It seems almost counterintuitive. How can a solution that improves the campus experience for students and staff also save the university hundreds of thousands of dollars annually? Better and cheaper rarely co-exist in the same idea. But with Cisco CMX, they do.

The University of British Columbia has always been a forward-looking institution, looking for ways to make the educational experience better. That’s one of the reasons they’ve been long-time Cisco customers. They saw the value of a robust wireless solution.

But they also care about their impact on the environment. So they asked themselves, “how can we use the wireless infrastructure we already have to reduce our carbon footprint?”

The university already had CMX deployed and understood the solution’s ability to provide insights into the number of students in a space and their dwell times. Working with Sensible Building Science, the school developed a connection between CMX location analytics and the university HVAC system. Essentially, the wireless network acts as a sensor for the campus’ air conditioning and heating. When no one is in a lecture hall, classroom, office, or other common space, CMX alerts the HVAC system and the room is neither heated or cooled. However, as people arrive and occupancy reaches a pre-determined threshold, CMX pushes that information to the building control system and heats or cools the room to the desired temperature.

In facilities management, savings are typically small and any solution that returns its investment in five years is considered good. CMX far exceeded this benchmark. For older buildings with older HVAC systems, the CMX and Sensible Building Science solution delivered savings of 5% and is expected to return its investment in under three years. As the solution migrates to buildings with modern variable speed fans and other more efficient systems, the savings is expected to rise above 10%.

For the complete story, see our video case study.

So, yes, with the right solution, you can have comfort and savings.


Daryl Coon

Cisco Customer Solutions Marketing