What kickstarted the Net Zero movement?Since Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ hit our screens in 2006, the devastating impact we have on our planet has become widely accepted and understood. Thankfully, the climate change sceptics are now few and far between. But awareness of the issue is one thing, for a long time we lacked any notable action.
The last blog in our Net Zero Carbon Buildings series covered five key energy analysis techniques — the ones we think you should all be using to start your journeys to net zero carbon. This time we’re moving on to talk about some of the data problems that often hamper progress, as well as ways you can overcome them.Frankly, it always amazes us that in the 21st century, energy and sustainability professionals are still having to struggle with inconsistent and poor quality data. But sadly, this is the reality.The technology has never been better: we live in an age of smart meters, sensors, IoT devices and Building Management Systems. Yet shockingly, in our experience, over 90% of building sensor data is never used. Why is that? Here are our thoughts.
The last blog in our Net Zero Carbon Buildings series looked at where to begin with net zero carbon buildings. We found that good energy data and energy efficiency was the place to start and had some tips for overcoming common data challenges.This time, we’re moving on to look at how best to analyse that energy data once you’ve got it, and what it can tell you about the buildings you manage. Here’s our roundup of the five key energy analysis techniques we think you should pay most attention to.
Before COVID-19 struck, it felt like everyone was talking about net zero carbon. The UK Government became one of the first major economies to commit to a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050, and a host of big businesses followed suit: Apple, Microsoft, Nestlé, British Airways, BP, Shell, Ikea and more.Meanwhile, the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment was also gaining traction, securing more signatories. This commitment challenges companies, cities, states and regions to ensure that all buildings they directly operate achieve net zero carbon by 2030, and for them to advocate that remaining buildings do so by 2050.In short, there was a real momentum gathering around net zero carbon.
Profile analysis was the first thing I learned as an energy analyst. It is the foundation of all other forms of energy analysis. Without an understanding of how buildings use energy on a half-hourly basis, everything else is just noise.The mass adoption of smart metering and AMRs has meant that ‘energy profiles’ are widely available. Back in the day, they were recorded by an energy profiler that was temporarily installed for a couple of weeks. This meant analysts were dealing with a very limited time period for a limited number of data points. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
There is very little doubt surrounding the fundamental role that energy efficiency plays in the success of commercial real estate making a return once the world reaches somewhere close to normal. Whether you refer to it as sustainability, energy efficiency or building optimisation, the need for us all to ‘run buildings better’ is increasing exponentially.There will be an understandable emphasis placed on healthy workplaces in the coming months but that can’t be at the expense of a building's buildings carbon footprint. Equally, businesses must do what they can to minimise excessive operational costs after months with little, or no revenue. With running costs associated with electricity, gas and water constituting up to 50% of a commercial building operating costs, efficiency measures are a viable cost-saving measure, but this can’t be at the expense of occupant well being. You see where I’m going with this…The three underlying driving factors of building optimisation are:
Every experienced energy and sustainability professional who reads this blog, knows of course, that the first step of implementing energy management solutions, is acquisition of the building consumption data. This process, involves cooperation between different industry groups, and can often be long, complicated and costly.In my last blog, I have shared my thoughts on why it is so important to access the right data when developing your Net Zero Carbon programme.Lets dive deeper into the challenging process of energy data acquisition, and discuss ways to make it easier, more effective and more cost efficient.
Last Tuesday (the 26th of Nov 2019), I was invited to be part of the panel on ‘Leveraging ProptTech to get to Net Zero’ at the first Women In PropTech (WiPT) London event alongside fearless leaders in the space Sally Jones, Julie Hogarth, Alison Webb and beautifully moderated by Sarah Ratcliff.