At the University of New Mexico, the new Physics & Astronomy Interdisciplinary Science (PAÍS) Facility offers 139,100 square feet of space for classes, laboratories, and offices — and is expected to generate $7-8 million each year in research grant funding. It also needed to adhere to strict energy standards. Echoflex Solutions supplied wireless sensors, switches, and controllers to help them meet those standards — and the support needed to make it human-friendly.

Angel Becerra is a facilities engineer for the University of New Mexico. Part of his responsibilities for the new building was reviewing each electrical drawing to ensure each room had proper coverage in terms of lumens, occupancy and daylight sensors, and control stations. Echoflex took his careful work and used it in their pre-commissioning process to create a system that was a breeze to install.

“The install was easy because the rooms had already been programmed,” says Becerra. “The contractors just had to match a room controller with the switch, and they all came pre-labeled. So all the contractor had to do was install the gear. They didn’t have to do a complicated series of button pushes or any other kind of programming. The contractors really liked that.”

Of course, the really tricky part of a new building comes when people start to use it. You learn quickly where the design isn’t adequate for reality. Thanks to Echoflex’s wireless nature, arranging the system to make it more human friendly but still code compliant was easy.

“There’s always some changes and challenges in everyday use,” explains Becerra. “Sometimes an occupancy sensor has been located right behind a person at a desk, so it won’t sense movement and it turns the lights off. With Echoflex’s wireless equipment, it’s easy to put the gear where it can actually do the job it’s meant to. Sometimes daylight sensors are a little too sensitive, so we have to adjust that. The interface on Echoflex gear means adjustments like that are easy.”

Students and faculty at the Physics & Astronomy Interdisciplinary Science Facility may be studying rocket science, but thanks to Echoflex their lighting is easy.

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