Singapore is using the Internet of Things to create ‘smart buildings’, with 30 buildings getting wired up in a two year project to track energy consumption.

The country’s Building Construction Authority (BCA) has partnered with Microsoft for a two-year pilot with 30 commercial buildings.

The project will monitor cooling systems in these buildings and, using machine learning, predict deviations that may result in energy waste, alerting managers via SMS or email to take action in advance.

“Monitoring by itself does not save energy, it must trigger an action,” said Ang Kian Seng, Group Director, Environmental Sustainability Group, BCA. “This Chiller Efficiency Smart Portal will empower facilities managers to target specific areas for improvement and optimise their energy efficiency,” he added.

BCA smart portal

Chiller plants are used to remove heat from cooling systems in buildings, such as air conditioning. In Singapore, buildings consume about one-third of the country’s electricity, and chiller plants take up up to half of this. BCA hopes optimising their energy use will reduce the overall impact of buildings in the country.

A website will also allow building managers to monitor energy efficiency across their entire portfolio of buildings. This will allow them to compare energy use across buildings, and potentially negotiate performance-based contracts with chiller service providers.

Image by chensiyuan, GFDL