While you’re making building changes, assess the green savings potential of your energy conservation measures

by Brianna Crandall — November 25, 2020 — COVID-19 lockdowns have compelled business owners in countries around the world to re-assess their facilities’ health and operational efficiency. Many companies are using building shutdowns to plan for a “green recovery” post-COVID-19, points out energy management analytics company Wattics. A green recovery includes buildings and the way they are designed, retrofitted, and operated (including energy and water use), as well as the materials used in their construction.

Now more than ever, it is critical for business and building owners to be transparent about how their spaces perform against recognized standards to address increasing concerns related to health and well-being, environmental footprint, and overall sustainability, says the company.

Furthermore, reduced business activity during the global lockdown — and now, second lockdown in many countries — has forced companies to take stock of current operations and antiquated facilities, which result in ever-increasing utility bills and maintenance. The benefits of higher efficiency — and the resulting lower operating costs — have become paramount to the longevity of spaces that are struggling in a reduced economy.

Third-party green building rating systems and programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Living Building Challenge and others have long provided a framework to guide sustainable building strategies, retrofit projects, and efficiency upgrades.

The criticality of data and analytics for building performance analysis

At the heart of any efficiency project, particularly for those looking to meet certification program requirements, is the need for access to and analysis of data generated from meters, sensors and other internet of things (IoT) devices monitoring building facilities in order to identify inefficiencies, abnormalities and opportunities for savings.

This data is critical to measuring building performance as a basis for which to:

  1. Inform retrofit/upgrade and retro-commissioning projects
  2. Compare current building performance against a set of criteria/requirements for certification

Business owners and managers of large building portfolios require the tools to help them manage large amounts of data to scale building performance analysis and certification for thousands of spaces. Wattics Energy Management and Arc Skoru, makers of a performance platform affiliated with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), are fulfilling this need through the recent integration of the two software platforms.

Wattics/Arc energy management and green building integration graphic

The integration can help FMs leverage real-time data monitoring to inform energy management or green building retrofits as they make changes to reopen their buildings. Image courtesy Wattics

User benefits of Wattics+Arc platform integration

Together, the platforms deliver the following key features and benefits:

  • Automate building data collection and management to monitor, improve, and steer toward certification
  • Leverage real-time data monitoring toward your project’s performance score in Arc, e.g. electricity, water, gas, air quality data, GHG data, etc.
  • Scale green building certification for large building portfolios
  • Analyze and compare performance across building portfolios and/or individual buildings within a portfolio
  • Compare the performance of certified buildings to non-certified buildings
  • Determine certification “readiness” for buildings

Performance = future of green building strategy

Antonio Ruzzelli, co-founder and CEO of Wattics Energy Management, commented on the company’s partnership with Arc, saying:

We are delighted to be partnering with Arc. The integration of the two complementary cloud platforms bring together the deep analytical capabilities of Wattics energy management software with Arc’s building performance scoring to help sustainability consultants, green building professionals and facility management teams achieve scale in building performance analysis and green building certification. This partnership further highlights the importance of data and powerful machine-learning learning analytics provided through energy management software platforms like Wattics to be able to assess the savings potential of conservation measures as well as identify where inefficiencies exist and opportunities for savings can be realized to improve building resource efficiency and ultimately Arc performance score, and readiness for green building certification.

Dave Witek, COO of Arc, explained:

Performance is the future of green building strategy, particularly in a time when indoor spaces have become one of the highest risk places to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spaces of all shapes and sizes, and larger portfolios of buildings, are seeking to prove their commitment to occupant health and safety, while also seeking to lower their operating costs. By tracking their data within the Arc platform, users have a unique glimpse into their own day-to-day operations — and can see exactly what needs to change to improve their performance. By partnering with Wattics, we are making this process even more seamless.

Wattics is an enterprise cloud energy management and analytics software used by energy service companies (ESCOs), energy consultancies, green building professionals, and facilities management (FM) teams to monitor energy consumption, spot energy inefficiencies, increase sustainability and reduce CO2 emissions for buildings and businesses in commercial and industrial environments. The software platform enables the collection, management, and analysis of utility/IoT/submeter data to conduct energy audits, forecast savings, benchmark building portfolios and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs), measure and verify efficiency and renewable energy projects, analyze tariffs, and create sustainability reports at scale.

Arc is a technology platform that helps create better buildings and places for people and the environment. Arc empowers its users to understand and enhance their sustainability performance, promote human health and well-being, and contribute to a higher quality of life. The platform allows buildings, city and community projects to collect data, manage and benchmark progress, measure impact and improve sustainability. Arc calculates a performance score based on global building data and action-oriented strategies across five categories, including energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.

For additional details on the Wattics/Arc partnership benefits as well as well as a case study of how the integration has been applied to a real-life project with success, visit the Wattics website.