Innovation Birmingham Campus-based JSJS Designs plc (“JSJS”) the home automation specialists has announced its involvement in a £495,000 project to bring its technology into commercial building management for the first time. JSJS will work in partnership with WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) and the Estates Office at the University of Warwick, which has just won the £495,000 in support from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board.
JSJS and WMG will use the funding to work with The University of Warwick’s Estates Office to retrofit an innovative wireless Heating Micro-management System (HMS) to the University’s Social Sciences building. The novel system hands control over to both the building management team and the building’s occupants who will individually be able to use their smart phones and tablet computers to control heating at a room-by-room basis.
The project will allow JSJS to test the LightwaveRF technology on a large complex building and help the company scale up the application of a technology that in the past has only be available to much smaller and simpler domestic properties. The project will be worth £220,000 to JSJS over the next year.
The project draws on the research of Dr Rebecca Cain, WMG Associate Professor in Experience-Led Innovation at the University of Warwick. Dr Cain’s research aims to improve people’s experiences of spaces, places, products and services through better design. Dr Rebecca Cain said:
“This is a great opportunity to test some of the research we have been doing across a range of public spaces in the energy management arena. It is imperative that users of such technology are able to fully engage in the process of monitoring energy usage in their homes or work spaces in order to enhance its effectiveness.”
JSJS and Dr Rebecca Cain were brought together to bid for the funding thanks to WMG’s SME Team based at the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation to develop prototype products.
John Shermer, Managing Director of JSJS said:
“This is an ideal showcase for the automation systems we have developed in a non-domestic environment. It will highlight the potential of retrofitting smart technologies into existing buildings to increase efficiencies and improve the user experience of such technology. If this project is successful then we hope to provide the technology to a much broader section both within Warwick University and other universities nationally”
Scott Crowther, Knowledge Transfer Specialist at WMG said:
“We are delighted that JSJS Designs Ltd has been able to secure investment to further develop their products and test them in an environment that has the potential to transform the way it manages energy in the future. Our work at WMG is all about helping small businesses realise their potential and develop leading products and services. This is a great case of the benefits of collaborating with a University.”
Joel Cardinal, Energy Manager at the University of Warwick said:
“Refurbishment of existing buildings is a challenge for the construction and facilities management industry. We are keen to engage new initiatives that can help the University and the country to reduce its carbon footprint and are delighted to have the opportunity to develop and validate an exciting new technology in one of our largest buildings.