Building Efficiency Improves With Control

Keeping control of large commercial systems provides building owners with a monumental daily task. Accomplishing this at optimum efficiency is nearly impossible without the help of multiple controls. The NEWS’ seventh annual Dealer Design Awards’ Commercial Controls Including Building Automation category awarded three manufacturers for their work to help contractors and building owners install and run efficient systems. Cypress Envirosystems, a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor won gold for its retrofit Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat, ecobee won silver for its Energy Management System, and Jackson Systems won bronze for its Z-2000-T Zone Control Thermostat.

GOLD WINNER: Cypress Envirosystems’ Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT) retrofits to existing pneumatic thermostats without rewiring to enable zone control.


Cypress Envirosystems’ Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT) retrofits to existing pneumatic thermostats without rewiring to enable zone control. It makes each thermostat a part of an energy management system and enables them to integrate with a building management system.

Using a built-in motor to control the existing thermostat and a radio to send and receive wireless communications, the WPT allows for remote readings, diagnostics, and set point control. It features remote wireless set point control and monitoring of temperature and pressure. There are also pager/cell notifications of excursions. Installing contractors can benefit from automatic self-calibration and programmable temperature setbacks. The WPT has occupancy override and once installed, it enables demand response strategies and BACnet interface for integration with building management systems. It is compatible with existing Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Siemens, Robertshaw, and TAC pneumatic stats.

“This is a nice product to cost effectively bring older pneumatic buildings into the current era,” noted one contractor judge. “It’s electronic brains with pneumatic brawn.”

The WPT installs quickly with no intrusion on the building tenants. Components included with it are a universal wall bracket, two self-tapping mounting screws, and two CR123 batteries. Installation requires a Phillips-head screw driver, a 1/16-inch hex Allen wrench, and a 2-mm Allen wrench. Typical installation time is fewer than 20 minutes per thermostat including mounting the WPT, configuring it, and calibrating it. The battery must be replaced every two years.

SILVER WINNER: The ecobee Energy Management System delivers consistent and predictable installations resulting in less time on the jobsite.


The ecobee Energy Management System (EMS) is the company’s newest technology designed for the commercial market. It is ideal in applications where a simple programmable thermostat does not provide adequate controls and functionality and a full-scale building automation system is too complex and cost prohibitive. The EMS monitors and controls the HVAC system of a commercial facility while allowing contractors to have control over their systems through an online management portal. It is also scalable and future proof meaning that it will fit any project and will grow with any size of business.

According to ecobee, EMS delivers consistent and predictable installations resulting in less time on the jobsite. Once installed, the set-up is straight forward allowing contractors to manage an unlimited number of thermostats in multiple locations across diverse geographies. The configuration protocol allows for grouping of thermostats and multiple users with the flexibility to provide each user with varying degrees of accessibility and operating permissions.

EMS has a full color touch screen, multiple climate programming for occupancy schedules, random restart sequence, and automated economizer. Contractors can create standard operating procedures across multiple properties and contrast, compare, and audit energy consumption levels. It also has secure WiFi connectivity which provides all the benefits of Internet connection without running Cat5 wire to the thermostat.

BRONZE WINNER: The Z-2000-T from Jackson Systems is a zone control thermostat that is compatible with Jackson Systems’ Z-2000 commercial zoning system.


The Z-2000-T from Jackson Systems is a zone control thermostat that is compatible with Jackson Systems’ Z-2000, 20 zone, fully modulating, commercial zoning system and its Zone One, a stand-alone zone damper or diffuser. According to the company, the thermostat provides a perfect mix of aesthetics, intuitive operation, and performance.

Product features include selectable modulating or two-position damper control; selectable Fahrenheit or Celsius display; single set point control of heating and cooling; adjustable minimum heating damper position; adjustable minimum cooling damper position; adjustable maximum damper position; adjustable temperature calibration offset; damper override to close or open; assignable unit number, zone number, and modbus address; a locking keyboard; backlit LCD display; and real time status display of unit number, zone number, duct temperature, and damper position.

System diagnostics are simplified for contractors through status points displayed on the LCD display. Adjustable thermostat settings provide optimum temperature control performance for each specific application. The Z-2000-T wires directly to a zone actuator board that is factory installed on the side of the zone damper or diffuser. Only 18-gauge thermostat wire is required and all terminals are clearly identified for ease of wiring. The damper either receives 24 V power from a separate transformer, or when used with the Z-2000 panel, receives power from the system transformer. Setup is accomplished by entering a setup menu.


Gold Winner:
Cypress Envirosystems
Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat

Silver Winner:
The Energy Management System

Bronze Winner:
Jackson Systems LLC
Z-2000-T Zone Control Thermostat

Honorable Mention:
Honeywell International Inc.

Publication date: 07/12/2010

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