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A green building is a smart building

If you're sitting in a conventional office building while you read this, take a moment to listen to your surroundings hum and breathe.

The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, the lights, the water, the elevators, the power and cooling for technology, the heating and cooling for people: all contribute to making buildings a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions - and a leading energy user. In fact, by 2025, buildings will use more energy than any other category of "consumer". And 40% of the world's current output of raw materials goes into buildings. That's about 3 billion tonnes ... annually.

In the UK, buildings account for around 45% of all CO2 emissions.

In the UK, buildings account for around 45% of all CO2 emissions.

Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources and account for a significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change.

Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources and account for a significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change.

Buildings, in short, are expensive — both in terms of real estate and operating costs, and in what they cost the planet. Fortunately, identifying some key causes brings some key opportunities for creating more green buildings into focus:

Instrumented: Today, many of the systems that constitute a building are managed independently — and many of them are not managed at all for their occupancy, energy use or thermal effect, due to a lack of sensors and monitors that would be needed to do so.

Interconnected: A lack of standards for measuring energy use and carbon footprints isolates buildings' systems from each other and makes practices that can control and manage energy use more difficult to implement. And the lack of standard interfaces across the broad array of devices and systems in a building makes managing them from a central point or plan nearly impossible.

Intelligent: But with an instrumented and interconnected building, building owners and tenants can make better decisions about the building's energy use — and can often rely on the green building to "make those decisions" itself. Additionally, smart policies — new government standards for energy efficiency and incentives for architects, builders, developers and owners, so that savings on future operating costs can go to the people making the upfront investments — can combine with incentives for utilities to achieve a reduction in buildings' demands for energy and water.

What are Smarter Buildings?

Businesses face increasing pressure to reduce costs and run property in a more efficient and sustainable way. This can be achieved by designing and operating buildings in a much smarter way.

IBM & Johnson Controls on Smarter Buildings

Johnson Controls was formed around 126 years ago and today looks after approximately 1.5 billion square feet of property. Their capabilities and experience teamed with IBM's technology and advanced analytics can really bring additional value to clients and help create smart buildings of the future.

Johnson Controls & IBM  Smarter Buildings Solutions

Smarter Buildings - building a smarter future together

Smarter buildings are integrated, operationally efficient, energy efficient, safe and secure plus the demand of the building is matched to the building itself. IBM is working together across industries to deliver end to end solutions for clients.

Smart buildings  Building a smart future together

IBM is a leader in building green data centres and specialised facilities that are tightly integrated with technology, such as trading floors and automated factories. Increasingly, businesses of all kinds are finding that their operations and facilities are just as tied to their technology needs as their human factor needs, and sometimes more so. IBM's expertise in green buildings has led to consulting, design and project management for entire buildings and their subsystems, with some cutting-edge results (such as the Shanghai St. Regis Hotel) and engagements (as with the GreenSpaces office park in Delhi, India).

IBM's Green Sigma™ consulting services, based on the Lean Six Sigma approach, helps clients reduce their energy and water usage. By combining IBM's experience with energy efficiency and carbon reduction, Lean Six Sigma processes and corporate social responsibility consulting, Green Sigma™ enables clients to apply this strategy to their operations and environmental practices to:

  • Manage and reduce carbon output and water inefficiencies
  • Reduce energy and water usage, and associated costs
  • Use advanced analytical techniques to establish ongoing carbon footprint and water management practices
  • Increase profit through activities such as carbon trading

In addition to its expertise (and its experience in making its own data centres and buildings smarter), IBM software - such as IBM Maximo and
IBM Cognos – make it possible to:

  • manage property departments effectively and efficiently by drawing data from many sources to produce reports that facilitate best practice decision making
  • create management dashboards and control centres to enable the management of a wide variety of green building subsystems.

How IBM can help