Serious Materials goes from drywall to software

Serious Materials, which makes energy-efficient building materials, branches into energy management software for commercial buildings, an increasingly crowded area.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica

If you're supplying eco-materials for a commercial building, why not include some software to see how well it performs?

Serious Materials on Monday introduced a hosted software application that monitors and analyzes a commercial building's energy usage. By analyzing historical data and forecasting energy consumption, the software helps building managers find ways to use less energy and save money, according to Serious Materials.

Serious Materials

The launch of the application, called SeriousEnergy Manager, is a step into a new area for Serious Materials, which makes energy-efficient windows and drywall with low embedded energy.

"With 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. alone, there is a huge opportunity to save money today. Our customers need the ability to manage, analyze, and maintain real energy savings on an ongoing basis," said CEO Kevin Surace in a statement. Surace worked at Silicon Valley software companies before working at Serious Materials.

The move also pits Serious Materials against a growing number of companies offering some form of commercial building energy management, including tools from building automation companies.

Serious Materials said that its software differs from many other products in that it focuses on energy monitoring and optimization. It predicts that companies can save on average between 5 percent and 15 percent on energy and have a return on investment in under two years. One customer was able to cut energy use by 18 percent using the software.