FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you fill find answers to questions we get asked the most.
Click on the question to reveal the answer!

GENERAL

Why should I use R8 technology?

To lower your building’s energy consumption (heating and electricity) and therefore to reduce the costs. Also, the technology improves building’s indoor climate (this is the priority number one!) and helps you to manage your facilities more effectively with smaller carbon footprint.

Do we still need our facility management personnel?

Usually all commercial buildings have facility management personnel or B2B contracts and this is important. R8 enables them not to waste their time at the BAS (Building Automation System) screens trying to compete (and lose) with Artificial Intelligence but work with critical issues that cannot be solved without humans.

Can I call you if I have any trouble?

Yes, you can call. Still, we recommend to send an e-mail, so we can be better prepared for your questions. We also have a service desk during usual working hours (CET+1 time zone as of Nov. 2020) which will help to tackle all issues quickly and efficiently.

START

What would you need from us to start?

We will send you a short easy questionnaire of ca 5-6 questions to know about your building to make an offer. Later we will just need an access to your BAS and its IP-address + some more technical info.

What technology requirements do you have?

We just need a working BAS (building automation system) not older than 10 years and internet connection. In addition, some info (automatic schema, floorplans etc) is also often needed.

Who will install R8 technology in our building?

We will organize a smooth installation. For newer BAS we are able to do all the steps remotely. For older BAS we organise our PC on the site to become a gateway between BAS and R8.

INVESTMENT

How much should our company invest?

No investment needed – R8 does not add any hardware. Technical faults discovered by R8 Diagnostics – these need to be fixed anyway. Sometimes we recommend to add some sensors (t, CO2) to offer better indoor climate in rooms but this is not an obligation.

Should we invest additionally to some other technology?

No need for that. But R8 technology can give you profitable suggestions which would enable to save more and have a better indoor climate quality.

Can we pay CAPEX instead of monthly OPEX?

If you prefer CAPEX to OPEX – yes we can offer software licensing instead of SaaS.

SERVICE FEE

How much does it cost?

We offer different pricing models. Our most traditional offer includes a building’s size-based one time fee after the integration and the 1st detailed diagnostics report. After that we charge monthly building’s size-based fixed fee or share energy savings. Also there are some other pricing models available.

We save you more money than we earn from you always! At the same time we improve indoor climate as well and are able to measure it with numbers based on real data also!

 

SAVINGS

Where do the savings come from?

The key for savings is our smart control system, that avoids overheating, overcooling and overventilating. R8 hybrid control technology benefits the current control system by implementing the dynamics of the building, future fluctuations in environment and energy markets. The controls are exclusively optimized for each building.

Will energy savings affect indoor comfort negatively?

If you work with R8 – NO!

Because:

– all our AI decisions are based on 3 main KPIs – Energy Efficiency, Indoor Comfort and Technical Condition;

  • Indoor Comfort is priority No1. Always;

  • Building managers and tenants have the ultimate right and opportunity to regulate indoor comfort and R8 has to follow that.
Is energy consumption of different years (weather changes!) comparable?

Yes, there are several special methodologies that make energy consumptions of different years comparable (normalization with degree- and cooling days). Our machine learning based algorithms enable to measure the savings even with hourly precision. In general, monthly energy consumption comparisons are most widely used. We use them both to prove how much energy is saved by R8 technology.

How much energy will be saved?

Our experience shows that total savings are usually between 10-20% (in some cases even more). Savings depends on the type of the building (shopping mall, office building, hotel etc.), energy label (A, B, C, D), existing automation system, building’s technical condition etc.

How much money will be saved?

It can be calculated based on energy savings and price. We expect ca 10-20% savings of total energy costs. Our average is ca 14-15%, max even over 30% but this kind of high rate at premium class buildings proves serious shortages in tech.management or tech.condition.

How much CO₂ emission will be reduced?

It can be calculated from energy savings based on the CO2 emission per 1MWh energy (electricity, heat) production in every country or by the corresponding energy producer.

Can you prove the savings come from your technology?

