The cloud. It means so much more today than what meteorologists refer to during their daily weather prediction faux pas. It even means more than what the cyber crowds refer to for data storage independent of your comnputing devices. Thanks to a company named Green Metric, it now means a low-cost way to manage commercial buildings and building services.

Based in Plymouth, MN, this provider of building management services has developed a system called called Maverick. It blends information technologies (IT) and HVAC controls — a Web-enabled network appliance, that provides facilities engineers HVAC control at a fraction of the cost of more traditional systems.

Maverick cloud-based BAS SystemMaverick addresses a significant industry need, said Green Metric CEO Gary McMillan. He explains that energy-management systems (EMS) and building-automation systems (BAS) are commonly used in commercial facilities to help companies manage energy use, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, lighting, alarms, and even some manufacturing processes. However, believes these systems are often underused, and can be costly when managing several different properties simultaneously.

Maverick is, according to the Green Metric website, an easy plug-and-play solution to centrally manage Maverick appliances for buildings across the globe. "Whether you have five sites or 5,000 - our solution will scale to measure energy usage, control HVAC equipment, and provide data for regulatory compliance across all your facilities. Secure cloud-based technology provides tools for critical analysis and reporting via dashboards and alerts from one location anywhere. This allows clients to fine-tune and optimize  systems to reduce energy and maintenance costs; and to avoid catastrophic downtime and costly repairs.

In a quote for an article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal last month, McMillan said, “Customers benefit by having a simple, low-cost solution with features that were traditionally only offered in the most advanced and expensive EMS and BAS systems. Now, even a company with hundreds or thousands of buildings can afford to centrally manage all their buildings.”

The article goes on to say that central management is key to Maverick’s innovative approach. Green Metric customers can securely control and manage HVAC equipment from any browser or location. Also, given its ability to change management settings for several buildings simultaneously, the product allows for fast system upgrades, a feature not always available for legacy systems.

Maverick was first rolled out in 2013 and according to McMillan, has seen solid success over the year and a great deal of interest in it during a recent trade show.

This product won a 2014 Eureka! Award from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.