Archive for May, 2018

Game changer in tenant billing

Posted on: May 31st, 2018 by Tom No Comments

Check out our latest feature in HVR magazine where Matt Gardner, Business Development Manager at Synapsys Solutions, explains how the Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations 2014 opened up the door for automated billing and energy apportionment and how these can both be hugely beneficial in achieving energy savings in the heating and ventilation sector.

“The introduction of mandatory metering in commercial buildings is perhaps one of the biggest game changers in tenant billing that we have seen for a long time as they provide a means for people to make better informed decisions about improving energy efficiency and lowering expenditure”.

You can read the full article here

Learn more about our own tenant billing solution or take a look at our Tenant Billing CPD

Are you taking advantage of data analytics in your building?

Posted on: May 31st, 2018 by Tom No Comments

As we discussed in our previous blog, Smart Data works on the principle that the more you know about something the more you can make it work for you. Smart Data is actionable data with a clear focus which can be used to facilitate change, address business challenges and play a pivotal role in meeting the Europe 2020 plan.

Smart Data also enables building owners and managers to make informed decisions and reliably make predictions about a building to ensure it works more efficiently for the future.

So, how do we put Smart Data to practical use in the commercial built environment? Building performance optimisation is a two-part process which uses simple, data analytics to achieve optimal occupant comfort within a building with the minimum energy used.

Data analytics are increasingly being used to optimise energy usage in commercial buildings to extract the full potential of information available from Building Management Systems (BMS) to achieve reductions.

A BMS provides excellent 24/7 control of a building but is not designed to analyse the data or deal with historical data. What’s more, acquiring data from a BMS system can be problematic as there are a number of different types of BMS operating on different platforms and while the collection of data can be a complex operation as some BMS operate on platforms which are not very robust.

As buildings change over time, the long term efficiency of a building relies on the constant adjustment to the controls strategy, so a BMS is only the start of the journey…

The first step of the building performance optimisation process is to ensure that all of the data is in one place (the BMS) by integrating the building systems such as HVAC and lighting with the information which is available from on-site meters.

With all of the data feeding through the BMS, the next step is to acquire and export the data. By using a solution such as our SIPd, this offers simple, fast data acquisition to improve building performance as it reads hundreds of points from on-site meters around a building or estate at 15-30 minute intervals. This includes measurement points for gas, electricity, humidity and temperature sensors, power usage meters and biomass etc.

Once the data has been exported to a data analytics partner, detailed analysis allows the building owner or manager to identify patterns and trends in energy consumption and unlock potential savings. The quantity of data gathered gives plenty of scope for meaningful analysis, allowing even the smallest fluctuations in building efficiency to be monitored, identified and adjusted.

Minor improvements can result in lower running costs, but over the longer term is where substantial savings can be achieved. This is because the BMS is used by data analytics providers to determine control strategies for improved efficiency and energy savings. These optimised control strategies can then be fed back into the building’s BMS automatically and form the basis for the controls strategy going forward.

There are endless opportunities to improve efficiency and performance in your building as data analysis can pinpoint underperforming plant and predict equipment failures, both of which save precious time and additional maintenance costs.

The ongoing process of monitoring and adjustments also means that the control strategy constantly adapts to the changing conditions of the building through-out the year ensuring optimum efficiency is achieved at all times.

Data acquisition and ongoing analysis is critical to ensuring your building operates at maximum efficiency. But of equal importance, is using the data to encourage behavior change of building occupants.

By harnessing Smart Data and using constant two-way communication between the BMS and an external data analytics partner, visual reminders such as an energy dashboard can be introduced to building occupants.

Access to real-time data via an energy dashboard for example, provides the catalyst for behavioural change. This is often the motivation needed for occupants to take ownership of their energy usage and remember to close a window or turn a light off when they exit a room.

By continually analysing and interpreting Smart Data, you can ensure information is visible. This is when real change happens to deliver optimum energy efficiency and savings in your building.

Perhaps it’s time you took Smart steps to unlock potential savings in your building? Find out more with our CPD guide to data acquisition or e-mail us to discuss your requirements.

Do you prefer quality over quantity?

Posted on: May 29th, 2018 by Tom No Comments

Tackling the lifetime energy costs of your commercial building must be high on the agenda for any savvy building owner or manager given the Europe 2020 plan.

But knowing where to begin is often the first dilemma and that’s why it’s critical to have an effective energy savings strategy in place. BS EN 15232: Energy Performance of Buildings – Impact of Building Automaton, Control and Building Management is an ideal starting point as the standard provides detailed methods to assess the impact of building controls on the energy performance of a given building.

A popular belief is that by having a Building Management System (BMS) in your building, it is easy to meet energy efficiency targets. A well designed and commissioned BMS provides excellent 24/7 control of a building as well as an abundance of data from various sources so in theory it should be straight-forward…

But a building changes over time, it is not uncommon for the layout to change or the need to accommodate different occupancy patterns. The same applies if set points aren’t updated or data isn’t acted upon.

Furthermore, it is quite common to find that individual pieces of building services plant (such as the boiler and air conditioning plant) each has its own set of controls which are connected to the BMS. If they weren’t commissioned to operate together, even if they are being centrally operated by the BMS, then the BMS will not operate at optimum efficiency and crucial savings will be missed.

Therefore, the question we must ask ourselves is what information do we need to collect from our BMS and what should we do with that data in order to make meaningful changes to a building?

Over the past few years, we have become accustomed to using the phrase Big Data. The general opinion being that the more information we were able to collect the better. However, in doing so, the real point of collecting the data was often overlooked with opportunities being missed to reduce energy and costs…

Think about your digital footprint for a moment, such as making transactions on your tablet, or using GPS on your mobile phone to navigate your way to a meeting. This is Big Data and it simply consists of a long list of numbers which have been collected over time. However, those numbers cannot be used to facilitate change since they make no real sense…

But in relating the term to the commercial environment and the need to reduce our energy usage, collecting huge amounts of Big Data is not necessarily useful, practical or in many cases even possible.

The goal for us all is to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings and to achieve this, we must think Smart. We do this by targeting salient points from a mass of Big Data to facilitate change.

By taking Big Data and converting it into Smart Data, through analysis and interpretation of the same long list of numbers, the data can be used to pinpoint peaks and troughs in energy usage, such as the number of empty meeting rooms with lights left on after 5pm or knowing how many staff are using a particular floor.

The beauty of Smart Data is that it enables building owners and managers to make informed decisions and reliable predictions over the long-term. Smart Data is key to your energy saving strategy as the data becomes actionable with a clear focus. Ultimately, this can be used to facilitate change and bring visible results.

There are endless opportunities to improve efficiency and performance in your building. Typically, 40% of a commercial building’s energy spend is on HVAC of which approximately 20% could be easily saved. This could result in substantial savings and this is why it’s crucial to put data to practical use and address ongoing business challenges.

Perhaps it’s time you took the smart approach to energy savings? Find out more with our CPD guide to data acquisition or e-mail us to discuss your requirements.

Visit our new E-Learning portal

Posted on: May 23rd, 2018 by Tom No Comments

We are pleased to announce our new E-Learning portal is now live complete with our CPD’s, FAQ’s and glossary sections.

You will also find fact sheets and information guides available for download and our webcasts, webinars and training sections will be following shortly.

The materials available will be updated and added to regularly keeping you up to date with the latest information and resources from Synapsys.

Take a look and let us know what you think