The High-Performance Buildings Pilot Project aims at reducing power consumption through analysis of real-time data for buildings in downtown Seattle.
Advanced information-technology tools and systems enable building owners to take quick action to boost energy efficiency without costly retrofits. This pilot program is an important step in helping Seattle realize its goal of reducing downtown power usage by up to 25 percent.
The City wanted to take energy conservation to the next level—to implement Smart Building technology, which uses predictive analytics to extend building management systems and optimize equipment for energy reduction.
The city proposed to lead a High-Performance Building Pilot Project, funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Economic Development Administration to test next-generation technologies for energy efficiency.
The City partnered with the Seattle 2030 District, a non-profit organization of downtown property owners and managers, along with the city’s utility. Seattle also turned to Microsoft for guidance since the software company had successfully implemented energy-saving solutions at its main campus. Microsoft recommended reaching out to Accenture for Smart Building Solutions.
The project team is deploying and managing Accenture Smart Building and Energy Solutions, which is a set of assets that applies analytics to building management data to optimize equipment and related processes for energy reduction and comfort requirements.
The software identifies equipment and system inefficiencies, and alerts building managers to areas of wasted energy. The solution uses Windows Azure, the Microsoft cloud services environment, to provide virtually unlimited storage for collecting data in real time.
The project team deployed optimization and fault-detection software that pulls data from disparate building management and control systems. Elements in each room of a building—such as lighting, temperature and the position of window shades—can then be adjusted, depending on data readings, to maximize efficiency.
Correlating large data sets from multiple machines, engineers are now able to link energy-efficiency data with fault-detection analytics, as well as weather information and other data, notes Kreg Schmidt, managing director.
Although in its infancy, the Seattle Smart Building program is expected to save 10 and 25 percent in energy and maintenance expenditures. Advanced algorithms identify actionable items to improve equipment performance, increase reliability and improve comfort requirements for all types of facilities.
Accenture Smart Building Solution is fundamentally a transformation in facility operations. It takes into account not only the appropriate technologies to deploy, but also assesses organizational readiness, given existing processes and staff capabilities, to implement solutions effectively.
The results of the project are likely to enhance economic development, thereby supporting Seattle’s efforts to promote technologies for energy efficiency and also encouraging better conservation practices among building managers worldwide.