A new Microsoft white paper authored in collaboration with Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, published today detailing the results from a pilot program on the Microsoft's corporate campus in Redmond, Wash., aimed at using technology to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings on the campus.
Microsoft said investment in smart building solution can pay for itself in less than eighteen months by reducing energy costs.
Microsoft's corporate campus is immense: 118 buildings with nearly 15 million square feet of office space. The campus on average uses 2 million kWh of energy and produces about 280,000 metric tons of carbon emissions a year.
"For the pilot study, Microsoft tested smart building management solutions across 2.6 million square feet. Microsoft's Azure Connect, a cloud-based data transfer service, was part of the pilot project," revealed Microsoft's chief environmental strategist Rob Bernard.
Bernard said cloud computing can help building managers process massive volumes of data taking in outside temperature, cloud cover, and wind conditions to "refine heating, air conditioning and lighting patterns."
According to Bernard, "The pilot at Microsoft found that a "smarter building" solution can be established with an upfront investment of less than 10 percent of annual energy expenditure, with an expected payback period of less than 18 months. In its work with corporate clients, Accenture, which helped manage the Microsoft pilot, has observed similar results--deployments usually pay back in 18 to 24 months, with average energy savings of 10 to 30 percent."
"At our campus in Redmond, our buildings are running more efficiently and saving the company money. Through the pilot program and our white paper, Microsoft wants to share this knowledge with other organizations so they can use IT successfully to improve the bottom line and reduce environmental impacts. We found that the question is not whether your company can afford a retrofit, it's whether you can afford not to make your buildings smarter," he said.
What do smarter buildings do? Most modern commercial buildings already have built-in building management systems that let building engineers and facility managers observe and manage building equipment. A smarter building places an additional layer of IT intelligence on top of that. These analytics can drive energy savings in three primary ways:
- By detecting and diagnosing faults in building equipment so that problems are addressed quickly
- By managing alarms from the building system so that engineers can focus on the most critical events
- By integrating data from building systems with external sources, such as utilities and weather data feeds, in order to help manage energy use holistically and encourage employees to save energy
You can download the Energy Smart Buildings WhitePaper here.
The whitepaper is also embedded below for quick refernce in read-only mode:
Microsoft’s Energy Smart Building: