How Environmental Data Helps Building Operators Save Money and Reduce Carbon Emissions
Businesses and organizations around the world are beginning to take notice of their impact on the environment and are working hard to reduce their contribution to climate change – starting with their office spaces. Every year in the US alone, billions of dollars are spent on electricity, heating, and cooling within office spaces that are not in use. Not only is this an incredible misuse of financial resources but the amount of energy wasted every year from this oversight can equal close to 32 billion kilowatt-hours – that’s just over 22,000,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions that are released every single year in the U.S alone.
Providing ample awareness on day to day environmental patterns can help any business transition into a sustainable work environment and now, with the introduction of occupancy data mixed with environmental data, the world of workplace real estate can truly change.
Using Environmental Data to Streamline Efficiency
The first step in being able to eliminate – or at least reduce – the unnecessary use of L-HVAC systems (lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is to have real time information and knowledge on whether people are around to enjoy it when it’s on. Sounds simple, right?
In fact, this process is quite hard to do – especially in an office that is bustling with staff who are hard at work. For example, whenever a group of employees leave a meeting room, the lights should automatically turn off and the air conditioning should adjust accordingly.
In order to accomplish this:
- The real time occupancy status and the current temperature of the meeting room needs to be collected via a sensor,
- The collected data must then be shared with an automation system for the building, such as a BeMS,
- The triggered automation system – connected to both the light switch and the air conditioning – should shut off the lights and change the temperature or turn off the air conditioning altogether.
This automation process exists, but without steps 1 and 2, it can be impossible to implement as the collected data is a key part in setting off the automation system. This data can be obtained using integrated desk-level or ceiling-level environmental and occupancy sensors capable of measuring the real time and historical occupancy, temperature, air pressure, and humidity statuses.
There are two main use cases for integrated occupational and environmental data for workplaces:
Personal Health & Safety
Real time and historical environmental data on the status of humidity, temperature and air pressure within office spaces can guide businesses on how to keep their spaces comfortable, enjoyable, and in line with safety standards.
Maintaining humidity levels is also likely to reduce an employee’s susceptibility to colds and other respiratory illnesses and illuminance within rooms can be too overbearing or not bright enough for efficient work and success. Being able to find that perfect balance for employees can amplify concentration and creativity within workers.
The accumulation and analysis of occupancy data within office buildings is becoming a true patron for energy efficiency within the commercial real estate realm but there was previously a lack of services when it came to obtaining usability data and because of this lack, building operators suffered by paying high prices on electricity and maintenance.
Gaining knowledge about electricity functions and their usage within specific rooms provides businesses actionable insight. Owners can see how often lights stay on when no one is in a meeting room, the number of times the L-HVAC systems were on or off around desk areas, which time of day employees prefer more heat or cooling, and more.
Viewing and analyzing usage data also allows office owners to ensure their amenities are functioning properly and efficiently. It makes faults or defects in HVAC or lighting systems easier to detect and pinpoint. Management can then use this data to visualize and foresee malfunctions before major damage occurs, making the necessary upkeep of these systems straightforward.
The Benefits of Combining Occupancy & Environmental Data for the Workplace
The concept of automation has always been around – especially when dealing with operational building tasks – but until this point, building operators had no way to leverage that automation or take advantage of it when it came to healing the environment and maintaining the use of L-HVAC systems.
With the introduction of occupancy data and environmental statuses through cutting-edge and highly intelligent sensors, PointGrab provides building operators a way to leverage data in order to:
✔ Increase employee wellbeing
✔ Lower total costs
✔ Reduce carbon emissions
Integrating PointGrab’s occupancy sensors to track the real time usage of each area in your office, such as meeting rooms, desk spaces, and so on, and seamlessly sharing that occupancy data with your BeMS will allow you to automatically turn on or off all energy based systems, including heating, cooling, lighting, and more.
Every PointGrab solution consists of highly intelligent image-based sensors, deep-learning algorithms and a cloud management system. Based on these market-leading technologies, the PointGrab platform reports highly accurate analytics data, enabling reliable insights for 3rd party applications.