Globally buildings account for up to 40% of energy use. The majority of the buildings that will be in use in 2050 are already in use today.
To gain an understanding of energy use, identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint and bottom line costs, building owners and managers are now focused on building management systems (BMS) which use reporting dashboards. The integrated use of information technology with energy control systems is a potential ‘game changer’ for the building and construction sector.
The benefits of smart systems with reportable data may redefine the role of Building Managers as offering savings in administration hours which may be re-directed to other tasks or maximising the potential of the reported data to validate ROI and direct additional retro-fit activities.
Analytical data and diagnostic reports identify:-
- Inefficiencies in day-to-day building operations
- Trends in energy use
The power of data analysis within a BMS goes beyond immediate alerts and provides an understanding of the ‘why’. Through ‘real time’ identification, data analysis provides a basis for strategic budgeting, planning and the ability to monitor the effectiveness of improvements, for reducing energy and equipment costs by up to 30%. Data extracted and analysed after retro-fitting facilitates the quantification of Return on Investment (ROI), verifies the effectiveness of strategic planning & the comparison of trends against targets.
The desire for cost effective upgrades and realisation of asset potential are not the only drivers for retrofit rather than demolition. Additional considerations such as heritage listing and the health and safety issues posed by hazardous building materials such as asbestos may determine disruptive technologies to be worthwhile investments. In the future, developing disruptive building technologies will see each new building responding to energy requirements in real-time. The integrated systems will enable optimal comfort, performance and health of workers and residents by monitoring heat, movement and light throughout the building thus having the ability to direct energy only where and when it is required, maximising its potential to minimise its carbon footprint (www.multihousingnews.com).
To encourage continued interest in responsible energy management it is important to clearly communicate plans, ‘green’ building targets and the results to occupants, tenants and stakeholders.
Education, communication and a process of continual performance monitoring will steer building owners and managers toward building a resource efficient and cost effective future.
Unlocking Retro-fit Potential (AUS 2013)
Ecoversity LED Casestudy (AUS 2012)
Case for Energy Efficiency Retrofit (USA 2011)
www.c2es.org (USA 2006)
www.austrade.gov.au – green buildings
Summary of Article from:
Sustainability Matters Magazine
Vol 8, No. 4