BBP Members Use Big Data to Improve Comfort and Efficiency

01/03/2016

BBP members Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities, M&G Real Estate, TH Real Estate, The Crown Estate and Transport for London are all using Demand Logic’s system to improve building performance. The Demand Logic system collects data through the Building Management System (BMS) and analyses it, producing simple graphics and tables, which help building teams identify potential operational improvements. By making HVAC and meter data immediately accessible via a familiar social media tool, these BBP members are improving energy efficiency, increasing comfort levels, saving on maintenance time, reducing energy bills and cutting CO2 emissions.

Over 400,000m2 of BBP member floor space monitored

£1.8 million annual energy cost savings for BBP members and occupiers

11,800 tonnes less CO2 in BBP member buildings each year

Improved comfort levels for building users

More targeted, condition based maintenance

Situation

In most large commercial buildings, the internal environment is managed by a climate control system, otherwise known as a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. This typically includes boilers, chillers and air handling units, controlled and monitored by a BMS. Plant is typically responding to hundreds of smaller devices, such as fan coil units, asking for hot or cold water or air.

It can be time consuming to identify faulty or incorrectly set devices, which may be affecting comfort levels for building users and resulting in wasted energy. Finding information to optimise building performance in a BMS can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Busy facilities management teams can default to responding reactively to occupier complaints, rather than proactively managing efficiency.

In 2013, Demand Logic launched a system that monitors thousands of HVAC and meter data points and finds the ones making excessive demands on the plant, causing comfort problems and wasting energy. A device fitted to the BMS sends data to Demand Logic’s cloud service, where software analyses it, producing live graphics and tables of equipment and building performance. Building managers can log on to see these graphics via a social media platform, sort information in tables, chat about the action required and take maintenance action to address anomalies.

Actions

BBP members have installed Demand Logic across buildings of different ages, sizes and uses.

Canary Wharf Group awarded Demand Logic a £50,000 Cognicity Challenge prize and the opportunity to implement its technology at Canary Wharf in 2015, as part of its smart cities accelerator programme for new technologies.

The installation and pilot of Demand Logic’s technology in 25 Churchill Place, a 50,630m2 office building, identified annual energy efficiency savings in excess of £100,000 and improved temperature control, providing better comfort levels for building users.

Fig. 1: These Comfort Tracker graphics for 25 Churchill Place show improvements in temperature management between September 2015 and January 2016, with fewer spaces too hot (red) or cold (blue) and more spaces with well-controlled temperatures (central band).

September 2015

January 2016

Land Securities uses Demand Logic across more than 232,200 m2 of office, retail and other space, after a successful pilot at Dashwood House, a 14,770m2 office building, contributed to around £100,000 of savings in the first year.

Fig. 2: This Major Plant Watchdog graphic for Dashwood House highlighted air handling units, chillers and boilers running out of hours (red), which the building team investigated and resolved.

At 20 Fenchurch Street, a 63,900m2 joint venture development with Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities installed Demand Logic during fit-out commissioning, monitoring 175,000 data points in real time. This enabled the team to resolve issues more quickly, not only for the base building but also the fit-out works. For instance, when one occupier was experiencing problems during fit-out, the Demand Logic graphics showed clearly where there were spikes in consumption on their floor, which enabled the occupier’s fit-out team to focus quickly on rectifying the issue.

 

M&G Real Estate uses Demand Logic with CBRE at 3 Temple Quay a 13,720m2 office building, with more buildings being considered. 49 energy saving opportunities were identified in the first six months and those already implemented are delivering annual savings of £19,400 and cutting CO2 emissions by 260 tonnes, with further initiatives in the pipeline.

Fig. 3: This Major Plant Watchdog graphic for 3 Temple Quay identified boilers and chillers running at the same time (green) and boilers running out of hours (red), which the building team investigated and resolved.

TH Real Estate used Demand Logic during the commissioning of The Steward Building, a 4,500m2 office development, to analyse 25,000 data points. 70 actions were flagged, with 45 resolved before practical completion and others further investigated, improving the commissioning process. Specific issues were identified on 20% of 136 chilled beams. Working with property manager Cushman & Wakefield, Demand Logic is now used in other TH Real Estate buildings, including 133 Houndsditch (18,580m2), where savings of up to £50,000 have been identified.

