The Implications of a Data-driven Built Environment
Posted August 29, 2012
Our lives are increasingly data-driven. Our cell phones, televisions, cable boxes, computers, tablets, and even some household appliances are connected to the Internet, generating an unprecedented amount of data. In fact, the implications of a data-driven environment range from the small-scale to the global: increased connectivity is revolutionizing our personal interactions and is also driving a large shift in the way we interact with and manage our built environment. Building performance must be measured, both to comply with new regulations and to respond to growing interest in using energy data to create market value. Buildings use approximately 75% of U.S. electricity and account for 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; as the real estate industry turns to metrics to evaluate buildings, it is seeking to address the opportunities as well as the difficulties presented by an accumulation of data. The Implications of a Data-driven Built Environment conference, presented by the Academy's Green Buildings Discussion Group on May 30, 2012, brought together leaders in energy, building management, real estate, sustainability, and industry to discuss how large data sets can be harnessed to improve energy management.
Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.
Presentations available from:
Stuart Cowan (Autopoiesis)
Peyman Faratin (RobustLinks)
Jim Fletcher (IBM)
Chris Garvin (Terrapin Bright Green)
Paolo Gaudiano (Icosystem)
Arkadi Gerney (OPower)
John Gilbert (Rudin Management Company, Inc.)
Greg Hale (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Ron Herbst (Deutsche Bank)
David Hsu (University of Pennsylvania)
Derek Johnson (Building IQ)
Laurie Kerr (NYC Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability)
Constantine Kontokosta (New York University)
Young Lee (IBM)
Nilda Mesa (Columbia University)
Vijay Modi (Columbia University)
Clay Nesler (Johnson Controls, Inc.)
Joe O'Connor (Cisco Systems, Inc.)
Suki Paciorek (Vornado Realty Trust)
Chris Pyke (U.S. Green Building Council)
Kevin Settlemyre (Sustainable IQ)
Jane Snowdon (IBM)
Didier Stevens (Toyota Motor Europe)
Michael Zatz (Environmental Protection Agency)
Reporting automobile energy consumption
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Toyota Motor Europe. Plug-in hybrid — a new step towards sustainable mobility. 2010.
Evaluating buildings' energy consumption
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Kashif A, Binh Le XH, Dugdale J, and Ploix S. Agent based framework to simulate inhabitants' behavior in domestic settings for energy management. ICAART 2011 Proceedings. Rome, Italy. 2011.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. What's your building's EnergyIQ?
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Building energy information systems and performance monitoring tools.
Committee on America's Energy Future; National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineers; National Research Council. America's Energy Future: Technology and Transformation. The National Academies Press. 2009.
U.S. Department of Energy. Buildings Energy Data Book. 2011.
Zhang T, Siebers PO, Aickelin U. Modeling electricity consumption in office buildings: an agent-based approach. Energy and Buildings. 2010;43(10).
Dasu T, Johnson T. Exploratory Data Mining and Data Cleaning. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2003.
Evans D. The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet is Changing Everything. Cisco. 2011.
Manyika J, Chui M, Brown B, et al. Big data: the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. McKinsey Global Institute. 2011. (PDF 6.1MB)
Pepper R, Sumits A. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index. Forecasting Internet Growth: Towards a Zettabyte World. Presentation at ITU World Telecom/ICT Indicators Meeting. 2011.
Nancy Anderson, PhD
Nancy Anderson is the Executive Director of The Sallan Foundation. The Foundation advances useful knowledge for greener cities, organizing conferences, panels, working groups, and debates focused on climate change solutions that make sense at the urban scale. Anderson served an as environmental policy maker in New York City government for twenty years. She holds a PhD in Sociology from New York University.
John Coster is a recognized expert in complex Enterprise IT programs and critical operations across a wide range of industries. Prior to joining Skanska USA Building, Inc., he held senior management and technical positions and was responsible for planning, building, and operating large enterprise data centers throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Coster had executive responsibility for client relationships and for delivering large and complex public and private projects in the commercial, manufacturing, healthcare, education, energy, ports, telecommunications, and technology sectors.
Chris Garvin is a project leader for Terrapin's consulting engagements and a Senior Associate at Cook+Fox Architects. His interests include high-performance design, zero energy communities, biomimicry, and water conservation. Complementing his work at Terrapin, Garvin lectures frequently on sustainable design and teaches at the Pratt Institute's Center for Professional Practice. He advises several organizations on sustainability issues, including the National Building Museum and the New York Academy of Sciences. He serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Green Building Council – New York Chapter and on the Advisory Board for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability. He is currently developing an exhibit on "Biomimicry and the Built Environment: Lessons Learned from Nature." Garvin completed a postgraduate internship at Archeworks.
