Are you taking advantage of data analytics in your building?

Smart Data works on the principle that the more you know about something the more you can make it work for you

Data in buildings

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.