately adjust that zone’s temperature and airflow. Over time, Comfy learns the preferences of that zone through machine learning and will automatically adjust the temperature range to better meet the needs of the occupants throughout the day. Comfy shares these findings through Comfy Insights, a business intelligence dashboard that enables corporate real estate leaders to make data-driven decisions that create better workplaces and optimize their facilities.
Comfy typically realizes net energy savings. By widening temperature set points and conditioning each zone to demand, Comfy reduces heating and cooling where it’s not needed.
Think of Comfy as one giant PID loop that directly controls the comfort of your occupants. The BMS operates the mechanical system dynamically with a new signal (people) in the overall feedback loop. Over time, Comfy uses machine-learning to tighten the temperature deadbands based on occupant requests and time of use, thereby truly optimizing space comfort while saving HVAC energy of up to 20%.
No. In variable air volume (VAV) systems, damper actuators are constantly moving in response to changes in room temperature, airflow and airflow setpoints. These dampers are built to be opening and closing all the time. What Comfy provides is dynamic temperature setpoints that anticipate the needs of each zone. In fact Comfy may lead to less demand for conditioned air, especially in zones that are typically unoccupied or where the temperature deadbands have been widened, resulting in energy savings and a reduction of wear on the mechanical systems.
No, comfort requests are sent to the Comfy cloud, then translated into BACnet commands and sent via our Comfy gateway device to your terminal units. Additionally, Comfy writes to the lowest logical priority array (usually 16), so Comfy can be easily overridden if needed. Users never have direct access to the controller.
No, Comfy only sends commands to the terminal units and does not touch the chiller plant at all. For systems where AHUs or RTUs serve terminal units downstream, we will typically read-only a status point to determine that the building is “on”. This could be airflow, supply fan status, etc. Again, we do not write to this point at the AHU equipment level except in specific and rare circumstances, which are always agreed with the customer in advance.
No, Comfy does indeed send BACnet commands to the terminal units to generate short bursts of warm or cool air. It also learns over time and adjusts the deadband accordingly. We offer Comfy Insights to the building managers as a real-time dashboard to see overall usage.
BMS platforms are built to monitor, control, trend, and alarm physical equipment. They are not built to accommodate thousands of simultaneous users and then learn their preferences. Think of Comfy as a great complement to your BMS, where one can not replace the other. Our team has spent the better part of five years researching, developing, deploying, and fine-tuning the entire Comfy platform over millions of data points for tens of thousands of users. It goes far beyond just creating a simple graphic that allows users to manipulate setpoints in the short term. Comfy operates upon the fact that building occupants generally have no idea what combination of indoor air conditions make them feel comfortable (i.e. space temperature, relative humidity, air changes per hour, direct airflow, radiant temperature, CO2 ppm, etc) - until a BMS can truly incorporate elements of human feedback the way Comfy does, they cannot replicate what we do.
Comfy is usually set to the lowest BACnet priority possible so it will be overridden by a direct command to the BMS.
Not currently, but we can talk to you about integration possibilities.
Comfy does not allow people to schedule your building or enable it during after-hours operation. Our platform will look for a single point (a schedule, AHU status, etc) to indicate that a given area should be occupied. Then and only then do we enable the UI to give users the opportunity to interact with Comfy.
We do not impact optimal start at all. Optimal start changes the scheduled pre-occupancy start time of your zone and upstream airside equipment, not setpoints. Comfy may impact the space setpoint at the initial time of occupancy, but will not change what time the equipment comes online.
While that might someday be incorporated into our platform due to growing user feedback, at present we do not include any export functionality.
Comfy works with most major vendors and will not require additional controls work. When controls work is required, the cost is typically minimal and generally born by the buyer. Comfy will work with the customer to determine the scope.
Typically end users are provided access to their entire office including open office spaces, conference rooms, and other common areas. Such access is customizable. For example, access can be divided up by tenant for floors with multiple tenants and access to private offices can be limited.
Typically all devices in a BACnet control system are able to communicate with all other devices in that system. Comfy does not access equipment at the central plant or in areas where Comfy is not authorized, and puts strict security controls in place to prevent improper access. Should a client wish to guarantee that we cannot access certain equipment, we can work with their IT team to restrict BACnet/IP traffic to the Comfy Gateway device using either an IP firewall or a BACnet gateway.