Elizabeth Heider is Vice President of Preconstruction for Skanska USA Building, Inc. She has been associated with Hanscomb, OMNI Construction, and Clark Construction Group, and has worked as an architect with several major architectural firms in the U.S. Heider has served as an Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America, School of Engineering and has presented on cost, schedule, and program management at many national events, including most recently at the American Institute of Architects National Convention and the ConExpo/ConAGG Convention.
Sustainable Energy Partnerships
Adam Hinge is the Managing Director at Sustainable Energy Partnerships, a small consulting firm specializing in energy efficiency program and policy issues. Sustainable Energy Partnerships works to initiate and implement viable energy efficiency projects in North America and developing countries around the world. Hinge works as an advisor to utilities companies, government agencies, and others to develop energy efficiency market-transformation initiatives. Recent clients include the United Nations Development Program, the National Development and Reform Commission of China, the World Bank, and numerous private energy services providers and consumers. Hinge serves as an adjunct research scholar at Columbia University's Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy, School of International and Public Affairs.
Daniel Jordan is the Project Director for Renewable Energy at Skanska USA Building, Inc. His specialties include Concentrated Solar Thermal Power, PV solar, bio fuels, biomass power generation, CHP applications, data center energy management, facility carbon footprint evaluation, and sustainability studies.
Pat Kennedy, PhD
J. Patrick Kennedy is the CEO and majority owner of OSIsoft. Under Kennedy's leadership, the company has grown from a small software startup in 1980 to a global corporation. Prior to founding the company, Kennedy worked as a research engineer for Shell Development Company and as an applications consultant for Taylor Instrument Company. Kennedy holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas. He is a registered professional engineer in control systems engineering and holds a patent on a catalytic reformer control system. Kennedy coauthored a chapter of the book "Planning, Scheduling and Control Integration in the Process Industries."
William Sisson is the Director of Sustainability at United Technologies Corporation, which provides technology products and services to the aerospace and commercial building industries worldwide. Sisson is also co-Chair for UTC in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Energy Efficiency in Buildings Project, a multi-corporation project aiming to study the building life cycle with the intent to bring forward new directions to reach zero net energy buildings that are environmentally neutral and socially acceptable, while preserving business growth and profit objectives.
Adam Slakman serves as the Vice President of Technology and Member Service at Greenprint Foundation. Greenprint Foundation is committed to reducing the real estate industry's carbon footprint and to testing and evaluating a wide range of alternatives to lower carbon emissions for all institutional property types.
Leigh Stringer is the Director of Research and Innovation at HOK, a global design, architecture, and planning firm that aims to deliver exceptional design ideas and solutions that consider human need, environmental stewardship, value creation, science, and art.
The New York Academy of Sciences
Toyota Motor Europe
Didier Stevens is Senior Manager European & Government Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe. He leads lobbying activities in Europe and works on Toyota's environmental communication policy, exhaust and CO2 emissions legislation, and environment-friendly car technology, such as hybrid and fuel cell trains. Stevens represents Toyota at the European Car Manufacturers Association, the Belgian Car Industry Federation, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Urban Infrastructure Initiative.
Greg Hale is a Senior Financial Policy Specialist at NRDC's Center for Market Innovation, where he focuses on developing a large-scale private sector financing market for energy efficiency building retrofits. Hale works with government, financial institutions, property owners, and non-profit organizations to help develop and scale-up innovative financing mechanisms in the efficiency retrofit marketplace. Hale has worked in the real estate industry as a real estate lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and as co-owner and general counsel of Cirque Property L.C. He holds a JD from The University of Michigan Law School.
Nilda Mesa is Assistant Vice President of Environmental Stewardship at Columbia University, leading an initiative to lessen the environmental footprint of the University. Mesa holds a JD from Harvard Law School and has worked for the California Attorney General on enforcement of toxic management and natural resources laws. As an appointee in the Clinton-Gore administration, she was a member of the U.S. delegation and the lead legal negotiator on the environmental side agreements after the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As Assistant Deputy for Environment for the U.S. Air Force, she worked to reconcile training and airspace environmental issues with the interests of tribal governments, environmental groups, and local business groups. At the White House Council for Environmental Quality, Mesa led an inter-agency task force on reinventing environmental review and permitting processes.
Chris Pyke is the Vice President of Research for the U.S. Green Building Council. He directs a diverse research portfolio that includes systems that rate building performance and occupant experience and incorporate market trends and dynamics. He directs the development of the Green Building Information Gateway—an innovation resource to "unpack" information underlying LEED certified projects. He also serves in a number of technical advisory roles.
