Award winners in focus: Energy Management Award

Econowise won this year’s BCIA Energy Management Award. Here we speak to Managing Director Dave Lapsley about the project that impressed the judges the most.

The BCIA’s Energy Management award is awarded to a manufacturer, installer or team in recognition of a project which demonstrates how building controls and/or BEMS have been applied to increase energy efficiency in a building or building complex. The award is also open to individuals with a responsibility for energy management in a client or consultancy role.

Econowise’s Managing Director, Dave Lapsley, decided to enter after his company was engaged by a leading property agent to provide technology to assist them and their clients in achieving Paris Agreement commitments of Net Zero by 2050.

Dave explained: “The client’s data showed UK commercial property currently spans 7.35 billion sq ft and consuming around 165 billion kWh of energy per year. Previous research identified that 25-40% of energy consumption is needlessly wasted due to poor understanding and incorrect system management. It was decided that Econowise and the client would implement a pilot programme, with an initial cross section of assets being selected and subsequently enabled with Sentinll Analytics digital technology.”

Sentinll is part of a suite of software called Bubll Smart Matrix. The roll-out of the system across an additional number of properties under the client’s management has subsequently been instructed and completed by the team at Econowise.

Cutting edge analytics

The product is a digital real estate management platform designed to offer cutting edge analytics which subsequently provides insights via the collected data and enables optimisation of the way a building is operated. Data relating to user engagement, comfort, plant efficiency and energy consumption and renewable composition.

The above data is harvested and logged on user friendly dashboards. Algorithms automatically optimise central plant as well as prioritising the use of energy during periods of high renewable content. The system is designed to provide high visibility of data from any number of sites that is subsequently leveraged to drive a change in the way that managing agents and FM specialists operate sites.

The ability for the system to integrate multiple facilities and provide detailed information encourages cross-site collaboration between internal management teams and the respective supply chains.

FM providers are being challenged to establish data driven procedures such as fault detection and diagnostics as well as automated energy and comfort optimisation routines which are then being implemented across multiple sites to provide operational excellence.

Functions such as the platform’s indicative NABERS rating KPI tool is then used to monitor real time progression towards achieving Net Zero.

Dave Lapsley continued: “Clients are able to achieve substantial savings of utility consumption and cost. A more efficient use of systems is reducing operational wear and tear on plant and automated demand-led maintenance procedures are highlighting a significant change on the use of resources. The system offers an unrivalled, scalable, cost-effective solution that not only analyses data from a buildings central control and metering systems, but also harnesses occupant comfort data.”

Great savings

In their assessment of the success of the project, the client’s Portfolio Operations Director commented: “The initial demonstration of this product by Econowise quickly convinced all of us within the business that data was definitely the key to being able to offer enhanced services. New deployments are providing a level of detailed and actionable data that is allowing us to engage with and educate our service providers and implement data driven procedures covering energy management and comfort policies. It is very evident that great savings can be achieved from the onset by understanding real time requirements but ensuring this is maintained throughout a building’s lifecycle is a vital element in making sure that efficiencies are continually maintained.”

The BCIA judges were suitably impressed and awarded the prize to Econowise, much to the delight of Dave Lapsley and his team. He said: “With the current market for optimised building performance and carbon reduction being at the forefront, it is great to be recognised by BCIA for our achievements to date. Partnering with Bubll Automation has placed us at the forefront of delivering digital technology for the built environment. The technology is allowing us to achieve millions of kWh of savings and help plot Net Zero pathway for clients, this in turn is leading to both rapid and widespread adoption.”

BCIA President Graeme Rees commented: “With such focus on energy efficiency and reduction targets following recent hikes in energy costs the energy award was even more hotly contested this year than previous. The compelling feedback and testimonial from Econowise’s client added weight to an already well constructed entry.”