Heightened climate awareness is increasing the urgency to reduce our impact on the environment, and the building sector is no exception. My last post referred to the pathway to energy efficiency and building decarbonization. This time, I would like to focus on commercial real estate and how digitalization can help our offices become more sustainable.
Today’s myriad of facts and figures clarifies why the sector needs to sharpen its environmental performance focus. According to the World Economic Forum, the real estate sector uses more energy than any other sector and is a growing contributor to CO2 emissions. Figures suggest it consumes 40 percent of global energy annually, while 20% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originate from buildings. Emissions growth can be mitigated by increased attention to improving the efficiency of buildings and industrial operations.
Visibility through digitization
Achieving these reduced carbon emissions requires an effective digitization strategy. With digital innovation, the invisible becomes visible to eliminate waste and drive efficiency. Digital technology such as metering and monitoring, coupled with smart devices and analytic software, enables us to see more precisely how we use our energy. It enables us to deploy smart energy more efficiently, meaning we can address the untapped potential for savings.
To efficiently digitize operations, you must follow several steps that supply the base to deliver effective results – collecting and analyzing the data to identify energy-saving opportunities using predictive analytics. It all starts with obtaining the information. You’re one step ahead if you already have reliable data access. If not, deploying a solution to harvest accurate energy and sustainability metrics should be a top priority.
The value of building management systems
With our EcoStruxure platform, you can create a digitally connected building with full 24/7 support, from air conditioning, heating, ventilating, lighting, and access control to control devices: valves, actuators, sensors, and meters to energy management and building operating systems. In addition, an open and secure building management system (BMS), such as EcoStruxure Building Operation, integrates multiple systems for centralized, real-time control and management across one-to-many enterprise buildings and can help you understand and monitor your facility’s energy usage.
Remember, an obsolete BMS makes it nearly impossible to achieve your sustainability targets. It can limit overall functionality from cyberattacks that disrupt your building’s daily operations to greater possibilities of downtime and increased maintenance costs. If you want to know how to modernize your BMS watch this video and read more details in our eGuide.
The importance of a digitally connected building
In a digital building, everything connects to provide a valuable data pool to gain required operational insights. Collecting this data is critical, but what you do with that data will determine your building optimization success.
So how do you ensure that the data is analyzed to deliver these insights? The answer is taking advantage of a platform that combines best-in-class operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) solutions. EcoStruxure Building Advisor unlocks your building’s performance to remotely and proactively maintain your facilities. With its key operation insights, you can reduce energy use, unscheduled maintenance, and extend the life of your assets to save time and money. It is a cloud-based suite of analytics and monitoring services that provide key insights into the building operations by constantly monitoring systems and identifying faults to proactively address building inefficiencies. It delivers a comprehensive view of building systems, as well as the identification of faults and inefficiencies to make data-driven decisions.
Using AI algorithms and analytics further allows you to understand the building’s energy use and help transition from a reactive operating model to a more effective preventive mindset.
Because modern commercial real estate is a complex and highly demanding operation, the power management system is crucial to ensure power distribution reliability and optimize the staff operations. EcoStruxure Power Advisor, a key component of EcoStruxure Service Plan Power Management, is a tailored connected service designed to take care of power management and distribution systems. It combines the power of our advanced EcoStruxure analytics platform with remote consultancy, support, and on-site maintenance. It optimizes the power monitoring system’s health so that data can be trusted to provide valuable insights to improve power reliability and quality. The dedicated remote experts use advanced analytic tools to help solve issues before they become more serious and impact the bottom line.
EcoStruxure Asset Advisor evaluates live data from connected critical assets and uses advanced analytics to deliver a proactive approach to the equipment in any building. It combines IoT and cloud-based technologies with Schneider Electric’s remote experts to anticipate and address issues before they become critical incidents. Doing this can help operators mitigate safety risks, avoid unplanned downtime, reduce operational losses, and eliminate expensive maintenance interventions.
It’s not all about the technology
Once an organization understands where it is and where it wants to go, the essential next step is using solutions to help achieve its goals. These solutions are not just about the technology but also the human resources to deploy, interrogate, and act from the insights provided. We need to offer operators the ability to look beyond AI, algorithms, and analytics to gain vital intelligence that can lead to actions. You need an expert to help you drive continuous efficiency and sustainability performance, and you need digital services.
For digital services to be of value, they must ensure the sensor data is gathered, stored, managed, optimized, safeguarded, and monetized in the cloud and analyzed by a dedicated person. Often operators do not have the required skill set to understand and use the full potential of AI capabilities. That is when access to digital experts that can monitor the buildings 24/7 comes into play.
Our Connected Service Hub can be a good example of how to predict the building operating parameters and fully optimize them. These remote experts use their domain expertise to troubleshoot and analyze the performance of your critical and non-critical assets and building and power management systems. By working together, operators can ensure that they maximize the potential of their real estate most efficiently and sustainably.
Continuous system and equipment monitoring are important to optimize performance and realize a good return on investments. With regular reports or consulting with digital experts, you can lower maintenance costs, increase reliability, and produce savings to reinvest in future growth and optimization of the building.