A Smart Building Solution for Maximized School Comfort


Pendergast Elementary School District (ESD), located in west Phoenix, Arizona, set out to decrease harmful emissions, as well as lower inflating operating costs. The climate in Arizona made this a challenge, as it is estimated that every summer, Arizona will have 30 or more consecutive days of temperatures over 110 degrees.

Knowing that HVAC accounts for nearly half the energy consumption for each building, key decision makers at Pendergast ESD began to determine how Building Automation Systems can maximize the efficiency of existing systems. The new BAS had to lower energy consumption, decrease harmful emissions, and help save critical funds with every utility bill.


Solution : AspectFT

Pendergast ESD turned to a local firm for their expertise. After working to identify the needs of the district and create a budget, it was determined that AspectFT, the Building Automation Integration and Energy Control Solution from American Auto-Matrix was an ideal application, and proposed a district-wide implementation.

Utilizing various digital control sequences, the American Auto-Matrix solution controls the HVAC equipment according to weather conditions as well as tenant-specified comfort levels. Along with controlling energy management functions, AspectFT provides diagnostic information based on factors relevant to energy consumption and generates reports usable by facilities management, the governing board, and others for tracking energy usage and the operational status of the system.

The DDC system uses fully-distributed intelligence for all control functions. Individual occupancy sensors disable lighting and cooling systems when rooms are not in use, and scheduled preconditioning ensures comfort for anticipated occupancy.

The AspectFT system uses technology including iCalendar for scheduling, RSS feeds and Twitter® for reporting and alarming, as well as other everyday technologies that make it easy for staff to utilize, as well as get the information needed to ensure energy management goals are on target. Buildings are now programmable and manageable by on-site facility staff, and accessible by web-enabled devices, giving the ability to control and diagnose what is going on in each building, down to each room.



The implementation of AspectFT qualified Pendergast ESD to receive over $200,000 in energy reduction rebates from one of Arizona’s largest utility providers, APS. This rebate incentive substantially lowered the cost of implementation, and qualifies the district for continued cash-back opportunities.



761 NB-ASC(e) controllers, 90 BACnet/IP routers, 8 AspectFT-Matrix, 5 AspectFT-Nexus, 1 AspectFT-Enterprise.

  • Buildings: 130
  • Occupancy: 20,000 students & staff
  • Lighting Retrofit: 2,156 fixtures
  • Control Interface: 852
  • Occupancy Sensors: 836
  • Unitary Replacement: 46
  • Install Duration: Approx. 1 year
  • kWh Reduction: 19%

About steve