Analog Totalizers are used to calculate the accumulated quantity of a measured variable according to that measured variable’s rate. For example, by using an Analog Totalizer you could determine how many kWh of electrical consumption you have if you’re measuring electrical demand in kW. To do this you would simply enter the Monitored Object, select Hours as your conversion rate and kWh as your units.
Singapore Takes the Lead
In Green Building in Asia
By encouraging the adoption of innovative architectural design and energy-saving technologies, Singapore has emerged as a model of green building in Asia — an important development in a region that is urbanizing more rapidly than any other in the world.
by mike ives
At street level, 313@somerset looks like any other glittering mall in downtown Singapore. But on closer inspection the eight-story building has skylights, solar panels, energy-saving elevators and escalators, highly efficient air-conditioning units, and software that monitors the building’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Across town, a new hotel, Parkroyal on Pickering, displays its green credentials in the form of an artfully tiered façade dotted with tropical ferns and creeping vines. Along with an efficient cooling system, its green perks include rainwater harvesting, lighting sensors, and high- performance window glass and hot water pumps. Entering the wood-paneled lobby, which has a wall of tropical mosses, a visitor is reminded of a rainforest — no matter that the building lies in the heart of the banking capital of Southeast Asia.
These structures underscore Singapore’s commitment to greening its built environment through generous incentive schemes and a building-rating tool that encourages such improvements as sun-shading exteriors, water-efficient fittings, computer modeling of energy flows and carbon emissions, and highly efficient air conditioning and ventilation systems. Since the rating tool launched in 2005, Singapore’sBuilding and Construction Authority (BCA) has certified 1,534 new buildings and 215 pre-existing ones. Together they account for more than a fifth of gross floor area in this island city-state, which has a population of five million and is roughly half the size of New York City.
“As we become more and more urbanized, we want to make sure our built environment is sustainable,” says John Keung, the BCA’s chief executive.
There is wide agreement among development specialists that promoting green building in Asia has the potential to produce large energy savings and make polluted cities more habitable while partially mitigating the impacts of global warming. The United Nations reports that 40 percent of people in the Asia-Pacific region already live in cities, and by 2050 the figure could reach two thirds. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that in the coming decades Asian countries will lead increases across the developing world in building-sector emissions from energy use. In China alone, according to the global consultancy McKinsey & Company, the urban population may expand from 572 million in 2005 to 926 million by 2025, requiring the construction of four to five million new buildings.
Against this backdrop, Singapore has emerged as a model of green building for planners and developers across much of the Asia-Pacific region, where poor design reigns and developers have historically seen little incentive to invest in sustainability, according to Asia-based architects and sustainability experts. Singapore’s BCA is now marketing its rating tool,Green Mark, as a brand in Southeast Asia, China, and parts of tropical Africa — even in countries, such as neighboring Malaysia, where local rating tools offer competing certification systems. Some consultants say the rise of Green Mark is a direct challenge to LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, the rating tool of the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED also is expanding in Asia.
In the fight to reduce carbon emissions, the economic boom in Asia underscores the importance — and the limits — of reducing energy use in commercial and residential buildings. Even with Singapore’s aggressive push in the green building sector, non-industrial electricity consumption in Singapore increased by roughly 23 percent between from 2005 to 2011. That growth was due largely to robust economic expansion, with Singapore’s GDP doubling during that time. The government aims to achieve a 35 percent reduction in the energy intensity of its economy by 2030, which — depending on the rate of economic growth — does not necessarily mean the city-state will be using less electricity overall by that date.
The phrase “green building” suggests basic universal characteristics, such as an attention to energy use and attempts to bring a building in tune with its environment. However, it is also a somewhat fluid concept, and certifiers define green buildings differently in Singapore than in the United States or Europe. Notably, Green Mark places a comparatively larger emphasis on installation of technologically intensive cooling units, arguing that reducing energy consumption is essential in a tropical city where air-conditioning represents a large part of electricity demand. But some experts wonder if Singapore’s approach will eventually encourage an unsustainable dependence on air conditioning as an essential design component. Country-specific rating tools under development in Malaysia, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries, they say, may be more effective at promoting vernacular designs that emphasize passive technologies — such as optimization of shading and ventilation — and a sensitivity to a building’s carbon life cycle.
