Pilot-Scale Evaluation of an Integrated Building Control Retrofit Package

Integrated Building Control Retrofit Package

Regents of the University of California, Davis - California Lighting Technology Center


Davis, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The project ended on 3/31/2021 with the final report pending publication. The project resulted in 5-15% demand reduction, 10-40% energy savings , and 7.2-26.1 metric tons of CO2 reductions at the project demonstration site . The project helped update Winco window product models and improved building performance and amenities; air quality; and building safety. Control manufacturers have expressed interest in continuing the research project.

The Issue

The traditional approach to building automation consists of a collection of independent control systems, one for each building end use, with limited or no communication among the individual devices. Several research efforts during the past decade were aimed at improving electric lighting or fenestration control methods, increase system reliability and reduce lighting energy use. However, few efforts accounted for the interdependence of lighting, fenestration and space conditioning systems and the consideration of the latter in an integrated approach to optimize whole building energy efficiency via a single, unified control platform.

Project Innovation

This project tests an integrated building control package that maximizes energy efficiency for existing commercial buildings. The project refines novel control algorithms that utilize shared device state and environmental data for lighting, fenestration and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Sharing data from multiple device types will further improve overall, sustained, system performance and operation. Control algorithms prioritize lighting or heating/cooling savings based on climate and building design. HVAC system management leverages passive ventilation through windows and skylights and dynamic adjustment of HVAC set point dead bands. The goal of this project is to reduce electricity use by 20-30%. The project team's mission is to partner with manufacturers throughout the critical development and demonstration phases to give products the best chance for market success. The research team will leverage multiple advocacy tools to make the knowledge gained, experimental results, and lessons learned from this effort available to the public and key decision makers.

Project Goals

Refine and evaluate a pre-commercial Integrated Building Control Retrofit Package that maximizes energy efficiency
Involve potential equipment suppliers in the development to facilitate a commercial introduction.

Project Benefits

The results showed that the integrated building control system technology can reduce HVAC, lighting, and shading loads by 10 percent to 40 percent compared to typical baseline systems, depending on building application, size, location, geometry, and climate zone. Adding integrated shading and operable fenestration can dramatically reduce peak energy demand associated with cooling and reduce annual energy use by up to 30 percent depending on conditions and climate zone. Peak demand reductions ranged from less than 5 percent for integrating lighting and HVAC systems to as much as 15 percent for an integrated building control system that incorporates natural ventilation and building pre-cooling.

Consumer Appeal

Consumer Appeal

This project develops systems which improve the functionality of lighting and heating, ventilating and air conditioning controls, and integrates operations with automated shading, natural ventilation, and air conditioning systems, to create more and comfortable indoor environments.

Lower Costs


This project could lower energy bills to commercial building owners that implement these control retrofits for HVAC, lighting and fenestration in their buildings.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

With CO2 sensors equipped inside and outside of the building and queries to weather APIs, the IBCS can ensure that windows stay closed during bad air quality events .

Key Project Members

Project Member

Cori Jackson

Program Administrator



Staple Construction Company, Inc.


Match Partners


Regents of the University of California, Davis - California Lighting Technology Center


Contact the Team