As of January 29, 2014, Sutardja Dai Hall can claim to be Comfy. The new technology (known as Comfy) is designed to make building occupants more comfortable at work by giving them an immediate connection to the heating and cooling in the building through a simple website: gocomfy.com. Once logged in, Comfy provides immediate streams of warm or cool air on demand, for 10 minutes each, and also learns over time what the user’s temperature preference is. The technology was developed by graduates from within CITRIS, and SDH served as one of their original test sites.
Noted Domenico Caramagano, the facilities director of SDH, “Most buildings usually turn on their heat and air from 7:00am to 7:00pm, but the reality is that people come into the building at different times and have different preferences for the temperature in their office.
COMFY is a software suite available for building occupants to control the temperature in their office. The software then uses feedback to help save energy and money by knowing when, where and what temperatures are preferred.
The project is the result of a CITRIS-related start-up company, Building Robotics, which was founded by two UC Berkeley doctoral students, Andrew Krioukov and Stephen Dawson-Haggerty. Their doctoral projects shared a focus on software infrastructure for implementing building applications and data collection at scale.
“We feel that it’s important to help building managers improve their energy use, especially since 40 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. is by commercial buildings,” said Krioukov. “In our initial test run at Sutardja Dai Hall, we found that using the software resulted in a 17% energy savings on the office side. By growing and expanding its use, we hope that this system can assist facilities to save energy and, as a result, money.”
If you are an SDH occupant, feel free to try it out. To use Comfy, follow this link: www.gocomfy.com. Use your Berkeley.edu email account and follow the instructions from there. You can use Comfy from any web browser on floors 3-7 in Sutardja Dai Hall (but not in the Marvell Nanofabrication Lab).
If you have questions about how Comfy works, check out the FAQs here, or get in touch with the team behind Comfy at email@example.com.