Smart Cites need Smart Buildings.
Building management teams are currently facing the daunting task of modernizing the way their buildings interact with energy. While green building was spotlighted at last week’s COP21 as a crucial component of climate smart cities, most buildings today were not designed from the ground-up for energy conservation. Demanding up to 75% of a city’s total energy capacity, commercial real estate (CRE) is in dire need of a cost effective way to monitor and manage energy expenditures such as water, electricity, steam, gas, and heat.
Energy Management Software (EMS) is designed to address these challenges, and many see 2015 as the year that EMS solutions fundamentally disrupted the CRE industry. A series of recent studies of the building management sector revealed that property managers and building teams are acknowledging the financial and environmental benefits of CRETech services like EMS. EMS provides property managers with an easy-to-use and adaptable platform of “big data” analytics that turn energy optimization metrics into simple, cost effective initiatives. Prior to the advent of EMS, Building Management/Automation Systems (BMS/BAS) were developed to control energy excesses. However, BMS requires cost-intensive retrofits and invasive installations, discouraging many building teams from making the adjustments needed to reduce costs and emissions.
EMS vs. BMS
As CRETech services and applications begin to redefine building operations, there remains widespread confusion around how EMS can best be leveraged to minimize energy use and maximize cost savings. As a result, many building professionals are missing out on opportunities to diminish their energy footprints. The nucleus of this issue revolves around the fact that these professionals do not understand the fundamental differences between EMS and BMS/BAS.
In short, BMS/ BAS automate the control of resources like heat pumps, lighting systems, and HVAC boxes, which simplifies the jobs of chief engineers and building operators. However, BMS/ BAS can often be cost prohibitive and lack the analytic insights that continually guide a property manager’s decisions. This gap in the market is the sweet spot for Energy Management Software (EMS). EMS has managed to scale down installation in regards to cost and equipment, while delivering increasing savings and energy efficiency, working either standalone or in tandem with a BAS/BAS in order to optimize its operations. On top of multi-utility monitoring, EMS benchmarks energy use with other nearby buildings and tracks weather changes to project expected future facility behavior, identify savings opportunities and reduce the risk of energy expense overruns. In this way, EMS entirely recalibrates and streamlines a building’s energy use without necessitating any invasive installations. Using EMS, building teams save time and increase property asset value.
Different Buildings, Different Needs.
While EMS can function as an overlay on pre-existing BMS/ BAS systems, it can also work alone. In fact, EMS is a cost-effective way of initiating positive changes in organization, cost reduction, and optimization for buildings with any variety of goals or needs. In this age of responsible building practices, EMS is the most accessible way to bring a property into the future.
As the world moves towards smarter buildings and smarter cities, building teams will increasingly need the data, analytics, and recommendations that can maximize property potential and minimize environmental impact. EMS provides all of these tools and does so without stretching utility budgets. Whether it is issued as a standalone initiative or implemented alongside BMS, EMS is a simple, cost-effective method to modernize building energy usage and to improve urban environment conditions.
Smart Cites need Smart Buildings. Guest Post Jon Moeller.