The business case for building analytics – some case studies

Buildings offer a wealth of data about their performance. Getting information from building data isn’t easy – Pike Research estimate that 80% of FMs only use 20% of the data available in their BMS.

A lack of time and training is certainly one barrier. Another may be that it is difficult to build the business case for the work needed to collect and make sense of all this data. To help with this, we’re assembling a list of good examples of building data analysis for a range of goals. These examples come from vendors of a variety of solutions all over the industry.

Next time you want to have a conversation with your FD about investing in data tools, hopefully this will give you some benchmarks.

Carbon Credentials: optimising BMS controls for VUS Hotels. Forecast to save £20,000 pa in first phase.

A study from University of California of four enterprises and university campuses focussing on attained savings  

IES: a project for Glasgow City Council using BMS and metering data that highlighted annual savings of £85,000. A more detailed write up is also available here.

Demand Logic: Potential savings of £390,000 for Kings College

Concept Energy Data: Real time data reduces energy by 7% in four schools

Optimised Buildings: A <6 month ROI from energy savings identified in a Financial Services HQ.

Got a pet project that should be mentioned here? Get in touch! As long as it involves using building data (and ideally has some quantifiable results) we’ll add it to the list.




Is there more to proptech than cleantech?

A recent survey from the RICS found that interest in proptech is reaching a high, with 79% of those surveyed saying their companies are planning to increase investment in technology.

Consensus in the profession seems to be that we’re only scratching the surface with what technology can do:

Cleantech and energy efficient buildings present one business case, but there is a lot of interest in what better workplaces can do to improve productivity.

Anyone with views on that relationship might want to get involved in the Stoddart Review, which promises to put the workplace on the corporate agenda – and provide a lot of data on what technology should be doing for the built environment.

The best type of energy management?

A personal diversion for a minute.

I’ve been full time in PurrMetrix for six months and I’ve learnt a tonne of stuff. And the biggest of these is energy management. My own.

The popular conception of an entrepreneur is a constant manic whirl of energy (with occasional forays into black depression and/or megalomania). Truth is, I think that image hurts business because it makes normal humans like me think a startup is not for mortals.

Until I started to rub shoulders with founders at Business of Software and it became obvious to me that starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint. And I run marathons. I know what it takes – it takes regular, committed, disciplined preparation.

This crops up as a common theme in so many entrepreneurial blogs. From Amy Hoy’s excellent excellent work on bootstrapping at UnicornFree to Steli Efti’s invaluable advice on selling for startups, managing your energy so you can continue to show up every day and lift the bar a little bit higher – that’s what makes the difference.

Lessons learnt in six months of managing my energy:

1) be able to answer the ‘what’s the point’ question. It’s hardly ever: ‘so I can make a pile of money’ because that is more reliably achieved by a career in the Law. Or dentistry.

2) be content with ‘good enough’ knowing that with practise good enough will turn into excellent. See also: this blog

3) learn to dissociate emotional state from actions. Don’t deny your feelings, just don’t let them stop you doing the things you need to do

4) there is no shame in doing things the lazy way if that gets you what you need

If you believe Seth Godin, I’ve got 5.5 more years to go before I know if PurrMetrix will be a success. One thing I do know – no-one ever survives a six year sprint.