Input from Agustin Garcia del Castillo, Business Development Manager Real Estate and Sustainability Manager for Siemens Building Technologies.
At Siemens Building Technologies, we’re raising the bar on sustainability. We are deeply committed to our environment, society at-large, and responsible business practices. We are taking action to reduce climate impacts across our entire value chain and are doing the same for many of our customer’s buildings and real-estate portfolios.
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.