Yes, we can prove it by comparing the current situation using R8 technology and without it. The comparison of historical energy-consumption utility bills on R8 dashboard makes it easy to follow. Also we remove weather impact from the consumption data (normalization) to compare “apples with apples”.

Can you prove savings if we do not have energy-consumption history?

Theoretically it is possible but practically it would take too much time and energy. So we offer a monthly fixed fee per m2 for these cases.

We have invested a lot in energy efficiency. What part of savings is from that and what part from R8tech?

We use the most accurate & comparable data (base month vs current month, climate impact has been removed by normalization) for the savings calculations always. Just sometimes there is no base month available – in a case you just made your energy efficiency investment or just finished the construction. In this case it is easier to use a fixed monthly m2 based fee. Also it is possible to test a la 1 month with R8 and 1 month without R8 to see the difference.

INDOOR COMFORT

Does the system influence indoor climate quality?

Yes, the control system finds the most efficient way to achieve the required indoor climate. Also, it learns how to prevent overheating and overcooling to achieve better and more balanced indoor climate.

 

Can we make any changes in indoor comfort if needed?

Yes. Building managers and tenants decide what indoor comfort they would like to have. It can even be different from standards. R8 follows the orders and also adopts all changes made from BAS or room controllers.

DIAGNOSTICS

What follows if R8 detects a faulty component (pump, controller, sensor etc)?

R8 platform is designed to detect all faulty components in building’s technical systems and to inform the operator about the problem and its location immediately. The following steps depend on the agreement and client’s wish – R8 would not push any client to make an investment for fixing the problem. But every technical problem can cost (like leaking valve, broken controller or sensor, dusty filter etc) a lot for the client.

Also important – we do not duplicate BAS alarms if not agreed otherwise for some reason not to confuse technical operators with alarms overload.

Can I have detected faults in my Tech. Servicing platform?

Yes. R8 can deliver all the info to any servicing platform.

TECHNOLOGY

Do you operate with an adjustment precision in your AI-algorithms?

R8 Digital Operator consists of reactive, proactive, predictive control cooperating with machine learning algorithms. Those algorithms are designed based on digitalization of HVAC systems by integrating to R8 architecture.

Additionally, R8 machine learning algorithms are related to seasons (indoor climate reactions to weather). For example: heating radiators’ and AHU circuits’ algorithms are modelled based on indoor climate needs in different environment conditions.

 

What happens if we lose internet connection or have some other technical issues (a la R8 server crash etc)? Can BAS work without R8 then?

Yes, BAS takes control over again automatically at any problem case. Also, R8 does not make any changes in BAS that would cause significant failures/operational faults. In other words, R8 Digital Operator makes changes for temperature, air volume, pressure etc and some schedules.

Can you guarantee that your system is protected and how protected?

All our security is described in the connectivity file (can be sent). As of April 2021 it has been tested for over 3 years in Swedbank HQ and other premium class buildings (totally over 650.000m²) that use R8 solution and there have not been any leakage

CONNECTION WITH BAS

Can R8 technology be used for every building that has a BAS (building automation system)?

Yes. Just our target group includes shopping centres, hotels, office buildings with minimum of 10 000m2 gross-area. Depending on client’s portfolio and time-vacancies we can work with smaller buildings also. R8 Digital Operator has been developed for modern complex buildings. Small simple buildings can be managed by human operators pretty successfully as well.

 

Is the current BAS (Building Automation System; also called BMS - Building Management System) not needed any more while using R8 technology?

R8 makes BAS to work more efficiently and we cannot work without it. BAS is designed to meet defined safety, indoor comfort and air quality parameters only. R8 is an addition to the existing system with a goal to do that all, but in an energy efficient way.

Is R8 technology easier to operate compared to existing BAS (BMS) systems?

This is one of our main goals to make operators’ work easier and more efficient. Most of work has left to be done by artificial intelligence, human operator would be responsible just for a couple of parameters easy to control. Also the client can choose if to continue using BAS User Interface;

Client Q: What about BAS adjustments priority? In our BAS (Niagara) we can set/override/emergency Override points, how do you plan to deal with that because we use all of these for different purposes?