“Ultimately the goal in these tools is to reduce the (environmental) footprint,” says Deo Prasad, a professor of architecture at the University of New South Wales in Australia who has studied sustainable building policies across the Asia-Pacific region. As Green Mark matures, he adds, an open question for Singapore is: “Are you getting hooked into the energy consumption being absolutely necessary for comfort?”
Singapore, which gained independence from Malaysia in 1965, has long styled itself as a “garden city.” The city-state was built on swampland that has few energy resources, and its founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, made a point of prioritizing environmental conservation. In 2005, the government extended its hands-on urban development policies to its building sector. The centerpiece of that policy shift was Green Mark, a rating tool modeled partly on LEED guidelines. But unlike LEED, which emerged in the private sector and is based on a flexible set of sustainable design principles, Green Mark was launched by a government agency and designed largely to reduce energy and water consumption.
The BCA markets Green Mark as a win-win for businesses and the environment. A recent study by the government and researchers at the National University of Singapore found that a sample of office buildings designed to meet Green Mark standards shaved about 11.6 percent off total operating expenses on average while boosting a building’s capital value by 2.3 percent. The BCA also reports that while new Green Mark buildings typically cost up to five percent more, most developers recoup their initial investment within seven years through energy savings. It helps that in 2009 the agency pledged 100 million Singapore dollars, or about $80 million, to landlords over five years to pay for efficiency audits and install energy-efficient cooling units, motion sensors, and shading devices.
Singapore-based CapitaLand, Southeast Asia’s largest developer, says investments in green-building technologies have played a central role in reductions since 2008 of 11.7 and 16.1 percent, respectively, in the company’s energy and water consumption, and a 16 percent reduction in its carbon emissions — all for a savings of about $28 million. “Our sustainability objectives are guided by the belief that lowering the environmental footprint of our developments through innovation creates value for our stakeholders,” says Tan Seng Chai, CapitaLand’s group chief corporate officer.
The BCA says it plans to certify 80 percent of the city’s buildings by 2030, and several consultants say the goal is realistic. However, the BCA has struggled to incentivize efficiency upgrades in existing buildings, and Green Mark’s success may slow when its five-year incentive scheme for those buildings ends next year, according to Ng Eng Kiong, president of the Singapore Green Building Council, a consortium of 450 building professionals and suppliers of green products and services.
Mark-certified buildings now exist in Asia and Africa, according to the BCA’s John Keung. Officers at four green building associations across Southeast Asia say Green Mark’s success has partially influenced how they developed their local rating tools. “In Singapore everything is driven by the economy,” Ng says, and a future economic downturn as serious as the 2008 financial crisis could potentially reverse some of Singapore’s green-building gains. The BCA reports that some of the city-state’s older buildings have a lifespan of just 10 to 15 years — a fact that could further deter long-term investments in sustainability.
Energy consultants say Singapore, which sits on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, has lately emerged as a testing ground for ventilation and air-conditioning technologies that Western and Asian manufacturers plan to sell in China and the rest of Asia. Green Mark’s success, the consultants add, is also a boon for some local businesses and an encouraging example for neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, that are just beginning to green their building sectors. More than 400 Green Mark-certified buildings now exist in Asia and Africa, according to the BCA’s John Keung. Officers at four green building associations across Southeast Asia say Green Mark’s success has partially influenced how they developed their local rating tools.
However, Green Mark is a system designed exclusively for a prosperous urban metropolis, and it may not be directly applicable in countries with different political systems, environmental conditions, and standards of living, say green-building experts. “So if you have a house made out of bamboo, it may be the greenest house ever, but using that particular rating tool, you can’t get certified,” explains Ar Sarly Adre Sarkum, vice president of the Malaysia Green Building Confederation. With this in mind, a few rating tools have emerged in recent years that attempt to capture country-specific nuances. For example, a new tool in Indonesia pays more attention to a developer’s choice of building materials, many of which are typically sourced from within the country.
