Published January 15, 2013
Volume 21, Number 1

Sunbelt Controls Brings Energy Efficiency to Its New Hacienda Home 
Automated Temperature, Lighting, Other Systems Take Building Control to a New Level

Sunbelt Controls’ Hacienda staff, some of whom are seen here, are experts
in building control systems. (Photo courtesy of Sunbelt Controls)

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Sunbelt Controls is settling into its new East Bay home at 4511 Willow Road after an early December move from San Leandro. The company is a leading full-service building automation contractor, working on both new construction and retrofit projects across the western United States. “We provide our customers with complete, fully integrated control solutions that manage and reduce energy consumption,” explains Vice President Michael Ridout. “Our systems automate the temperature, lighting, and other related building control systems to reduce energy while maintaining occupant comfort.”

A northern California presence for the past 18 years, Sunbelt Controls has played an important role in many high-profile projects, like U.C.S.F.’s Institute for Regeneration Medicine and the new U.C. Berkeley stadium. Its client list reads like a Who’s Who of the latest generation of technology successes: Google, Facebook, Twitter. Closer to its current home, the company has also completed major projects for Kaiser Permanente and Stoneridge Corporate Center, while providing on-going maintenance services for several other commercial properties in the Tri-Valley area.

Ridout is especially proud of the recent contract award to design and install the building automation system (BAS) for the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. Sunbelt Controls’ emphasis on the latest open protocol and its ability to seamlessly integrate components helped clinch the deal. Also instrumental in the win was a powerful demonstration of a similarly designed BAS system in another NFL stadium. Through remote monitoring, the group was impressed watching the system drill down “from a stadium overview right into the individual suite areas within seconds to determine the environmental status of the space,” Ridout relates. “We will be utilizing that same technology as well as the latest in wireless commissioning devices, energy dashboards, and mobile control flexibility for both the users and owners of the new football stadium.”

The company’s 12,000-square-foot Hacienda suite houses more than 50 full-time employees involved in engineering, operations, and sales. Two specialized interactive rooms—one for training and the other for presentations—provide a state-of-the-art backdrop that showcases sophisticated system capabilities, for example, raising a room’s window shades via smart phone. Controlling and monitoring of the building environment is migrating to the mobile device, and soon there will be no more thermostats and light switches in typical offices, Ridout predicts. “In our facility we will be demonstrating some of the most advanced offerings available today, and there are more to follow.”

From its start in Southern California in 1985 as a local controls division of a larger parent business, Sunbelt Controls has since established itself as a separate company and enjoyed a rapid growth trajectory, spurred in large part by the spreading mandate for energy efficiency. A single-point-of-contact business model, in which a highly skilled technical person is assigned to each customer  throughout the design and installation process, has also been a significant success factor. The company now has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Seattle, Texas, and Las Vegas, with two additional locations expected to open in the next two years.

For more information, visit www.sunbeltcontrols.com.

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