Apps for the Control of Building Systems
This is one of the more interesting categories because of its potential to do so much good in the area of energy conservation and environmental awareness. There are literally hundreds of iOS-based building and home-automation apps in the market. Far too many to mention here.
The point of this list is to make architects aware of these systems and their apps. Many architects are already aware of such systems as Creston for example. They are obviously familiar with major HVAC equipment makers like Lennox, Trane and industrial giants like Siemens, but they may not be aware of the control system apps (from these companies) available for building owners and their facility managers and operations personnel. The point of this guide isn’t to mention everything but to draw attention to these fertile market segment.
Pansonic’s popular wall-mounted AC units can be controlled by IntesisHome. The app has a very attractive UI (user-interface) that we wish other iOS control system apps could rival. (see image 01).
The Siemens Facility Prime app is a building management iPad only application that architects doing large building work should have some basic knowledge of. This app works with its big sister app Prime Editor (also in the list). (see image 02). While the Creston controls and apps can certainly handle music–as can others–we wanted to point out the Sonos app. This app is for iPhone but it will run on an iPad as well. (see image 03).
The List (15 Apps)
Here is a listing of some of the many iOS home and building automation apps available. This list is not comprehensive, not even close. But we have selected some of the bigger brand names in this market segment and some smaller ones. If you think something should be on this list and truly stands out please email us. Without further ado:
- Creston Mobile G — this app is for controlling your Creston home automation system. There is a Pro version that is 99.USD that does more but this free version does a lot. Creston is the world leader in home automation, controlling entertainment and environmental systems. (zero reviews, 3 1/2 stars) Free
- Creston Shading Solutions — this app is for architects to use when meeting with home or office owners doing projects where they are considering shading solutions. Use the app to demonstrate the entire Creston Shading Solutions available to them. (zero reviews, not rated) Free
- Home Master — this app is controls all the lights, dimmers and curtains from inside your home remotely using the Z-wave wireless communications protocol. It require use of the Z-Wave network Home Master Router. (zero reviews, not rated) Free
- IntesisHome — this app is an anytime, anywhere controller for your Panasonic air conditioning system letting you control the AC unit and visualize controls on the unit, mode, fan speed and temperature settings. Has an attractive UI. (zero reviews, not rated) Free
- iRidiumHD — this app is for turning any iDevice into a reliable touch panel for controlling your home, office or yaht systems. It integrates into AMX, KNX, Modbus and numerous others for control systems from lighting, AV, HVAC and more. (7 reviews, not rated) Free
- IKON Server — this app lets you control your building automation system based on the KNX protocol. It talks directly to your IKON Server by Domotica Labs. With it you can control lighting, irrigation, HVAC, energy management, AV systems and more. (zero reviews, not rated) Free
- Lennox icomfort — this app is another anytime, anywhere control app for your home’s thermostat system. It works with the Lennox icomfort WiFi thermostat. It will allow you to change not just temperatures, select settings, and put the system into energy saving mode, it will also let you set the system to heat or to cool. (10 reviews, not rated) Free
- Lutron Home Control+ — app by electronics leader Lutron requires a Lutron total home control system such as HomeWorks QS or HomeWorks Illumination. With it you can control your Lutron system remotely, including editing clock events and more. (49 reviews, 3 stars) 19.99.USD
- Nest Mobile — this app works in conjunction with your innovative Nest learning thermostat. Use this app to change the Nest’s temperature, view and edit the schedule remotely, find out if you are saving energy and more. (498 reviews, 4 stars) Free
- Siemens EcoView — this app is for use with the Siemens EcoView EMS System and you must have a valid EcoView web account to access and use the app. With it you can view building sites, command thermostats and lights, send messages to sites, view alerts, alarms and energy use and history. (2 reviews, 5 stars) Free
- Siemens Facility Prime — this app from global technology leader Siemens is for interaction with the APOGEE Building Automation Systems (BAS). Facility Prime is a blank framework when downloaded and utilizes customized screens created in Facility Prime Editor (below). After configuration and setup use this app to enable mobile and quick interaction of the command environment for environmental building conditions and HVAC control systems through the BAS. (zero reviews, not rated) 149.99.USD.
- Siemens Facility Prime Editor — this app provides all the features of the Facility Prime application listed above as well as the ability to create/modify graphics to exact user needs. (zero reviews, not rated) 499.99.USD
- Sonos — this app integrates with the Sonos Wireless HiFi System and delivers all the music on earth, in every room, says the maker. Stream music to every room from over 100k internet radio stations, plus support for your iTunes Library, Rhapsody and more. (628 reviews, 3 1/2 stars) Free
- Nexia Home Intelligence — this app is for the iPhone but will run on iPad too. Made by the Schlage Lock Company, the app is a total home automation system controller that also does security, sensors and door and window locks–presumably Schlage locks. (59 reviews, 3 stars) Free
- Total Connect Comfort — this app by Honeywell is another anytime, anywhere remote access control to your home’s environmental systems using Honeywell’s Wi-Fi thermostats with the Prestige, Prestige IAQ, Wireless FocusPRO and EConnect Comfort Systems. (1,168 reviews, 4 1/2 stars)
The Gem in this Group
Certainly the highest rated app and reviewed product in this group selected is Honeywell’s Total Connect Comfort. The app features many capabilities and works with Honeywell’s popular WiFi-thermostats and other systems. We like its 5-day weather forecast feature, outdoor temperature option with that optional sensor and its ability to control multiple sites.
The system can also control humidity control systems for those Honeywell systems that support that feature, as well as view and control alerts. Scheduling is coming to this app in future upgrades.
next page: Apps Architects Enjoy — (2 Apr published)
series index page: Ultimate iPad Guide: Apps for Architects