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RII releases Best Practices Guide for integrating Controls and Automation Technologies to Enhance CEA Resource Management

By April 25, 2024No Comments

Free, downloadable report provides guidelines to improve the resource efficiency by reducing energy consumption and peak loads, as well as water consumption

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 25, 2024) — Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a not-for-profit, public-private partnership advancing climate resilience, announced today the availability of its Controls and Automation Best Practices Guide for Controlled Environment Agriculture Operations. It can be downloaded from RII’s resource catalog at this link.

“The technologies serving Controlled Environment Agriculture have advanced at an exhilarating pace over the past decade,” said Rob Eddy, Resource Efficiency Horticulturist of RII and author of the completed guide. “One of the biggest challenges for growers and their facility design partners has been understanding how to integrate all of these innovations to achieve optimal efficiency. This comprehensive new guide provides the way forward for both small and large operators, based on the experience of agricultural experts from around the globe.”

The recommendations in the guide are derived from decades of collective experience of the Controls & Automation Working Group, in combination with the most recent plant science research and engineering breakthroughs. Assembled by RII in 2023, the 28-member working group included experts from CEA operators, academics, suppliers and equipment manufacturers across the industry who convened regularly over the past 18 months to share knowledge and experiences. As a whole, the group represented every aspect of indoor cultivation, from HVAC to lighting, greenhouse and facility construction and water treatment concerns.

“The guide particularly emphasizes how necessary it is to integrate as much as possible into an environmental control system. It’s important to get everyone in the room to have these discussions,” Eddy said. “In order to optimize the impact from the available technology, it is essential to manage everything under one system as opposed to having separate controls for lighting, HVAC and other CEA components. The benefits are truly incredible.”

According to Eddy, CEA facilities are “more machine than building” – always reacting to indoor conditions and outdoor influences. Over the years, CEA operations have evolved from manual control to thermostatic control to integrated thermostats and finally microprocessor control. Each technological step has evolved CEA operations toward achieving better crop yields and quality – and most recently toward increasing resource efficiency. The goal of the Controls and Automation Best Practices Guide is to distill the workgroup’s expertise and the latest engineering and plant science breakthroughs into a single handy resource. The guide provides actionable recommendations with a goal to help improve facility resilience while maintaining profitability.

“Most operators currently working in CEA facilities will see the value in these recommendations right away, while others may find some ideas for improvements they did not previously know existed,” Eddy said. “But our broader goal for the guide is that it helps those who are designing new facilities to include these important guidelines as a foundational component of their buildings, rather than an afterthought. The bigger objective is to encourage climate reduction from the beginning of the planning process.”

The free, downloadable guide is available now from RII’s resource catalog and can be downloaded at this link.


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Elyse Greenberg at

About Resource Innovation Institute:
We advance climate resilience through accelerating resource efficiency in controlled environment agriculture

Resource Innovation Institute (RII) is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership advancing climate resilience. RII provides resource efficiency education, training and data-driven verification, in collaboration with CEA producers, researchers, governments, utilities, and the design & construction sector. Visit our website at Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.