Fig. 4: This Major Plant Watchdog graphic for The Steward Building flagged air handling units running out of hours (red), which the building team investigated and resolved. 

The Crown Estate is piloting the system with Regent Street Management Direct at 1 Vine Street (10,260m2) in 2016. To progress opportunities highlighted through the Demand Logic system, the team established roles from diagnostic through to resolution.You can download the Workflow Graphic here, as well as at the bottom of the page.

Fig. 5: This Demand Logic table for 1 Vine Street highlighted temperature errors on fan coil units, which the building team investigated and resolved. 

Transport for London uses Demand Logic across 98,000 m2 of office space. The system has helped improve interaction between engineering managers and service providers, as well as identifying faulty equipment, heating and cooling systems running out of hours and space being heated and cooled at the same time. Analysis from Demand Logic, immediacy of communications and user-friendly visualisation tools have made a real difference to building operations.

Fig. 6: This Demand Logic Rogue Finder graphic for Albany House identified individual faulty fan coil units making plant run unnecessarily; which the building team investigated and fixed, saving them time checking units in difficult to access areas. 

Financials

  • Annual subscription, which includes installation, access to the online platform, remote support from Demand Logic’s engineers and reviews of progress on actions.
  • Average energy cost savings: 10%-30%.
  • Average payback: within nine months.
  • Helping deliver £1.8 million energy cost savings annually for BBP members and occupiers.

Benefits for BBP members

Maximising the use of BMS data which has helped:

  • Improve comfort levels for building users, proactively managing temperatures, lighting and air quality, e.g. reducing likely hot and cold spots.
  • Enable building teams to track down malfunctioning equipment quickly, saving time and money on maintenance, particularly for equipment in difficult to access areas, as well as extending plant lifespans and transitioning to condition-based maintenance that can both improve comfort levels and efficiency.
  • Support and streamline the commissioning process, validating that equipment has been correctly installed and configured through automatic fault detection.
  • Provide a user-friendly social media interface for building teams, making data immediately accessible in a familiar format, including a table view that allows a rapid overview of many devices and filtering for conditions.
  • Save 11,800 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Challenges & Achievements

 

USABILITY

 

How to work with different BMS systems?

 

After trialling Demand Logic on a Trend BMS, Land Securities was keen to use the system in other buildings, but initially the system was not compatible with BMS using the BACnet protocol, an open international standard used by major BMS manufacturers. This was addressed when Demand Logic secured Innovate UK funding, together with EDSL (Environmental Design Solutions Ltd), London South Bank University and sustainability consultancy Verco for a study that enabled Demand Logic to test and develop a BACnet communications protocol. Land Securities provided One New Change as a pilot building. This 52,300m2 building, combining commercial offices and retail space, is one of the largest BACnet sites in Europe. Through this study, Demand Logic has developed a BACnet version of its system, which is now used at sites in the UK and USA. 

 

CONNECTIVITY

 

How to connect in energy meters that are not linked in to the BMS?

 

Demand Logic only monitors energy consumption data directly from meters where these are connected to the BMS. Owners therefore still need a separate system if they want to understand how much energy they are using via meter readings not connected to the BMS. Whilst the Demand Logic system is effective at analysing HVAC data beyond the meter and presenting it in an easy to understand format, the addition of data from energy management systems that are not connected to the BMS would increase its capabilities.

 

COMMISSIONING

 

How to get contractors to use Demand Logic during commissioning?

 

When Land Securities started to fully understand the capabilities of the system, the team was keen to trial Demand Logic during the commissioning process. However, this proved challenging during initial attempts due to contractors’ resistance to accepting any new technology at a late stage in the process, where they believed it could affect their ability to meet the project programme. Now, Land Securities is writing this requirement into construction contracts early on to overcome this issue. TH Real Estate also wrote Demand Logic into commissioning contracts for The Steward Building, where the remote analysis improved the commissioning process, identifying snags in the HVAC control system, particularly errors in time schedules and terminal unit performance that would commonly only become apparent on occupancy of the building.

One New Change, a Land Securities building 
© Andrew Aitchison

“It’s to everybody’s benefit to analyse BMS data, to identify opportunities to make buildings work better for the people based in them and operate more efficiently, which usually results in cost savings as well. Demand Logic puts the data in a format that’s easy for people to understand.” 

Neil Pennell, Head of Engineering and Design at Land Securities