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Programmable Building Automation System Offers Big Energy Savings

December 8, 2006

A study shows Convia's next-generation electrical system offers the potential to recapture energy savings of 20% to 60% that are otherwise lost when implemented with traditional electric systems.


CHICAGO /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A recent report shows that the Convia Programmable Infrastructure, a next-generation electrical and data system recently introduced at Greenbuild 2006 in Denver, offers significant energy savings. Conducted by The Weidt Group, an independent engineering consultant for high-performance buildings, the study concluded that a standard office building using Convia programmable infrastructure would gain 6% to 30% in annual energy savings as compared with the ASHRAE standard 90.1-2004, the current energy benchmark for buildings. Furthermore, Convia's flexibility offers the potential to recapture energy savings of 20% to 60% that are otherwise lost when implemented with traditional electric systems. A copy of the energy report can be downloaded from the Web.

Introduced by Convia/A Herman Miller Company, the new Convia system is a modular, programmable infrastructure for both power and data that offers plug-and-play connections for any interior light, electrical device, or control. This ease of installation and reconfiguration allows owners or tenants to readily change the lighting and other devices in their physical space in moments, at little or no cost. The Weidt Group's study focused on the value of Convia programmable infrastructure's flexibility and evaluated the system's overall energy savings, the simplicity of adjusting and correcting energy-efficiency settings, and the cost of space-use changes in an average office building of 194,000 sq. ft.

Energy savings, indoor environmental quality, and flexibility are recognized as important factors in a building's financial health, including its ability to attract and retain quality tenants and employees. However, they are often compromised by tenant churn, the inability to easily reconfigure physical space, and the restrictive costs of implementing energy-efficient controls. In addition, lighting represents an approximate average of 25% to 60% of energy consumption in a building, but energy efficiency strategies are often not implemented because they require more flexibility than traditional electric systems can accommodate economically. The study showed that the flexibility of Convia programmable infrastructure—which makes it easier to add or change controls as needed and move or change the location of sensors based on occupant preferences—allows for significantly less expensive adjustments during both installation and throughout the life cycle of the building. Therefore, strategies such as daylighting controls are more likely to be implemented successfully with Convia programmable infrastructure as opposed to traditional electrical systems and at a much lower cost. The report also found that buildings utilizing combinations of such controls offered the largest savings, with values near 30%.

"With energy costs rising and the increasing emphasis on protecting our environment, building owners, architects, and designers alike are looking for ways to save both money and natural resources," said Randy Storch, president, Convia. "Convia programmable infrastructure offers one simple solution to address both of these challenges."

"Go Reconfigure"
Convia programmable infrastructure is a modular electrical infrastructure that delivers plug-and-play power virtually anywhere within a commercial space without requiring hardwiring of devices or switches. Eliminating the constraints of traditional electrical systems, this next-generation infrastructure invites architects, interior designers, electrical contractors, building owners, and tenants to "go reconfigure" and create flexible, sustainable environments that can be easily—and instantly—modified or upgraded. Using infrared technology via a secure, remote control "wand," Convia offers programmable electricity and allows all users to install, upgrade, or relocate any electrical device (e.g. lighting fixtures, security cameras, electronic displays, thermostats, and speakers), switch, or sensor in moments.

About Convia Inc.
Convia/A Herman Miller Company seeks to change the way people design, build, personalize, and manage space. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Chicago, Convia is dedicated to offering customers agile and programmable building environments, which allow for radically flexible spaces. For more information about Convia programmable infrastructure, visit the company's Web site.

About Herman Miller Inc.
Herman Miller helps create great places to work, heal, learn, and live by researching, designing, manufacturing, and distributing innovative interior solutions that support companies, organizations, and individuals all over the world. The company's award-winning products, complemented by furniture management and strategic consulting services, generated over $1.7 billion in revenue during fiscal 2006. Herman Miller is widely recognized for both its innovative products and business practices. Herman Miller is a recipient of the prestigious National Design Award for product design from the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. In 2006, the company was once again cited by Fortune magazine as the "Most Admired" company in its industry and is among Business Ethics magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." For additional information, visit the company's Web site.


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