RYSE and the Annex Hotel

RYSE and the Annex Hotel


BACnet, Wireless Mesh Network, Wireless sensors (IEQ and occupancy), Thermistors, motorized roller shades
RYSE SmartShade, Reliable Controls thermostat (smart sensor EPB), Reliable Controls MACH-ProSys - Controller, ERV/HRV, fan coil unit
SpacrSense-IEQ, SpacrSense-Occupancy, SpacrNode-I/O, SpacrBAS, SpacrApp
RYSE partnered with Argentum to provide a solution to the Annex Hotel
Annex Hotel
Toronto, Ontario
June 2022
CapEx: roughly 50%, OpEx: roughly 25% projected savings
RYSE and the Annex Hotel


Argentum's partner on this project, RYSE, converts the typical shades in a home or building into smart shades, enabling their clients to conveniently control their shades with their voice, save energy by automating shades to lower on hot days, and more. Argentum and RYSE teamed up to provide a solution for the Annex Hotel, a trendy hotel in the heart of Toronto, Ontario.
  • RYSE is an innovative company that's proud of their new evolution of motorized roller shades: RYSE SmartShades was launched in 2021.
  • The Annex Hotel was founded in 2018, with a mission to provide an authentic city experience to guests, and make them feel at home while visiting Toronto.
  • RYSE has worked with Argentum on other projects as well.
"[The Annex Hotel has] taken a so-called 'high-tech, low-touch' approach to hotel management to the extent where they are able to efficiently run their hotel with an average of just 1.5 staff for 24 rooms." - Operto

RYSE and the Annex Hotel


The Annex Hotel wanted to quickly motorize and automate their existing roller shades based on room temperature in order to improve the energy efficiency of their building's HVAC system. Specifically, they wanted to motorize and automate their roller shades to reduce the effects of "solar heat gain". Solar heat gain occurs when the heat from the sun emanates through windows or doorways, making a room warmer. This can make HVAC systems work harder to keep rooms cool in the summer months. In colder months, solar heat gain can actually be beneficial to HVAC systems because, if shades are open, heat from the sun can help HVAC systems to heat up a space. Whether in the warmer or colder months, this is where the automated, motorized roller shades of RYSE, and Argentum's temperature sensors come in. We'll explain further how these technologies work to improve the efficiency of HVAC systems at the Annex Hotel in the next section.

Additionally, in order to create the automations, monitor sensor data, and view actionable insights generated from the data, the Annex Hotel needed a comprehensive cloud app that could communicate with their BACnet systems (such as their HVAC).


In collaboration with RYSE, the team at Argentum first decided to support the automation of RYSE's motorized roller shades with sensors. For this project, Argentum implemented thermistors (temperature sensors), as well as indoor environmental quality (IEQ) sensors. IEQ sensors monitor for all the parameters that impact the quality of a building's indoor environment, and how these factors impact the occupants of a space. The sensors that Argentum implemented are wireless, and involve a simple peel-and-stick installation. In order to collect data, the sensors are wirelessly connected to the Argentum SpacrNodes (part of the SpacrGrid), which create a wireless mesh network that is BACnet compatible. This wireless mesh network is able to communicate with BACnet systems because of Argentum's SpacrBAS product, which you can read more about on Argentum's product page for it.

Argentum's Digital Twin software and interactive cloud app, SpacrApp, is also connected to the wireless mesh network (created by the SpacrNodes). This app collects sensor data, visualizes trends in the data, and generates actionable insights based on sensor data. An example of an actionable insight could be: "The east side of your building is generally warmer before 11am, would you like to automate your roller shades to open after 11am?"

The combination of these wireless sensors, SpacrNodes, and SpacrApp, enables the motorized roller shades to support the Annex Hotel's HVAC systems, and make it more efficient.

The technology, and Argentum and RYSE products we used to achieve the Annex Hotel's results include:
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It was essential that Argentum's products not only connect to each other, and RYSE's motorized roller shades, but also to the Annex Hotel's native HVAC system and thermostats. This is where Argentum's SpacrBAS (Building Automation System) came in. SpacrBAS can be thought of as a language bridge that connects BACnet systems (such as the Annex Hotel's HVAC) to non-BACnet devices (such as RYSE's motorized roller shades).

Devices connected to the Argentum system:
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By integrating these devices with Argentum technology and products, we enabled the client of RYSE (the Annex Hotel) to monitor, control and automate their HVAC systems based on real-time IEQ sensor data. Ultimately, this allows the Annex Hotel to optimize energy consumption, as well as improve the comfort of their guests.

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We automated motorized roller shades based on room temperatures and time of day to save energy.

Data collected from indoor environmental quality (IEQ) sensors allow the Annex Hotel to control their motorized roller shades based on room temperatures and time of day. This helps to ensure the comfort of guests, and reduces the negative effects of solar heat gain. Research indicates that as much as 50% of the heat your home generates is lost through windows, so automated, motorized roller shades can make a big difference.

BACnet connection to roller shades and HVAC.

By enabling the technology of Argentum and RYSE to communicate with BACnet through Argentum's SpacrBAS, the Annex Hotel's HVAC system can be monitored and controlled via a cloud app. This cloud app also involves Argentum's digital twin software, and is called SpacrApp.

Financial Results

50% Capital Expenditure Savings
  • Implementing Argentum's wireless and programmable system with radio frequency (RF) links, eliminated the cost of wires that would've been necessary with a wired solution.
  • Enabling a cloud BACnet connection (as opposed to a traditional BACnet connection) additionally saves on wiring.
25% Savings on Operational Costs
  • This project was recently deployed, but is projected to save about 25% of the energy consumed by the Annex Hotel's HVAC system. This projection is based on typical energy savings gleaned from automating motorized roller shades to reduce solar heat gain.

RYSE and the Annex Hotel
All in all, we implemented a solution that:
  • Reduces solar heat gain
  • Was more cost effective to install than the alternative (a wired solution)
  • Did not require the Annex Hotel to purchase or install new shades, RYSE was able to automate and motorize the Annex Hotel's existing shades.
  • Shades and the HVAC system are now able to be monitored, controlled and automated via a cloud-based app (with integrated digital twin software) from anywhere with a connection to the internet.
It's projected that the client of RYSE (the Annex Hotel), will save 25% of energy consumed by their HVAC system going forward due to the implementation of this system. Additionally, this system will help to ensure the comfort of their guests.

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