Monitoring a High-Performance House
Wonder how all that high-tech heating and ventilation equipment is really doing? InView Passive will tell you.
A Maine-based company is betting that owners of high-performance houses will spend a little more money during construction so that they can keep track of mechanical and electrical systems after they move in.
InView Passive, developed by PowerWise Systems, is a collection of sensors that tracks energy use, indoor temperature and humidity levels, and a variety of other data, and makes it available in real time on an online-based dashboard.
“The premise of the technology is that people invest a lot of money into these high-performance buildings,” said Christian Gilbert, the company’s business-development manager. “What our technology does is give people feedback on how everything is working, and what are these things costing you.”
The systems are pitched to owners of houses that meet stringent Passive House standards, and the company says Passive House Institute US has endorsed InView. But Gilbert said the equipment would work just as well in any high-performance house where energy or environmental monitoring was a priority. Net-zero energy homes, for example, would be good candidates.
PowerWise doesn’t install the equipment itself, but works with architects, builders, or engineers during construction. The company recommends specific sensors (which it manufactures and sells) as well as a low-voltage wiring system to connect them. PowerWise also provides the monitoring software.
Gilbert said a system typically costs about $2,000, which includes two years of access to the online dashboard. Thereafter, monthly access charges are about $12.
“It’s kind of like having Netflix for your building,” he said.