Input from Agustin Garcia del Castillo, Business Development Manager Real Estate and Sustainability Manager for Siemens Building Technologies
Connectivity is key, because as we collect and analyze more data, we can detect problems and act –saving time and money by performing maintenance or upgrading the building before a disruption happens. Today, this data is used independently and in very limited ways.
Data should be collected and analyzed to generate insights that allow users to make better decisions, not only in the business environment, but in their daily life. But this information flow and data integration is not possible until Real Assets and systems– power grids, trains, traffic systems and smart buildings – are effectively connected.
Smart buildings are connected buildings. Many modern buildings are “prosumers”; they consume energy but also produce it using in-house systems, like photovoltaic, combined cycles or other renewable sources. Afterwards, they can store and distribute it to the grid, benefiting from better tariffs and contributing with clean energy.
New smart buildings enable us to gain insights of the systems, especially those that were not connected. So end-to-end smart building solutions will not only offer greater efficiency and transparency but will also provide the potential to ensure Real Assets are more reliable and more flexible. This flexibility enables large, integrated systems to anticipate and prepare for disruptions and adapt accordingly.
The future includes integrating buildings into the power grid by exchanging energy and data. However, the energy system is increasingly distributed and decentralized. The grid no longer ends at the Asset or the building. Its real end points will be the equipment that generates power on one end of the grid or consumes power at the opposite end.
In terms of smart buildings, the user is in the center. Not only for making them more productive and satisfied, but as an essential part of making the business sustainable and produce a positive impact for society. Societal well-being is a new standard for retaining tenants, as well as creating connected and committed communities.
This was a focus at Sello Shopping Centre in Finland. Data-driven services from Siemens make the shopping center a perfect place for people to come together – and feel comfortable. Sello was able to reduce their district heating by 50%, CO2 emission by 20% and their annual costs by 120K. This resulted in a better visitor experience and keeps emissions, operating costs and rents for shop owners as low as possible.
Another trend I foresee is that of asset owners being more involved in the planning and design of their buildings’ offering to specific tenants. Gone are the days when a great location and low rent prices were the only key criteria – connectivity, flexibility and sustainable environments for their users are becoming paramount also.
Asset owners should also implement and dedicate resources to a continuous performance optimization of their buildings, both digitally and remotely. This can significantly reduce OPEX thanks to predictive maintenance and data analytics, by connecting with platforms that allow user behaviors and trends to be forecasted.
We see the following technology trends within the real estate ecosystem and offer the coinciding solutions: such as IoT and Cloud
- Data Analytics – Navigator and Service Platform
- Artificial Intelligence – FDD and predictive maintenance
- Decentralized Energy – Decentralized Energy Systems
Connectivity and interdependency between grid and buildings will turn into greater efficiency and sustainability. Technology, flexibility and connected infrastructures – digitalization – will allow us to predict and foresee future disruptions, therefore increasing resilience.
Siemens is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and halving its CO2 footprint by 2020. Siemens Building Technologies is a key contributor in the roll-out and implementation of decarbonization through its Energy Efficiency Program (EEP) and distributed energy systems. This issue is gaining momentum worldwide and there is an increasing expectation for others to follow suit when it comes to sustainability targets.