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PCL, CopperTree join forces to make buildings smarter

Russell Hixson
PCL, CopperTree join forces to make buildings smarter
MANASC ISAAC - PCL Construction recently announced a partnership with CopperTree Analytics, a smart building company that designs tools to analyze building performance. PCL itself uses CopperTree technology at its Edmonton campus (pictured) where is has saved tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance and energy costs.

PCL Construction is teaming up with CopperTree Analytics Inc., a building data and energy analytics software company, to offer smart building technology to clients.

The two companies will now be jointly delivering building data analytics, energy management and monitoring-based commissioning technologies and services embedded into both new construction and retrofit building projects.

PCL’s chief information officer, Mark Bryant, explained the need to expand the company’s smart building capability.

“A lot of clients are asking for solutions for smart buildings,” he said. “But the question is how do we make buildings ‘smart’ and a lot of people are still trying to figure out what smart buildings or cities look like.”

The partnership is the logical next step for PCL, which recently worked with Microsoft to develop its Job Site Insights platform which is used to gather and analyze Internet of Things (IoT) data and provide a “single-window” view into all aspects of a construction site through sensors.

The devices are mapped to spaces, equipment assets and people, which allows project staff to monitor the whole digitized jobsite.

“But it doesn’t do the other half of the equation that CopperTree does,” said Bryant.

PCL uses CopperTree products in its own buildings, most recently at its Edmonton campus. Bryant said PCL has seen the power of CopperTree’s system firsthand when it caught a continuously cycling boiler at the campus and saved the company tens of thousands of dollars in energy and maintenance costs.

“Everyone we work with wants technologies that simplify and reduce building management, maintenance and energy costs while also enhancing tenant experience and satisfaction,” said Bryant. “By marrying CopperTree’s building analytics software with Job Site Insights, PCL’s smart construction platform, we will further improve Lean construction, enable smarter buildings and cities, and increase both productivity and quality, while reducing our carbon footprint on our projects and our customers assets.”

Bryant added after spending time with the CopperTree team, he saw it is a perfect fit.

“We brainstormed this thing together,” said Bryant. “Culturally, we are very similar. We are both owned by the people in the organization. We met them last summer and it was a no-brainer to get together. We have a complete, holistic solution that is seamless to the owner.”

Keith La Rose, CopperTree’s director of sales and marketing, agreed, also noted the company has been seeing the demand for smart building technology rapidly grow.

“New advances in technology have meant that the status quo in the construction and operation of buildings is no longer fulfilling the evolving requirements of building constructors, owners, operators and occupants,” said La Rose in a press release. “The increasing ubiquity of IoT sensors and the need for a more intelligent way to use all the data generated by buildings presents many opportunities for market leaders like PCL and CopperTree to step in with technologies and services which meet those needs to improve the construction and commissioning process, improve occupant experience, reduce energy consumption, and streamline the maintenance operations of their buildings.”

Bryant explained both companies believe embedding data and energy analytics services into new and existing buildings as part of the construction process, and then continuing their delivery through commissioning and operations, will improve satisfaction for building owners, operators and occupants.  

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