Could this be the future of building optimisation?

Could this be the future of building optimisation?
Could this be the future of building optimisation?


The substantial increase in electricity prices over the past decade has seen building owners becoming increasingly conscious of the impact that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units are having on their bottom line.

These units account for around 40% of a building’s energy expenditure and 70% of a landlord’s total energy bills. Data also shows that at least 15% of this consumption is attributed to faults and inefficiencies – issues normally addressed at intervals decided by building maintenance teams, not at the point of malfunction.

These constant faults and inefficiencies are leading to high tenant dissatisfaction due to poor conditions, lower National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) star ratings, increased carbon emissions and of course, skyrocketing energy bills.

For this reason I’ve spent the past two years developing the ACE Platform, capable of identifying and correcting faults and inefficiencies in HVAC units in real time.

It works by digging into multiple data sources including building management systems, sensor and control data, occupancy figures and weather data, and feeding it into a cloud-based analytics engine.

It then recreates the structure of the plant and equipment virtually, determining optimal energy usage and generating reports at points where actual energy usage deviates from this norm. These reports are issued to building owners and maintenance teams in a simple, specific and actionable format – allowing issues to be addressed before they become a tenant complaint or begin to cost thousands of dollars. 

The ACE Platform was recently trialed at large commercial shopping centre Wollongong Central where it was shown to save the property owner $5,250 on energy every month – a forecasted saving of $63,000 per year.

Though the trial was on just one site, with many owners holding over 50 sites in their portfolios the savings the software platform could deliver to a business could amount to millions of dollars per year. Greater tenant retention rates and increased NABERS ratings could also deliver greater returns to shareholders through an increase in the value of the asset.

David Walsh is chief executive officer of CIM Environmental Group.


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