Managing energy reduction and utilities is close to the top of most businesses agendas these days. We're all being asked to find ways to reduce consumption, use energy more efficiently, recycle, reuse and above all save costs. It's not as easy as it might seem. There are a number of devices available that help you measure energy consumption in order to identify heavy use areas but they often rely on manpower to physically go around testing usage in different departments and buildings. The data collected isn't always accurate and not carried out in real time. It can show you how much you're using and where, but doesn't actively help you to reduce consumption.
Smart Office Solutions - Space Utilisation
After salaries, the cost of the rental of office space is often the next biggest financial outlay for any business. It makes sense, therefore, that organisations use their space efficiently. It can be hard to determine which areas are not being maximised, are those meeting rooms that seat eight people just being used for the odd 121 or is someone tucking themselves in there to work quietly? Are employees with permanent desks always there or are they away on business travel or working from home a lot? Maybe hot desking is the answer but who is using the hot desk? Collaboration areas are also becoming the norm but are they an effective use of space? Are employees using them properly? Are they too noisy? Are they dormant and could the space be used for something more valuable?
Labour intensive management - is there a solution?
Managing and maintaining commercial property around the world is still a very labour intensive endeavour. Despite many modern buildings having advanced controls for HVAC or lighting systems, they tend to work in isolation from each other and it still leaves many of the key assets of a building in the analogue world that can only be checked by someone with a clipboard. For many older buildings, even the HVAC and lighting is manually controlled and huge amounts of energy and cost from labour is being wasted given that the technologies are here today to link everything together.
Budgets within the public sector are a continuing challenge, there is no sign that changes to funding are going to improve within the foreseeable future, if anything further ‘efficiencies’ will continue to be sought. We all understand that the overall size of the cake has reduced, but what makes investment for the long term even harder is the way budgets are allocated and accounted for. This can drive unintended consequences and have the perverse outcome of creating inefficiencies.
Last week saw enLight embark on the first of our series of Smart City Innovation workshops for local authorities. We spent the day in Chatham with Medway Council for what turned out to be a highly energetic and engaging session which identified some options for how Medway Council could apply new Smart City solutions to address some of the current and emerging challenges they face as a fast growing combination.
As we have discussed here before, many, if not all, local authorities and municipalities are looking at reducing the cost of maintaining road and footpath lighting. Whichever option one looks at, it is going to require a visit by a two man crew to every lamp post at considerable expense and ideally, one does not want to have to do that again for at least 10 years. So before embarking on any lighting modifications, here are 7 things to consider that can ensure today's investment in money and time can bring the increase in value everyone is looking for:
Over the last few months we have been talking about the challenge of deploying a smart city network that can grow as needs and budget allow. We would like to see existing infrastructure leveraged to create that network and in our mind the front runner is street lighting - it offers mains power in the street that is notoriously difficult to get permission for and it provides a 5-12m aerial position for greater radio range from one post to another.
Last week we announced our first solution for Smart City applications aptly titled the Smart City Pilot Kit. The goal of the kit is to allow city, district and county councils to experiment with data capture technologies and use that data to support a business case as to why they should invest in a larger scale deployment.
Last week we talked about the why and how of air quality monitoring but we did not explore how air quality may be impacted by other vectors and that is the focus of this article.