Want a Sustainable Intelligent Building? Employ Data-Driven Energy Efficiency.
April 19, 2021
Part 1 of 4 in our series on the ways that smart building technology creates sustainable environments
Let’s be direct here: data is necessary for understanding a building’s energy consumption. Luckily, this is now easier than ever before to gather this vital data. By simply installing IoT-enabled smart devices throughout a building, the interconnected platforms and systems driving these devices can gather data on building occupancy, room usage, energy consumption and so much more. Plus, as an added benefit, these same intelligent devices even provide usage insights and easy automation solutions to improve a building’s energy efficiency.
IoT and the Data It Gathers
An IoT platform provides the necessary energy-consumption analytics on use and overuse, as well as the indicators of where adjustments are needed to save energy. Plus, now armed with the data gathered from these intelligent building platforms, building operators can make informed decisions on how to design and create better energy outcomes for their spaces based on how lighting, shading, HVAC and other systems and devices work together.
Energy can also be saved through the products themselves that make up a smart building system. Selecting hardware, such as sustainable cable from Superior Essex and connectivity from Legrand, that is compliant with the latest code requirements from IEC and IEEE helps organizations reach their energy goals. This also ensures products are optimized for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) applications.
The Energy-Saving Power of PoE
PoE applications for smart buildings can lead to significant energy cost savings for organizations. With the ability to track energy consumption and analyze data, building operators can make smarter decisions that benefit both their building occupants and their finances. Companies around the world are using PoE and other smart building technologies to save energy and decrease costs to provide better outcomes for their business, occupants and the environment.
In industries ranging from healthcare, education, retail and hospitality, PoE smart building technology is making a difference in energy consumption. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), commercial buildings could save up to $60 billion if investments in energy efficiency were increased by just 1-4%. Thus, smart building technology can be the wise investment that building owners make in energy efficiency to save billions globally.
A prime example of the cost savings of PoE is The Sinclair Hotel located in Fort Worth, Texas. This renovation project has now become famous as the world’s first all-digital, DC-powered hotel, courtesy of PoE technology run on an IoT-enabled, smart building platform. The Sinclair Hotel was able to reduce its energy usage by over 40% simply by transitioning to PoE power. This decrease in energy use was so dramatic that the Sinclair Hotel went below its minimum usage threshold with the power company and needed to renegotiate its contract with the local utility.
Smarter Tech = Easier Certifications
The benefits of integrating smart building technology go beyond energy reductions and cost savings, though. With many green-building certifications available for building projects, smart building technology gives businesses the opportunity to become leaders in the building space. Green-building rating systems such as the Living Building Challenge and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) allow for building projects to earn points towards certification through the use of POE smart building technology. For example, using PoE to provide DC power as a means for increasing energy efficiency.
For the Living Building Challenge’s Net Positive Energy Petal, and LEED’s Energy and Atmosphere credits, smart building technology solutions can be highly configured to greatly reduce interior and exterior lighting energy usage. This, in turn, reduces the amount of on-site energy required for the building to achieve net positive energy requirements.
Overall, with data-driven, smart-building solutions that positively impact building operations, businesses can easily meet their energy goals while showcasing sustainability leadership through building certifications.