Article
8
min read

The Nexus Vendor Landscape

May 2, 2022

Since around 2015, I’ve been keeping an Evernote notebook of smart building vendors’ products. Whenever I see a new startup, an event that seems to occur on a weekly basis, I throw it on the list. When one company buys another, I update the notebook. When I see a product demonstration, I create a page in my notebook and add screenshots, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses.

The list has been growing and growing—there are now 100+ vendors! And since we’re mostly focused with building optimization and performance at Nexus, this only includes a small portion of everything underneath the broad and ambiguous “smart buildings” umbrella.

Recently, I’ve had two realizations about my little notebook:

The list (and the marketplace itself) is overwhelming. We need a framework to cut through the noise. That’s the focus of the Nexus Deep Dive: Evaluating Smart Building Tech. Over time, we’ll apply the framework to improve and evolve the Vendor Landscape. Here’s the current roadmap:

  • Stage 1: What are all the technologies in this marketplace? What are the rough categories?
  • Stage 2: How can we categorize them using the framework?
  • Stage 3: What are the nuances that differentiate vendors in each category?
  • Stage 4: How are the leading building owners deploying these technologies in an open ecosystem (e.g. All-Star Game)?

I need to share this list. It seems like the industry is spending a lot of collective time on making lists and keeping them updated. This is time we could all be spending time on improving our products, services, and buildings. The Nexus Pro membership can be a place to share and compare our notes. Then we can focus on what truly matters: differentiating ourselves, creating partnerships, digitizing buildings, stopping climate change… that kind of stuff.

Without further ado, here it is!

Would you like to share this with your team? That’s great! Before you do, please the options at the bottom of this page.

Want to make sure your product is included? Fill out this form!


Release Version 2.2 May 2022

Capabilities glossary:

  • Data Centralization/Visualization—Brings data together from multiple silos and allows 2D visualization.
  • 3D Data Viz—Allows data to be visualized on a 3D model of the building.
  • Analytics—Does math to transform the data into useful metrics, visualizations, KPIs, calculated points, etc.
  • Fault Detection & Diagnostics (FDD)—Sub-category of "analytics" where issues and opportunities for performance improvement are identified, along with the root cause. Go deeper: Building analytics comparison whitepaper.  
  • Advanced Supervisory Control (ASC) 1.0—The software application replaces some or all of the supervisory control functions of the underlying systems. Go deeper: ASC 3 part series.
  • Advanced Supervisory Control (ASC) 2.0—The software application replaces and improves upon some or all of the supervisory control functions of the underlying systems. Go deeper: ASC 3 part series.
  • Utility Bill Analytics—Sub-category of "analytics", where utility bill data is analyzed.
  • ESG Reporting—Reports ESG-related data upon request, exports it in multiple formats, or automatically discloses it to frameworks like GRESB, CDP, and TCFD.
  • Carbon Tracking—Tracks the carbon intensity of the power on a specific grid over time.
  • Interval Meter Analytics—Sub-category of "analytics", where interval meter data is analyzed.
  • Grid Interaction / Virtual Power Plant—Sub-category of ASC 2.0, where the software controls building systems to provide demand flexibility to the grid in exchange for financial benefits to the building owner.
  • Program Management—Software that manages the energy or carbon reduction program, usually including some subset of features such as project development, financial modeling, decision making, collaboration, prioritization, planning, procurement, funding, tracking, commissioning, and verification.  Go deeper: Energy Program Management, The Energy Spreadsheet Must Die.
  • Workflow Automation—Digitizing and automating human tasks, helping them reach outcomes easier, and enabling better collaboration.
  • Occupant Engagement—Broad category that includes any application that intends to improve how the occupant experiences a building or space.
  • Independent Data Layer (IDL) Administration—User interface that makes it easier to manage an independent data layer. Go deeper.
  • Project Modeling—Sub-category of Program Management, where a model is created, calibrated, and used to develop energy/carbon reduction projects and aids in the decision making process.
  • Space Management—Aids in auditing, tracking, and managing your company's physical space, usually involving the analysis of occupancy data to understand how space is being used.
  • N/A—The vendor does not sell a software application.
  • Network Administration—Aids in auditing, tracking, and managing an IT or OT network, including provisioning devices, firewalls, etc.
  • Leak Detection—Sub-category of analytics focused on notifying the user of water, gas, or other unwanted leaks.
  • Work Orders—A work order is a digital representation of a task or a job that can be assigned to internal or external resources.
  • Preventative Maintenance—User can set up preventive maintenance schedules for any asset based on time or usage, then track and manage all preventive maintenance work with a maintenance calendar. Works hand in hand with work order capabilities.
  • Intelligence Scoring—Third party assessment system focused on scoring and reporting on a building's intelligence.
  • IAQ Scoring—Third party assessment system focused on scoring and reporting on a building's air quality performance.
  • Sustainability Scoring—Third party assessment system focused on scoring and reporting on a building's sustainability.
  • Augmented Reality—An interactive experience that enhances and overlays the physical building with a computer-generated input.
  • Virtual Reality—Places the user directly inside the 3D virtual space.
  • Condition Assessment—Aids in assessing a facility's physical condition and then tracking and managing the capital planning process.
  • Vendor Management—Aids in auditing, tracking, and managing a building's external service providers.
  • BIM Coordination—Facilitates the collaboration between MEP engineering, structural engineering, and architectural plans.

Copyright Nexus Labs, LLC

The Vendor Landscape is available exclusively to members of Nexus Pro. If you’d like to share this with a colleague, that’s great! Here are your options:

  1. Share Nexus and encourage them to become a Pro member.
  2. Purchase a group membership for your team. Email James for details at james@nexuslabs.online.
  3. Give a gift subscription to Nexus Pro: Give a gift subscription

Upgrade to Nexus Pro to continue reading

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Since around 2015, I’ve been keeping an Evernote notebook of smart building vendors’ products. Whenever I see a new startup, an event that seems to occur on a weekly basis, I throw it on the list. When one company buys another, I update the notebook. When I see a product demonstration, I create a page in my notebook and add screenshots, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses.

