Smart Building Controls
The client is a major high street bank with a portfolio of office buildings and data centres alongside its branch network.
We have worked with the client since 2012 providing a comprehensive, outsourced energy and environmental management service, including bill validation, treasury, staff engagement, monitoring and targeting, design consultancy and oversight of ISO 14001 and 50001 management systems.
After completing energy audits in fourteen of the client’s largest office buildings, we identified opportunities for energy savings from optimising their BMS control strategies and settings. We then provided a turnkey proposal to deliver BMS optimisation and, in 2015, was appointed to undertake this project in partnership with a controls contractor.
Building Management Systems (BMS) manage how and when building services, such as heating and ventilation, operate. They are often controlled by temperature and CO2 set points and timers. Optimising the way in which these systems are controlled offers an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and operating costs with a relatively low investment outlay.
The BMS optimisation project followed the following steps for each site:
- Introduction of BMS interrogation tools and set-up.
- Site optimisation kick-off and working group
- Site condition report and action plan
- Implementation and operational verification
- Follow-up adjustments and savings verification
Key Success Factors
The installation of secure remote access to each BMS (Stage 1) and set-up of analytics on a cloud-based platform to develop a detailed schedule of inefficiencies in building services controls and other key aspects of operation, e.g.
- Out-of-hours operation of major equipment (including boilers, chillers, pumps and ventilation fans)
- Unseasonal operation of heating and cooling equipment
- Comparison of temperatures in office spaces with agreed comfort targets.
The agreement of a comfort policy with the bank, including a target range for office temperatures. Consultation with the bank’s facilities management contractor and internal property stakeholders at each stage of the project, including:
- Providing them with access to the analytics platform so that they could see evidence for the opportunities being identified.
- Agreement to each proposed change to control settings and strategy in the action plan before implementation.
- Obtaining feedback on the site’s operation (alongside remote data analysis) following control changes to enable appropriate follow-up adjustments.
- The identification of hardware maintenance and replacement opportunities outside the scope of the optimisation (e.g. failed valves, unintegrated motor drives and obsolete controllers).
- The establishment of BMS operation strategies for each building, including an agreed schedule of control settings (including time schedules and set-points) and a change management process for each building to ensure the savings from the optimisation were maintained.
We have helped the client achieve more than £400,000 energy cost savings per year from BMS strategy and setting improvements across 12 of the bank’s UK office buildings.
The implemented control strategies and settings were kept in place to maintain these energy savings, which demonstrated:
- The sustainability of the changes, ensuring comfort levels were maintained or improved, as well as increasing energy efficiency and asset lifetime.
- The success of our engagement of key property and facilities management stakeholders.
- The impact of the BMS operation strategies, other management processes, and our continued oversight as part of our energy management service.
- The project provided a schedule of future opportunities, including maintenance fixes and strategy improvements that required the installation of new hardware.
- The remote analytics platform has been retained in the bank’s office building for use in operational energy management and to support a transition to a data driven maintenance model for the bank’s building services.
Our Energy Services
Through our Energy Services division, we help business energy users gain valuable insight into their consumption and identify real energy saving opportunities. By offering the resources, management and funding to deliver these opportunities, we can assist organisations with the introduction of flexibility and low-carbon energy technologies that boost operational sustainability.
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