Our control algorithms make calculations in every 15 minutes and make changes, if necessary.

There are two main control approaches for Niagara based BAS;

Switch and schedule related points (e.g. Eco/Comfort, ON/OFF) are controlled by override and timer (2 hours limiter). If our algorithms do not make any changes, all those points reset latest within two hours.

We use “set” Temperature, pressure, speed etc. related points;

The schedule writes a value to some priority. If we override the value with time limit, our control and reliability are ensured.

After I will give you the access to the BAS what kind of points you will take? Not all writable points are for direct controlling because you can affect our control logic.

First points to take are sensor related (only reading) values to monitor HVAC system. After diagnostics, we deliver report if there are any mechanical/sensor failures. The next step is selection of control points and giving this information for you to confirm before any control. We usually change the same values that an operator would normally do.

Who will reset BAS settings if we terminate the contract with R8?

All BAS initial settings have been saved, so we can always reset everything to the way it was before our control.

USER INTERFACE

Do I need to use R8 User Interface (UI)?

It depends on your wish. There is no obligation to start using R8 UI since you can still make all the manual changes from BAS. You even do not need to know that there is R8 UI available. However, there is a lot of useful information available in R8 UI also.

Can we see the results online?

Yes, we provide an access with training to your personnel. It is a part of our service.

What happens if our operator pushes a wrong button at R8 UI?

There is some human risk always but R8 technology is designed the way that your operator can just make a mistake about setting min-max limits of required temperature. In this case R8 technology finds an anomaly very fast and gives an alert signal. Also – the full history of changes is visible and thus can be followed.

UNIQUE SELLING POINTS

What are the main differences of R8 from other smart building energy saving solutions?
  • no additional hardware needed;

  • R8 artificial intelligence is laid on your existing building automation system (BAS);

  • in addition to reading data from BAS we also write to BAS (new setpoints) and we do it every 15 minutes instead of 2x a year + reactions for complaints.

  • integrations with existing BAS systems are fast (ca 1-2 weeks depending on building’s size and complexity). For newer BAS versions – remote connection (no site visits!). For older versions – just a gateway will be added. We can integrate to almost any BAS;

    • step process for achieving exceptionally well performing building: remote integration -> diagnostics -> optimization. All steps are supported by user-oriented UI and we are with our customers to achieve the best results;

    • diagnostics based on unique algorithms. There is no other better service in the market finding in depth HVAC system problems;

  • air quality is controlled by temperature, humidity and CO2 levels. The target is preset based on collected data and latter easily changeable by building manager/operator and by tenants if they have a room controller within their premises;

  • our unique energy efficiency algorithms work based on rooms’ needs. All HVAC equipment are managed the most efficient & cooperative way automatically to have the required indoor climate with most optimal results. Algorithms take also into account weather forecasts, energy prices and equipment life cycle. As a result up to -20% energy savings are achieved (in some cases even more – our record is over 30%) and longer lifespan of the systems;

  • R8 UI is simple to users, no need for deep knowledge on HVAC to make operational changes. At the same time operators can continue using BAS-UI if they like it more (R8 UI-free solution).

 

What are the benefits of R8?

R8 value chain is really long. To group these: Financial Benefits, Operational Benefits, Better Indoor Climate, Imago. Send us a request (karl.blom@r8tech.io), and we will provide you an extra file about all the benefits by types and stakeholders.

LEGAL

How long will the contract last?

Test period would be recommended to last min 3 months – integration 1-2 weeks, diagnostics only ca 3-4 weeks, full service ca 1,5 months to get the first energy efficiency and indoor comfort results. After that – as long as you like (also it can be fixed). Also we are ready for long-term contracts if requested.

 

Can we terminate the contract?

Yes, and this is very easy. We would not push anyone to work with us without a will. All conditions will be agreed in the contract. Usually we have 30-day termination clause in our contracts.

Still have questions?

I you can’t find answers to your questions in our FAQ section, you can always contact us. We will get back to you shortly.

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