Specifier Review
L.L Bean - BEMS

Trend is the perfect fit for L.L.Bean

Controlling energy use and maintaining comfort conditions across a multi-site organisation relies upon a building energy management system (BEMS) that can produce accurate information in real time. It’s why leading US based clothing and outdoor recreation equipment specialist, L.L.Bean, benefits from a long-term partnership with Trend Control Systems.

A true pioneer in the provision and popularity of clothing and equipment designed for use in the great outdoors, L.L.Bean has been delivering classic styles and expert advice for over 100 years. In 1912 Leon Leonwood Bean started up the company in Freeport, Maine, and from these humble beginnings the company has grown to a global organisation with annual sales of $1.6bn.

Building blocks

The company’s 200,000ft2 flagship store is located on the original site where Leonwood Bean opened his first shop and today the store draws close to three million visitors each year. The seven-acre retail campus is also home to L.L.Bean’s Hunting & Fishing Store, Bike, Boat & Ski Store, and Home Store. The company also has 27 retail stores outside of Maine, as well as 10 outlets.

In addition to its retail sites, L.L.Bean’s US operation comprises a number of office buildings, call centres, manufacturing and distribution sites, and a data centre. Tom Leslie, heating, ventilation and air conditioning supervisor at L.L.Bean, comments,

‘With multiple locations it’s important to be able to monitor, manage and reduce energy use and ensure that each building is operating optimally, while keeping customers, staff and visitors comfortable. We have worked closely with FMC Technologies for over 15 years to install and maintain our BEMS infrastructure, with a goal of reduced energy use.’

Dave Snowdon, engineering manager and vice president at FMC Technologies, takes up the story and says,

‘We implement technology that reduces operating expenses, increases productivity and provides a safe, comfortable working environment. Our longstanding relationship with L.L.Bean began when we were asked to integrate third party building control devices with Trend BEMS technology in the company’s data centre, and since then we have rolled out Trend equipment across 25 locations.’

Up to date

Having visibility into energy use in real time is vital to Tom Leslie and his team. To meet this requirement L.L.Bean’s BEMS is configured around Trend’s pioneering IQ®VISION, which integrates Trend controllers, third party smart devices and internet protocols into a centralised software platform that offers the ability to highlight and investigate energy use.

‘IQ®VISION takes energy management to a whole new level and its features not only reduce the amount of money end users spend on energy but also gives them a level of control and fine detail that was previously considered out of reach,’ states Pete Roberts, global business development manager at Trend. ‘With no limit on the number of concurrent users, every authorised person is allowed access to their area’s environmental controls and they can have their own tailored graphics with read or write access as desired. This is great for installations of IQ®VISION on extensive estates or for customers with an ever growing portfolio of sites, such as L.L.Bean.’

On a need to know basis

In order to fully exploit the benefits of open protocols, each building also has a Trend Open Network Node – TONN8 – installed, which interfaces directly with the centralised IQ®VISION. Information from each TONN8 is configured to show users the information they need in real time and, just as importantly, enables L.L.Bean’s in-house technicians to troubleshoot and fix issues quickly and easily.

The L.L.Bean estate has a diverse range of Trend controllers installed, ranging from IQ®2 and IQ®3 devices right through to the latest IQ®4, IQ®4NC and IQ®ECO products. Pete Roberts says, ‘Communication between these older controllers and the newer ones is made possible due to Trend’s commitment to backwards compatibility, meaning that integrating new products into the existing BEMS can be carried out quickly and easily, with minimal cost and disruption.’

The next stage in the evolution of L.L.Bean’s BEMS is to migrate its IQ®VISION to version 2.2. This update includes extended controller support, faster device discovery and reliability. It will be installed on a virtual server, so alarms can be sent via email and/or SMS to L.L.Bean’s technicians on a regional basis, who can then perform reactive or proactive maintenance across the entire business – even from remote locations. It also simplifies the engineering and operation of the BEMS by widening the technical scope of the tasks it performs. As such it will be used to implement a strategy that will shed unessential load during peak energy cost times, resulting in significant savings.

So far, so good

The longevity of the relationship between L.L.Bean, FMC Technologies and Trend highlights how a mutual commitment to excellence can pay dividends. L.L.Bean’s Tom Leslie concludes,

‘Our mission to reduce energy expenditure and carbon emissions, along with our determination to enhance occupant wellbeing, has yielded great results. I look forward to continuing to work with both these valued partners and discovering new ways to maximise the value of our BEMS’.

For further information please call Trend’s marketing department on 01403 211888 or email marketing@trendcontrols.com