As a leader in architectural engineering, Pennsylvania State University has been at the forefront of sustainable building technology, with the university committed to making its campus more energy efficient while also designing and testing cutting-edge energy appliances and power systems. This primarily happens in two university-owned buildings in the decommissioned Philadelphia Navy Yard. There, researchers test energy systems and experiment with real-world solutions to support sustainable construction.
Though automated building management systems work towards improving energy efficiency, one of the biggest obstacles in achieving energy reduction is human beings. These include developers, building owners, facilities managers, tenants and other building occupants, designers, construction companies, and architects. As anyone who has been involved in a major project knows, the more people involved, the more difficult it becomes to reach agreement.
Over the past half century, green building initiatives have transformed our approach to commercial properties. Today, those developing green buildings usually seek to comply with standards set forth by internationally recognized agencies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. However, these standards tend to focus more on design and material rather than operations. Integrating Internet of Things (IoT) technology into green buildings goes beyond these certifications to allow for building management that supports sustainability on a daily basis.
During the summer of 2020, the United Kingdom’s government responded to substantial pressure from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to prioritize energy efficiency in an effort to revive the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the government committed £1 billion to retrofit public sector buildings. This “green recovery” not only provides much-needed infrastructure to increase energy efficiency, but is creating jobs throughout the UK, preparing buildings for low-carbon heating, and setting the country on a course to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
With climate change accelerating and built environments accounting for nearly 40% of energy use worldwide, energy efficiency has become a key objective for building management. Smart building technology offers tools for achieving optimal energy efficiency using IoT sensors that generate comprehensive data on equipment functionality and environmental conditions. With the assistance of automated building management systems (BMS), analytics software, and big data, energy consumption is more easily controlled and occupant comfort is improved.
Going green is a top-of-mind strategy for many facilities managers today, and for good reason. While it’s essential to hit and maintain standard business norms concerning occupant comfort, not to mention preserve status levels for electricity-dependent services of all kinds, it’s also essential to minimize energy costs. Without the right tools, finding a balance between these goals is far from easy.
Pharmaceuticals play an extraordinary role in people’s everyday lives. But producing transformative products can be a costly and energy-intensive business, and reducing costs without compromising personnel or materials can present unique challenges.
A minor history of technology could be written from a study of what amenities hotel signs used to boast about. Signs used to brag about having “air conditioning”, “color TV”, “HBO”, “Internet access”, etc. You may still see some of those around the country but they seem old-fashioned and out of place. Why? Because with all of these things, the novel became the day-to-day. Ubiquity transformed once-rare amenities turned into expectation.
Every hotel has to adjust to the changing demands of travelers or risk being left behind. This can be as simple as putting desks in a room and calling it an office suite or as complex as revamping your energy system to become more eco-conscious. But increasingly, the latter is becoming an important way to appeal to guests, reduce energy costs, and create more sustainable infrastructure.
Administrators of healthcare facilities worldwide are increasingly deciding to incorporate new technologies to achieve greater energy efficiency in hospitals. In India, for example, Kohinoor Hospital recently achieved platinum certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for using LED and CFL light bulbs, along with photovoltaic solar power to run its air conditioning equipment. In Singapore, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital uses energy-saving lighting and solar panels along with sensors and other IoT devices to regulate its energy usage. At the heart of these systems is a building management system (BMS) that continuously monitors electricity consumption and building equipment to minimize waste.