In the US, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has announced its partnership with IBM to pilot its new cloud-based analytics system in nine campus buildings in a bid to reduce energy and facility operating costs.
IBM's Building Management Center technology is delivered via the IBM SoftLayer cloud and is prebuilt and offered as a service. The system is used to monitor thousands of data points from building automation and control systems.
The IBM system is also able to "diagnose" energy management problems and "proactively trigger corrective actions".
Donald Coffelt, associate vice president for Carnegie Mellon University’s Facilities Management Services, said: “On its own, the deployment of this technology will drive significant energy and operational savings with a very attractive return on investment.
"Just as important, improved building performance enhances the occupant experience and provides a much more effective education and research environment."
The new technology will focus on systems and later will extend to lighting, water and other utilities. The analytics system is expected to save approximately 10% on utilities, adding up to nearly US$2 million annually, once deployed in all 36 buildings of CMU's Pittsburgh campus.
Maximisng data potential
IBM states that while building facilities such as elevators, HVAC, lighting and alarms provide a constant stream of data across building networks, organisations often do not use aggregated data to monitor overall building performance, identify trends in building use or improve customer satisfaction.
Wayne Balta, vice president of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM, commented: "Just as Smarter Cities are using data and analytics to improve diverse aspects of their operations, CMU will harness data and analytics delivered via cloud computing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of building management across campus."
IBM's cloud-based analytics system supports CMU's Smarter Buildings Initiative and "offers important gains in initiatives related to advanced infrastructure systems research, the Pittsburgh 2030 initiative and a more proactive building and infrastructure management model", says Coffelt.
The software features a dashboard that can be tailored to perform specific tasks and alerts. The dashboard provides graphs and energy consumption levels for data gathering and analysis in real-time.
Michael Dixon, general manager, IBM Smarter Cities concluded: "This is the newest in a series of cloud-based Smarter Cities management centers including transportation, water and emergency management designed to help organizations quickly begin using their own data for new insight and improved decision making.
"The Building Management Center is designed for both public and private sector buildings and campuses of all sizes. It delivers a new level of understanding of building assets and energy usage with unprecedented flexibility."