Older office buildings embrace open protocol systems for energy management.

Office building owners in Singapore are increasingly adopting open protocol systems for energy management to boost efficiency and reduce environmental impact, experts say.

Samuel Han, head of Energy & Sustainability Management at Savills Singapore, notes that owners can seamlessly integrate new energy systems with older infrastructure by leveraging open protocols.

These protocols allow for easy connections between equipment, provided that application programming interface connections are permitted.

“For energy systems, recently they are all open protocol,” he told the Singapore Business Review.

Open protocols, openly published and accessible to all, receive support from various entities, including corporations, user groups, professional societies, and governments.

This support broadens users’ options for devices or systems tailored to their specific needs, as per a Schneider Electric report.

In building management systems (BMS), open protocols offer several benefits, including widespread support from manufacturers and software vendors, availability of diverse third-party software, streamlined communication with subsystems, active community support, and future adaptability.

Despite the challenges posed by older buildings, Han highlights their inherent efficiency, which often yields significant returns once modernized. This makes them prime candidates for energy-saving upgrades.

“For older buildings, they have greater benefits of installing the energy systems because they will have higher payback. This is due to greater energy savings as older buildings tend to be less efficient,” he said.

Building Management Systems (BMS) play a crucial role in energy management, according to Han, who recommends utilizing BMS for data analysis to identify energy-saving opportunities.

BMS are essential systems designed to control and monitor key energy-consuming components within buildings, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, lighting levels, and security systems.

Han emphasizes the importance of addressing energy consumption, particularly related to HVAC systems, which can contribute up to 70% of energy bills.

“We have to tackle that equipment to make it more efficient, and for an inefficient building to become an efficient building, it could save them 30% to 50% of the energy bills,” he said.

Han advocates for a comprehensive approach that integrates regular maintenance protocols for essential equipment in plant rooms with sophisticated data tracking mechanisms, often supported by artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

He notes the transformation in the energy management landscape in office buildings, where AI assists with fault detection and provides automated solutions, reducing manual labor.

New Technological Advancements

Office building owners are increasingly adopting innovative technologies to enhance efficiency and sustainability.

“The multi-comparison chiller, designed to operate efficiently even under low occupancy levels, and IoT sensors that improve data collection and analysis, have gained popularity,” noted Han.

Han also stressed the importance of educating tenants on conservation through targeted initiatives.

“By analyzing data, we can pinpoint areas for improvement or identify low-hanging fruit. Energy retrofits can be implemented to enhance energy savings, and tenants can be educated on energy and water conservation through posters and educational materials,” he explained.

Han emphasized that awareness and comprehension of energy data are crucial for identifying opportunities for savings, and educating tenants can foster a culture of sustainability.

Singapore’s commitment to optimizing energy consumption and reducing environmental impact is evident through initiatives such as the adoption of solar photovoltaic systems and the pursuit of green building certifications like BCA’s Green Mark and LEED.

Additionally, data-driven energy management, optimized HVAC systems, and efficient water and lighting usage contribute to these efforts.

Introduced in 2005, the Green Mark certification scheme evaluates buildings’ environmental impact and performance, promoting sustainable design and construction practices.

Advancements in Sustainable Energy

In recent years, there has been significant progress in the field of sustainable energy, marked by innovative technologies and initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting environmental conservation.

These advancements reflect a growing global awareness of the urgent need to transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

One notable development is the increasing adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. Solar energy, in particular, has seen remarkable growth, with advancements in photovoltaic technology leading to more efficient solar panels and lower production costs.

Similarly, advancements in wind turbine technology have made wind energy an increasingly viable and cost-effective option for electricity generation.

In addition to renewable energy, there has been a focus on improving energy efficiency across various sectors. This includes the development of energy-efficient appliances, buildings, and transportation systems. For example, the widespread adoption of LED lighting has led to significant energy savings in the lighting sector.

Similarly, initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of buildings through better insulation, heating, and cooling systems have helped reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions.

Furthermore, there has been growing recognition of the importance of energy storage technologies in enabling the integration of renewable energy into existing power grids.

Technologies such as battery storage and pumped hydro storage are playing an increasingly crucial role in stabilizing grid operations and ensuring reliable energy supply.

Governments, businesses, and organizations around the world are also implementing various policy measures and incentive programs to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.

This includes renewable energy targets, carbon pricing mechanisms, and subsidies for renewable energy projects. Additionally, initiatives such as energy efficiency standards and building codes are helping to drive the adoption of sustainable practices across different sectors.

Overall, the advancements in sustainable energy reflect a concerted global effort to address the challenges of climate change and build a more sustainable future.

By harnessing the power of innovation and collaboration, society can continue to make progress towards a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable energy system.

Greg Swanson
Greg Swanson
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