San Antonio Technology Center Building Control and Monitoring Sets Bar for Building Efficiency

Jeff Xu and his team at Leaptran worked with the San Antonio Technology Center for building control and monitoring. We had the opportunity to learn more about his project and its impact through an interview with our Managing Editor Laura Benold. Check it out!

LB: Tell me a little bit about your project.

JX: Our project is an internet-of-things (IoTs) platform consisting a hardware and software solution that is produced for cost-effective building HVAC monitoring and control. The solution has been implemented at the San Antonio Technology Center (SATC) building.

LB: How did you begin working with San Antonio and what was important to the city as you developed your partnership?

JX: The San Antonio Technology Center (SATC) is one of the key technology hubs in the city of San Antonio. It has hosted a community of not only technology businesses but entrepreneurs, biotech firms, IT and computer software companies, and other growing businesses. Mr. Joe Miller, the owner of the SATC building, stated to a San Antonio Business Journal reporter during an interview that, “Part of our charter is to offer tenants the latest in technology to help them run their businesses efficiently and smartly. By partnering with Leaptran, we are benefiting from the very latest in energy efficiency savings and insight to our various tenants’ energy needs and usage. Since the January 2018 deployment, we’ve been closely monitoring our utility grid and have created a road map to significant energy savings across the building.”

Both SATC and Leaptran believe that the project will help San Antonio as the city drafts its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) to reduce carbon emissions and its environmental footprint.

LB: How can what you did in San Antonio apply to possible work in other cities?

JX: Our market study in the U.S. shows that there is a challenge in managing and maintaining building assets without a dedicated engineer or advance building management system on site.  Most medium size commercial building operators cannot afford an expensive building management system (BMS). We would like to introduce our cost-effective IoT solution to city managers and/or suitability officers. Smart Cities Connect is one of the best venues for us to do so.

LB: What is a “smart city”?

JX: A smart city should have the following salient features:

  • The city has the requisite infrastructure to handle and process large data and information traffic in an efficient and cost-effective manner;
  • The city actively strives to achieve affordable transportation and living, a low environmental footprint, and a sense of community among its citizens; and
  • The city is forward thinking and anticipates potential growth.

LB: What are the most important results you’ve seen so far? Which has been the most surprising?

JX: Our project implementation has managed to reduce energy consumption significantly, which, in absolute values, is equivalent to more than 20 average households’ combined annual electricity usages in Texas. This has been the most surprising result when we implemented our solution in a medium size commercial building.

LB: What does it mean to you to win a Smart 50 Award?

JX: Smart 50 Awards sends the smart city communities a signal that a small startup like Leaptran could add a piece to the puzzle of a comprehensive smart city strategy by offering a cost-effective IoT solution.