The list has been growing and growing—there are now 100+ vendors! And since we’re mostly focused with building optimization and performance at Nexus, this only includes a small portion of everything underneath the broad and ambiguous “smart buildings” umbrella.

Recently, I’ve had two realizations about my little notebook:

The list (and the marketplace itself) is overwhelming. We need a framework to cut through the noise. That’s the focus of the Nexus Deep Dive: Evaluating Smart Building Tech. Over time, we’ll apply the framework to improve and evolve the Vendor Landscape. Here’s the current roadmap:

  • Stage 1: What are all the technologies in this marketplace? What are the rough categories?
  • Stage 2: How can we categorize them using the framework?
  • Stage 3: What are the nuances that differentiate vendors in each category?
  • Stage 4: How are the leading building owners deploying these technologies in an open ecosystem (e.g. All-Star Game)?

I need to share this list. It seems like the industry is spending a lot of collective time on making lists and keeping them updated. This is time we could all be spending time on improving our products, services, and buildings. The Nexus Pro membership can be a place to share and compare our notes. Then we can focus on what truly matters: differentiating ourselves, creating partnerships, digitizing buildings, stopping climate change… that kind of stuff.

Without further ado, here it is!

Would you like to share this with your team? That’s great! Before you do, please the options at the bottom of this page.

Want to make sure your product is included? Fill out this form!


Release Version 2.2 May 2022

Capabilities glossary:

  • Data Centralization/Visualization—Brings data together from multiple silos and allows 2D visualization.
  • 3D Data Viz—Allows data to be visualized on a 3D model of the building.
  • Analytics—Does math to transform the data into useful metrics, visualizations, KPIs, calculated points, etc.
  • Fault Detection & Diagnostics (FDD)—Sub-category of "analytics" where issues and opportunities for performance improvement are identified, along with the root cause. Go deeper: Building analytics comparison whitepaper.  
  • Advanced Supervisory Control (ASC) 1.0—The software application replaces some or all of the supervisory control functions of the underlying systems. Go deeper: ASC 3 part series.
  • Advanced Supervisory Control (ASC) 2.0—The software application replaces and improves upon some or all of the supervisory control functions of the underlying systems. Go deeper: ASC 3 part series.
  • Utility Bill Analytics—Sub-category of "analytics", where utility bill data is analyzed.
  • ESG Reporting—Reports ESG-related data upon request, exports it in multiple formats, or automatically discloses it to frameworks like GRESB, CDP, and TCFD.
  • Carbon Tracking—Tracks the carbon intensity of the power on a specific grid over time.
  • Interval Meter Analytics—Sub-category of "analytics", where interval meter data is analyzed.
  • Grid Interaction / Virtual Power Plant—Sub-category of ASC 2.0, where the software controls building systems to provide demand flexibility to the grid in exchange for financial benefits to the building owner.
  • Program Management—Software that manages the energy or carbon reduction program, usually including some subset of features such as project development, financial modeling, decision making, collaboration, prioritization, planning, procurement, funding, tracking, commissioning, and verification.  Go deeper: Energy Program Management, The Energy Spreadsheet Must Die.
  • Workflow Automation—Digitizing and automating human tasks, helping them reach outcomes easier, and enabling better collaboration.
  • Occupant Engagement—Broad category that includes any application that intends to improve how the occupant experiences a building or space.
  • Independent Data Layer (IDL) Administration—User interface that makes it easier to manage an independent data layer. Go deeper.
  • Project Modeling—Sub-category of Program Management, where a model is created, calibrated, and used to develop energy/carbon reduction projects and aids in the decision making process.
  • Space Management—Aids in auditing, tracking, and managing your company's physical space, usually involving the analysis of occupancy data to understand how space is being used.
  • N/A—The vendor does not sell a software application.
  • Network Administration—Aids in auditing, tracking, and managing an IT or OT network, including provisioning devices, firewalls, etc.
  • Leak Detection—Sub-category of analytics focused on notifying the user of water, gas, or other unwanted leaks.
  • Work Orders—A work order is a digital representation of a task or a job that can be assigned to internal or external resources.
  • Preventative Maintenance—User can set up preventive maintenance schedules for any asset based on time or usage, then track and manage all preventive maintenance work with a maintenance calendar. Works hand in hand with work order capabilities.
  • Intelligence Scoring—Third party assessment system focused on scoring and reporting on a building's intelligence.
  • IAQ Scoring—Third party assessment system focused on scoring and reporting on a building's air quality performance.
  • Sustainability Scoring—Third party assessment system focused on scoring and reporting on a building's sustainability.
  • Augmented Reality—An interactive experience that enhances and overlays the physical building with a computer-generated input.
  • Virtual Reality—Places the user directly inside the 3D virtual space.
  • Condition Assessment—Aids in assessing a facility's physical condition and then tracking and managing the capital planning process.
  • Vendor Management—Aids in auditing, tracking, and managing a building's external service providers.
  • BIM Coordination—Facilitates the collaboration between MEP engineering, structural engineering, and architectural plans.

Copyright Nexus Labs, LLC

The Vendor Landscape is available exclusively to members of Nexus Pro. If you’d like to share this with a colleague, that’s great! Here are your options:

  1. Share Nexus and encourage them to become a Pro member.
  2. Purchase a group membership for your team. Email James for details at james@nexuslabs.online.
  3. Give a gift subscription to Nexus Pro: Give a gift subscription
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