SmartBuildings CT looks to curb energy use and save costs
The word “Smart Building” hasn’t been around very long.
Most of us have heard of smart phones, smart watches, and even smart cars, but ‘smart building’ is now coming into the vernacular. For most of us, we’re asking, what’s a smart building?
“Smart buildings, or smart facilities, are those that use information and communications technology-based systems, services and technology to optimize the facility’s performance. Building systems, including heating, ventilation and security, are equipped with networked sensors that continually provide information about the condition and performance of those systems.” — Cognizant.com
To date, UConn’s SmartBuildings CT has worked with more than 70 towns, school districts, and other agencies. More than 2,885 buildings in the state have been benchmarked through the program. One of the over-arching goals is to “certify” a building, one with a high Energy Score; and three pieces of data are needed to set the so-called “benchmark” in order to measure the energy use in the building:
- the number of people in the building
- the weekly operating hours
- the number of computers in the building
Smart meters are connected to data sharing centers, and data can then be backdated as far as 2012, or if more recent, when the energy account was created.
The benefits of making a building ‘smart’ include better energy management and cost savings, lowering carbon emissions, and improving occupant experience, according to this video.
The down sides of smart buildings can include maintenance and repair costs, technical inaccuracies, and privacy invasion, depending upon ID required to enter specific buildings.
Does your town participate in overall CT sustainability efforts? Find out with this Map of Participating Towns
The program offers no-cost support to towns, thanks to grants from Energize CT, UI and Eversource. “The most popular building is a K-12 school,” said Dr. Amy Thomson, “followed by other public service buildings in town.” Dr. Thompson is a professor of Systems Engineering at UConn.
Sustainable CT channel