Sustainability experts say that for the moment it is too early to tell how these local tools will fare, and their success will depend partly on the degree to which local governments offer related incentives to developers. Muiz Murad, CEO of Green Earth Design Solution, an environmental consultancy in Kuala Lumpur, says that in all likelihood there will be a healthy coexistence, with a few developers choosing to certify through both a local and an outside rating system. Green Mark is currently very popular in Brunei, he adds, but in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, the international rating tool of choice is LEED. That, he says, is largely because multinational corporations have internal policies that require them to choose LEED.
Could Help Commercial Structures Cope with Rising Energy Costs
The U.S. market for building automation equipment is set to grow by more than 40 percent within a five-year period ending in 2017, spurred by the need in commercial buildings for more efficient energy consumption, according to a new report from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).
With electricity rates on the rise, driven by increasing wholesale prices and investments in renewable sources of energy, demand for lower energy consumption in buildings is bound to occur, the findings in the report entitled “Building Automation Equipment” suggest.
All told, the U.S. building automation systems market will reach a projected $1.65 billion by year-end, up 5 percent from $1.57 billion in 2012. Solid growth ranging from 7 to 9 percent will follow in the next four years, with industry revenue forecast to hit $2.24 billion by 2017, equivalent to a 43 percent increase from 2012, as shown in the below figure.
The spiraling cost of electricity is a major factor in the operational efficiency of a commercial building structure, which explains why building automation systems could play an important role. Prices for U.S. retail electric power will increase by 8 percent from 2012 to 2020, IHS CERA forecasts, with a sizable proportion of the increase in price related to the investments being made by the market in renewable energy.
A similar story is unfolding in Germany, where the Energiewende policy is promoting the move away from nuclear and fossil-fuel power generation and toward renewable sources of energy. Such investments are driving up the cost of energy overall and adding pressure to the already stretched operational budgets of many commercial and government organizations.
“With budgets cut and many large companies struggling to grow at more than 5 percent on an annual basis, the higher cost of electricity could prove to be a major headache for commercial and government building owners,” said Sam Grinter, market analyst for the Building Technologies group at IHS.
The solution to rising energy prices
In particular, buildings consume huge quantities of energy through heating, ventilation and cooling, Grinter noted. “Making buildings as efficient as possible is crucial to driving down energy consumption. And one way to increase energy efficiency is to install an integrated building automation system,” Grinter noted.
Building automation systems centrally manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of a structure. Compared to more basic mechanisms, building automation systems can save a considerable amount of energy consumption, via scheduled periods of heating or through cooling controlled by a thermostat, to cite two examples. Some vendors of building automation systems claim that energy savings of more than 30 percent can be obtained when evaluated against conventional HVAC systems.
This is why building owners will increasingly look to building automation systems to achieve savings on energy consumption, especially as the cost of electricity keeps going up, IHS believes.
Urbanisation makes cities a main focus for environmental policy. Digital technology and innovation will enable a better quality of life and reduced energy consumption
Cities represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and represent the largest of any environmental policy challenge. Urbanisation is only set to increase, cities house half the world’s population today but are set to host three quarters in 2050.
To cope with this continued urban growth we will need to invent new ways to manage cities and make them more effective. The convergence between digital technology and the world of energy, or Energy 3.0, will pave the way for a new ecosystem of services which will enable both a better quality of life and reduced energy consumption.
The pathway to more sustainable cities
Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the first widely used web browser, famously said that “Software is eating the world”. Andreessen’s statement seems truer every day, digital technologies, after revolutionising the information technology sector, are now transforming all economic sectors, including energy. This sector will see increasing numbers of consumers producing their own energy, not only sharing it with one another but also customising it for their own personal use.
