Units Retrofitted with SMC Motors led to 53% HVAC Fan Energy Savings

Basin Street Properties Retrofit Seven Rooftop Units with SMC Motors And Saw Total Annualized HVAC Fan Energy Savings of 53%

Customer Story

Basin Street Properties is one of Northern California and Northern Nevada’s prominent developers, investors, and managers of commercial properties with over 4 million square feet under management. The company is committed to sustainable and resilient asset management including energy performance improvement across its portfolio.


Basin Street Properties had a specific goal to optimize HVAC system energy efficiency and make the system intelligent. The ideal HVAC solution would:

  • Remotely correlate rooftop unit (RTU) motor data with thermostat data collected by its Building Automation System (BAS)
  • Enable it to evolve from scheduled to predictive maintenance operations and dynamic maintenance scheduling
  • Feature remote monitoring and fault detection for better service quality so its facilities team could respond to HVAC issues before customers had complaints with how the system was performing

Solution: SMC Smart Motor System (the “LED of Motors”)

SMC Smart Motors feature a patented Switched Reluctance design. Industry results highlight exponential improvements against standard induction motors in performance capabilities including torque, power density, efficiency and versatility. The SMC Smart Motor System combines internet-of-things (IoT) building automation technology to help building operators, facility managers, and certified contractors create intelligent and efficient energy systems. It provides real-time visibility and actionable insights for key components of commercial and industrial buildings. The SMC motor uses electricity only when needed to perform useful work and is less expensive to own and operate than a conventional induction motor.

Implementation: Retrofitting motors

Pilot site: The Lakes, 2255 Challenger Way, Santa Rosa, CA, owned and operated by Basin Street Properties. Building square footage: 20,000
Scope: The pilot project consisted of retrofitting seven RTUs (Manufacturer: Bryant) and replacing existing 1HP fixed-speed induction motors with 1HP SMC Smart Motors
Installation Partner: Mechanical Legacy and Energy Services
Measurement & Verification (M&V) partner: Gridium, Inc.


By replacing induction motors in RTU applications with SMC Smart Motor Systems, Basin Street Properties achieved:

  • Total annualized fan energy savings of 53%
  • Power draw savings of 30% in Heat/Cool mode (1550 RPM) and 87% in Vent mode (690 RPM)
  • Monthly energy savings of 881 kWh when energy use was reduced from 1659 kWh before the project to 778 kWh after

The systems’ remote monitoring capabilities enabled SMC to detect that a motor pulley broke during the pilot and to alert maintenance teams immediately that it needed to be replaced.


  • By replacing seven motors in its RTU HVAC system, Basin Street Properties achieved total annualized fan energy savings of 53%.
  • The significant energy savings and reduced peak demand shrank the building’s carbon footprint and improved the company’s operations related to sustainability and resiliency.
  • The simple motor design and predictive maintenance capabilities made the system more reliable and resilient.
  • Equally important for a company that owns and leases office space, Basin Street Properties could better monitor and control comfort levels for the building’s occupants.

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