The Start-Up Office

“We’ve been working with Cognition Controls for about a year and our office space is much more comfortable and easier to manage as a result.”


Inconsistent temperature in sensitive prototype manufacturing lab, no data to assess equipment operations or energy use, difficulty managing comfort.


  • 30% energy savings
  • Resolved overheating/cooling in customer-test facility
  • Established consistent temperatures in manufacturing lab
  • Resolved hot/cold issues between conference rooms
  • Created a single source for all HVAC and comfort  notes 
  • Removed subjectivity of comfort-in-the office discussions
“We had two areas that were always too hot or too cold. We used Cognition Controls’ historical data to troubleshoot what was happening, which led us to adjust the vents in one area. We also used their wireless sensors to better manage these spaces. Both are now as comfortable as the rest of our building – as evidenced by a significant reduction in complaints from the employees in those areas!!”

The Details

Energy Saving

Using Cognition Controls data, insights, tools and support, we estimate that The Startup Office has reduced HVAC runtime by 30%.

  • Historical data visualizations helped diagnose a ventilation issue in the Customer Test Lab, significantly reducing overheating and overcooling this important space.
  • Wireless sensors deployed in three area - Customer Test Lab, Manufacturing Lab, and Conference Rooms, provided more accurate data for smarter equipment operations.
  • Schedule exceptions maximize unoccupied savings with quick one-time adjustments to schedules.
  • Cognition intelligence manages the transition to comfort schedules, maximizing the time when energy saving schedules can run.

Energy Insights

From mid-November 2022 through October 2023, HVAC equipment at The Startup Office operated for over 3,900 hours.

Prior to installing Cognition, most of the space was managed by programmable thermostats set to a temperature hold. When compared to managing the space with a 72 degree hold, The Startup Office has reduced equipment runtime by ~42% with Cognition Controls.

To make runtime easier to identify on the utility bill, Cognition uses an intelligent algorithm, informed by rooftop unit manufacturer specifications, to convert runtime to kWh. Cognition estimates The Startup Office used 15,101 - 20,853 kWh of energy. (Actual kWh is impacted by equipment age, maintenance, outside weather conditions and the  unique characteristics of a building. The Cognition algorithm takes the size of the equipment and uses the midpoint kWh value by SEER rating to convert equipment runtime into a kWh estimate)

Zone Insights

The Cognition Data Explorer provides historic, interactive data to confirm and troubleshoot issues, and to deepen understanding about how a space and a building operates.

As illustrated by Zone Suite A - East:

  • Heat (orange bars) was frequently required in the cold weather months to keep this large open workspace area warm. 
  • Through the shoulder months - April through June - equipment runtime was much lower (fewer bars),
  • Managing through the shoulder season also saw more overrides (green bars) - when someone requests heat or cool from the control on the wall. As temperatures dropped in October, heating was once again required.
  • As outdoor intraday temperatures rose at the end of May, cooling (blue bars) was needed frequently .

Building Insight

Cognition provides useful data comparison tools and visuals to analyze the performance of the HVAC equipment managing a building. The table below summarizes data from the past 11 months at the Law Firm.

  • Over 60% of total runtime is for cooling equipment operations during summer months.
  • During summer months, the equipment controlling interior zones operates most frequently and consistently (S2, S3, N7, S5 - see Zone Map in appendix)).
  • In contrast, equipment controlling zones along the periphery of the building (N4, S4, N2, S1, N1) account for the bulk of equipment runtime during cold weather months. These zones effectively insulate interior spaces enough that their equipment runs very infrequently during cold weather.
  • Given the significant variance in equipment use, preventative maintenance is required more frequently on equipment with higher runtime. For example, Zone N4 ran 15x more than S6 during cold weather months, and 5x more during warm weather months.
19,090 SF
6 rooftop units controlled by wifi or programmable thermostats
Single story, masonry and steel frame
Open-concept workspace, customer-test facility, and a prototype manufacturing lab, conference rooms
Rochester, NY