Innovations that marry the digital and energy disciplines are widespread, including technology that controls the energy consumption of buildings and interoperable communicating devices – such as temperature and air quality sensors, variable speed drives and robots, as well as smart meters and intensity and colour controlled LED lighting. These are examples of the technology that is changing the way we use energy.
Network Rail is one of the businesses driving forward innovation. Its newly built national centre was awarded a BREEAM excellent rating. The building blends engineering, architecture and technology to incorporate sustainable design features and energy performance metrics. Carbon dashboards have been installed throughout showing energy consumption, raising awareness and putting staff in a position to improve a building’s energy performance.
Extending the Internet of Things to create smart cities
The burgeoning field of smart cities and the Energy 3.0 era will be made possible by two technological breakthroughs, close to root of the concept of “internet of things“: more efficient and miniaturised sensors and networks that interconnect all objects to one another.
Today, the quality of air and water, the movement of people and objects, the changes in weather, the road traffic, the production and consumption of energy, can be measured by sensors, and tracked and interconnected through networks in real time. It is through interconnecting buildings, factories, vehicles, power generation plants, lighting, that cities will be “smart”.
This requires working on open and non-proprietary standards. It means training electricians, heating engineers, construction companies, facility managers, so they are able to connect the relevant equipment together. Being facilitators of energy, electrical distributors play a key role in informing, training installers in the electrical infrastructure, and in the integration of electrical devices and creation of easy-to-install, end-to-end electrical solutions. We are currently at the beginning of this revolution enabling the aggregation of energy production and its consumption, but it’s rapidly gaining momentum.
Empowering people in smart cities
In the same way that the IT revolution has been driven by consumer needs, so too will the energy revolution. As blogs, social networks and video platforms have enabled people to produce information and customise their content, new technologies will make possible energy self-production and customisation of energy usages and consumption.
Smart cities will also enable the use of open data which will create new urban services such as better transport connections, accident risk warnings and home monitoring for part-time and full-time carers. Local councils will have greater responsibility for ensuring the collection and the public availability of this data.
Furthermore, by leveraging this data, businesses will be able to offer personalised services for users, for example smart meter data could permit utilities to offer new tariffs, such as time-of use pricing which will encourage end-users to use energy in off-peak times when it is cheaper.
Cities leading the way
The UK, in common with many countries, understands the importance and benefits of a smarter and more sustainable future, and is investing, where relevant, to help drive the innovations that will enable this.
The winning bid outlined how public, private and academic sectors can combine expertise and use cutting-edge technology to enhance day-to-day life in the city. The city’s programme covers several projects including: the creation of an integrated operations centre managing a new futuristic public space CCTV network and roads management systems; greater use of green technology such as white street lighting; and a city dashboard giving real time information on traffic flow, weather alerts, accident and emergency waiting times, rail and bus services and road gritting etc.
Glasgow isn’t the only UK city driving forward a smarter city approach. London boasts well-recognised sustainability innovations and a robust transit system. The city is also home to the Smart Cities research centre housed at Imperial College, which leverages transport, government, business, academic and consumer data in the hope of making the city more efficient and innovative
In the United States, Boston ranked first out of 34 of the most populated US cities in the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. It was ranked on its policies and other actions to advance energy efficiency, across five policy areas: local government operations; buildings; energy and water utilities; transportation; and the community as a whole. The city of Boston has partnered with companies such as IBM and Schneider Electric to reach its smart city goals.
The urban revolution is already at work, but ultimately innovation will drive advances in technology, expansion of the internet of things and the empowerment of consumers, all of which will result in smarter and more sustainable cities.
Setpoint Systems Corporation Receives 2013 Best of Littleton Award
U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement
NEW YORK, NY, August 13, 2013 — For the third consecutive year, Setpoint Systems Corporation has been selected for the 2013 Best of Littleton Award in the Instrument Contractor category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).
The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
Nationwide, only 1 in 120 (less than 1%) 2013 Award recipients qualified as Three-Time Award Winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.
About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)
U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.
The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.
SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association
U.S. Commerce Association
Setpoint Systems Corporation Contact:
Setpoint Systems Corporation
A recent FirstFuel survey covering 60 million square feet of U.S. commercial building space has revealed that the majority of operational improvements for energy efficiency can be made with very little or no cost to building owners.
Although investing in facility retrofits can help with operational efficiency, an upgrade isn’t the only way to enhance system performance.
This research also found that the vast majority of low- and no-cost energy-efficiency improvements are still untouched in many medium and large U.S. commercial buildings.
Here are three easy operational improvements you can make today without spending money or retrofitting existing systems. These suggestions may seem like no-brainers, but the FirstFuel study proves that a large number of commercial buildings still haven’t implemented them.
Equipment start-up and shutdown don’t always match building occupancy levels. The bottom line: If a building is empty, the HVAC system doesn’t need to be operating to maintain comfortable temperatures. More than 50% of the commercial buildings analyzed by FirstFuel have equipment ready for occupancy at least one hour before people actually arrive (and the equipment runs for at least one hour after tenants or occupants leave for the day). According to FirstFuel, switching to day-only operations can use up to three times less energy when compared to energy use for 24/7 HVAC operations.
Check Doors and Windows
To minimize air loss, make sure all doors (both traditional and automatic) and operable windows seal completely. If they don’t, check weatherstripping and make adjustments accordingly. Most automatic doors can easily be adjusted by in-house facilities professionals to ensure proper closure.
Clean Lamps and Fixtures
When it comes to building maintenance and cleaning, are you remembering the building systems overhead? According to BetterBricks, just cleaning lamps and fixtures can improve lighting output by 10% to 60%. Both lamps and fixtures gather dust very quickly due to heat and static charge. When dust and dirt build up, the amount of light reflected on these surfaces lessens, and less lighting output is provided. As a result, you end up turning on more fixtures to provide the lighting levels you need. Because cleaning existing lamps and fixtures improves lighting output, you may be able to turn off, dim, or delamp to save energy. Dirt and dust can also cause lamps to operate at higher-than-normal temperatures, which may shorten expected useful life.
Read about more low-cost or no-cost building improvements here.
Take your building efficiency to the next level?
Have you implemented all three of these operational changes? Are you seeing savings as a result?
- Can zero-carbon buildings become a reality? (theguardian.com)
- HVAC Systems and Their Many Benefits (guidetoblowermotors.wordpress.com)
- NREL Software Could Cut Commercial Building Energy Audit Costs 75% (cleantechnica.com)
- Why Efficiency Is Harder in Industrial Facilities Than Commercial Buildings (theenergycollective.com)
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Denver-based software developer concept3D have developed the simuwatt Energy Auditor, a tool that could replace clipboard-style audits with a computer model that could save money for building owners.
The tool that pinpoints potential energy savings could cost 35 percent to 75 percent less than traditional audits. The package is set to hit the energy retrofit industry next year after tests are completed at six Department of Defense facilities over the next few months.
Audits conducted by energy service companies (ESCOs) could be cost-prohibitive for a small building owner. But the simuwatt Energy Auditor allow ESCOs to perform audits using mobile tablets and advanced energy modeling, skipping the steps of manual input and transfer. The intent is that lower costs would create more savings and extend the benefits to even more building owners.
Also, the finished audit is stored electronically and serves as the baseline for the next audit, which is typically done a few years later.
NREL said the simuwatt Energy Auditor is a combination of different ideas that marry the energy audit with energy modeling through OpenStudio and other tools. NREL said no other commercially available product has the ability to collect building data onsite, automatically move the data into an analysis tool, and perform a detailed energy simulation this quickly.
The commercial buildings sector in the US alone represents 7 percent of total energy consumption worldwide. Commercial buildings consume about $134 billion in electricity each year, according to DOE. A 200,000-square-foot office building that pays $2 per square foot in energy costs annually can save tens of thousands of dollars with a modest reduction in energy consumption.
Photo credit: Dennis Schroeder