How to save up to 30% on your building costs

One of the services that Active Utilities offers is assistingmulti-tenant residential and commercial Strata Managers to reduce costs, which benefits tenants in strata fees as well as in increased long-term value of buildings.  A simple way to do this is through the upgrading of BMS and EMS systems.

As a minimum, a well-designed building management system with an integrated EMS could help deliver energy savings of up to 20% or 30%.

The introduction of greener building initiatives such as Green Star and NABERS ratings around a decade ago served as the catalyst for the design and implementation of Building Management Systems (BMS) and a little later came an influx of Energy Monitoring Systems (EMS).

Since then, technological improvements with the capacity to manipulate larger volumes of data effectively offer the capacity to make long term, meaningful changes in the way buildings are managed. We are now able to reduce a building’s energy usage and associated costs in a sustainable manner – enhancing overall the value of the building.

As a minimum, a well-designed building management system with an integrated EMS could help deliver energy savings of up to 20% to 30%.

“Customers are often surprised as to the significant savings that can be achieved by something as simple as upgrading EMS and BMS Systems”, said Active Utilities Solutions & Delivery Manager, Andrew McMeekin.

“One challenge that we see at times are building systems such as EMS, BMS, lighting, security etc operating as stand-alone systems, with “silos” of information. These silos result in a lack of consolidated insight into how buildings can operate at peak efficiency”, said Andrew.

For example, if a building is unoccupied, the HVAC system is scheduled on and the lighting is on, we cannot observe the inter-operation of systems without sharing information. The result is wasted energy and no data to provide management insight.

BMS systems are not always on the lookout for problems or inefficient operation and when control problems begin to appear they can present as high energy cost.  Troubleshooting is also more difficult when the data lacks context.   EMS systems provide further insight, and therefore combining both EMS and BMS systems into the one platform allows for brings together a consolidated view of a building’s inefficiencies.

The effect of poor visibility or siloed systems can challenge the buildings economics and can manifest in a number of ways including:

  • Increased operating expenses
  • Increased utility costs
  • Increased maintenance costs
  • Poor comfort conditions causing decreased productivity
  • Building asset/Investment is not reaching full potential

It is a mis-conception that retrofitting is complex and expensive.  At Active, we have found that in many buildings with multiple utilities billed, and often some in place that aren’t, an operator move can deliver additional opportunities for BMS consolidation, often at little or no additional cost.

Sharing data removes the blindfold and creates visibility and context, enabling a continuous feedback loop for building managers not previously possible. Where systems need to be added, retrofitting of some sub-metering along with the networking of the other services, apartment level depth across all services can be brought into the data collection.

As a National Sponsor of the Strata Community Association it was fantastic to take part in this year’s National SCA
Conference in Adelaide, getting to meet so many members and give away some great local 36 Short Gin!
(L to R) Liza Perera, Anthony Street, Ben Beck, Jade Kyling, Paul Henning, Jon Lioulios, Angela Fleming

With the right information such as real time alerts and detailed consumption data your building should get cheaper to run.

Active Utilities assists clients in interpreting this information in order to identify inefficiencies and to identify further efficiencies for the building. With correct planning and the adoption of smart centrally-connected infrastructure, building managers have the ability to make informed decisions in the future.

It is a misconception that retrofitting is complex and expensive, in existing buildings, the combining of the two where they co-exist can be quite straightforward.  At Active we have found that in many buildings where multiple utilities are billed, and often some in places that aren’t, an operator can deliver additional opportunities for BMS consolidation, often at little or no additional cost”, said Andrew.

Many existing building networks operate with utility billing being one element and building management being another entirely. In buildings with centralised services such as hot water and air-conditioning, but grid connected electricity, the same opportunities for data collection exist. With the right information such as real time alerts and detailed consumption data your building should become significantly cheaper to run.

Residents benefit as well, with the potential for data across their utilities being available to customers allowing insights that enable them to manage consumption and the cost of their own services.

If you think a review would be worthwhile for your system don’t hesitate to reach out to sales@activeutilities.com.au.

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