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Today it’s abundantly clear: the world is facing an urgent imperative to do everything possible to decarbonize for the future of the planet. Buildings are a logical place to start since they are responsible for ~37% of global CO2 emissions. The challenge is how to manage energy use while also ensuring buildings are healthy and productive for occupants.
In a previous blog, I shared information on how facility professionals are well-positioned to champion this issue. In this post, I take a step deeper and focus on how leveraging automation can help jumpstart your net-zero journey by reducing energy use and carbon emissions by up to 35% without sacrificing indoor air quality (IAQ) or comfort.
Modern building management systems now use the latest advances in digitally-enabled sensors, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and expert services. Let’s examine how these technologies and services can help you achieve net-zero buildings by delivering four important energy- and carbon-reduction outcomes.
Net-zero success starts with strategy
70% of your buildings’ carbon impact occurs during operation, meaning new and existing buildings have a big opportunity to minimize emissions. But with 50% of today’s buildings expected to be in operation in 2050, 85% of the global building stock must be retrofitted if we hope to meet global climate commitments. Those retrofits need to go beyond typical actions like adjusting temperature setpoints and upgrading to LED lighting to leveraging innovative solutions that help you:
- Gain visibility and make decisions based on actionable operational, energy, and carbon data
- Make buildings more competitive and adaptable while keeping occupants’ well-being top-of-mind
- Make hardworking facility teams more efficient
So, what’s the path forward?
We’ve developed a proven 3-step, 10-priority approach to accelerate your path to net zero. After setting a strategy for your decarbonization roadmap, you’ll digitize your operations by integrating technologies to measure and monitor energy and carbon through automation.
Taking action with digitization and automation
Many organizations are making net-zero progress using integrated building technologies. For example, the US-based Aspiria workplace campus has achieved annual reductions of 16% in energy consumption and 36% in emissions, with a 2-year ROI. The Origine mixed-use site in France consumes only one-sixth of the energy compared to buildings without a modern building management system (BMS).
So, how does leveraging digitization and automation help reduce energy use and carbon emissions?
- Improve building performance – A next-generation BMS will efficiently control HVAC and other systems to conserve energy and keep everything running optimally while maintaining healthy environments. . It also gives your team a unified view of all building systems to optimize operational efficiency.
- Reduce costs, save energy, and maintain comfort – Space management systems combine IoT-enabled controllers, sensors, and software to ensure energy is used for HVAC and lighting only where and when needed, based on actual occupancy. It can also help you optimize maintenance and space utilization, adapting office layouts to tenant needs.
- Improve electrical system efficiency – Integrating power management systems with your BMS provides immediate data access that helps better manage non-critical energy use. You can quickly identify abnormal patterns, validate energy and cost savings, and uncover risks to power reliability and uptime.
- Optimize operational and team efficiency – Digital tools, on-site services, and the power of AI augment facility teams with advanced technology. Leverage advanced fault detection and predictive maintenance to help prioritize improvements, reduce energy and carbon using AI-driven HVAC optimization, streamline troubleshooting, and suggest actions based on prioritized impacts.
To learn more about the actions and solutions to achieve these outcomes, download our new eGuide, “The path to net-zero buildings: Reducing energy use and carbon emissions through automation.” Our EcoStruxure Building platform and network of certified EcoXpert™ system integrator partners can support your decarbonization journey.