Building technology is becoming increasingly digitalized by the day. Thanks to the aggregation of heterogeneous data streams into performance indicators, building managers now have objective operational data at their disposal. This transparency allows them to monitor and significantly improve their buildings’ performance.

From raw data to targeted KPIs

Modern buildings and smart technologies generate a data stream. These electricity, lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation and water consumption data, along with other parameters such as the position of the valves, the temperature settings, the weather and building occupation, are collected via measurement points or data recorders.

This complex set of static and dynamic data can be aggregated into Key Performance Indicators (KPI), making it possible to quantify complex processes in order to provide an image that is as simple as possible. This makes it possible to throw light on the critical relationships and success factors, and to determine the target values for the company or the production process.

As for the specialists, they have the possibility of exploiting the KPIs and other building parameters to develop a holistic energy concept. This will indicate the changes that can be made to the heating, hot water production, air conditioning, ventilation, building automation, energy production, building management, etc. as well as the impact of these changes on comfort, costs and market value. Furthermore, the time required to amortize each of the measurements can be calculated.

Practical examples from around the globe

The Sello Shopping Center in Helsinki, which counts 170 shops, a concert hall, a library and a hotel, wanted to apply more stringent sustainability criteria. Siemens Building Technologies suggested improvements based on KPIs that made it possible to make savings of nearly 19%, totaling €437,000 over four years.

Museums Victoria in Melbourne – the largest museum organization in the southern hemisphere, with 80,000 sq.m – also called on Siemens to put in place KPI-based building, lighting, water and cooling management systems. The result: operating costs reduced by 31%, an investment amortized in just seven years and CO2 emissions cut by 35%.

Siemens’s new headquarters in Munich also rely on KPIs for optimum building management. Greenhouse gas emissions have been slashed by 90%. The building management system uses solar energy, daylight, geothermal energy and rainwater with a high degree of precision. The roof-mounted solar panels cover one third of the energy needs and the automatically triggered LED lighting lowers the energy costs by 90% for the lighting.

A smart future

In the future, KPI digitalization and analysis are going to radically change buildings’ lifecycles, from the planning and construction stages through to their utilization and management. Smart measurement techniques will make it possible to highlight quantifiable relationships precisely between the current state of the building’s technology and its energy consumption, in order to establish energy forecasts and identify the improvement potential.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) can already be used to design 3D models of interactive smart buildings, making it possible to simulate changes in a construction plan to measure the impact on the building’s performance. Overall optimization of the energy efficiency of existing or new buildings will be plannable virtually and their managers will be able to verify the performance improvements even before the measures have been implemented.

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