Jane Snowdon, PhD
Jane Snowdon is a Senior Manager and Researcher in the Industry Solutions and Emerging Business Department at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. She is responsible for developing strategies and driving research efforts worldwide to create innovative solutions for smarter buildings. Snowdon was IBM's Principal Investigator for the Energy Innovation Hub proposal led by the Pennsylvania State University for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings. She holds a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Certificate in Manufacturing Systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Edward Bogucz, PhD
Edward Bogucz is Executive Director of Syracuse Collaborative Enterprise, New York State's Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Bogucz holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University, and has expertise in computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, multidisciplinary analysis and design, engineering education, and regional innovation clusters.
Stuart Cowan, PhD
Stuart Cowan is a Partner at Autopoiesis LLC, which applies complex living systems models to enhance the resilience of the built environment, communities, and organizations. He is a lead researcher for the International Living Future Institute's Economics of Change project, which aims to create new real estate investment and valuation models driven by better data on resource use, ecosystem services, and social metrics. He has served as a Transaction Manager for Portland Family of Funds and as Conservation Economy Research Director for Ecotrust. He is the coauthor of Ecological Design, an overview of the systems integration of ecology and architecture, land-use planning, and product design. He holds a PhD in complex systems from U.C. Berkeley and is a Lead Faculty at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Sustainable MBA program.
Peyman Faratin is the founder of RobustLinks, which develops A.I. and machine learning technologies to make sense of large, noisy, and unstructured data. He has over twenty years experience in computer science and A.I. and has served as the Senior Vice President of Innovation at Strands, Inc., building data technologies for retail, banking, and sports verticals. Faratin has held appointments as a Research Scientist at MIT's Computer Science and A.I. lab and has published over fifty scientific articles in peer reviewed publications. Farain holds a PhD in Elelctrical Engineering & Computer Science from London University.
Jim Fletcher is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for IBM Smarter Infrastructure. Fletcher has overall responsibility for the architecture and technical direction for Enterprise Asset Management, Integrated Workplace Management Systems, and Smarter Buildings. Fletcher has served in technical leadership positions in areas such as networking and pervasive computing. He holds over 35 patents, has published over 50 articles in technical journals, and is the coauthor of three books. He is an IBM Master Inventor and member of the IBM Academy.
Paolo Gaudiano, PhD
Paolo Gaudiano is President and CTO of Icosystem and serves as interim CEO of Infomous, Inc. and President of Concentric, Inc. Gaudiano left his tenured position at Boston University to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities with two start-ups: Artificial Life, as Chief Scientist, and Aliseo, as Founder and CEO. He is a Senior Lecturer at The Gordon Institute of Tufts University and holds a PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University.
Arkadi Gerney leads federal government outreach, regulatory research, and public policy partnerships at Opower. Before joining Opower, Arkadi worked as Special Advisor and First Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he managed some of the city's criminal justice programs. Before joining the Bloomberg administration, Gerney worked as an attorney at WilmerHale and as a partner in a political consulting firm. Arkadi holds a JD from Harvard Law School.
John Gilbert is Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Technology Officer at Rudin Management Company, Inc. Gilbert is Chairman of the New York Building Congress Energy Committee and has served on several of Mayor Bloomberg's Advisory Committees, including the Energy Policy and Sustainability Task Force and the Advisory Committee for Broadband Deployment. Gilbert is also is a member of the New York City Green Codes Task Force: Industry Advisory Committee; Green Light New York; New York City Investment Fund's Cleantech Sector Group; and the Mayor's Clean Heat Advisory Task Force.
Ron Herbst is Global Head of Energy & Sustainability for Corporate Real Estate & Services (CRES) and Global Sourcing at Deutsche Bank. He is responsible for Eco Operations, including delivery of the bank's 2012 carbon neutral commitment. Herbst leads the Deutsche Bank Global Eco Operations Committee and serves as Chief Technical Advisor on Building Energy Efficiency. Herbst is a licensed Mechanical Engineer and holds a Master's degree in Applied Solar Energy from Trinity University. He serves as Committee Chairperson for the Greenprint Foundation, which is committed to driving transparency in environmental reporting for Investment Real Estate.
David Hsu, PhD
David Hsu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. He studies how environmental policy is implemented in cities through systems of infrastructure, buildings, institutions, behavior, and finance. Topics of particular interest include energy and water, green buildings and building codes, consumer behavior, and how these are all affected by increasing digital information. Hsu previously worked in city government in Seattle and New York, as a financial analyst, and as a structural engineer and environmental designer. Hsu holds a PhD from the University of Washington.
Derek Johnson is the Vice President of Global Operations for Building IQ, and is responsible for delivering a Building Management System (BMS) optimization technology platform. Johnson has held diverse leadership roles in organizations such as Bank of America, PPL Electric Utilities, and the U.S. Air Force. He served as the Program Director for Bank of America's Intelligent Command and Control Center (iC3) Program, delivering the design, deployment, and operation of this innovative energy and maintenance management system.
Laurie Kerr is a senior policy advisor for the City of New York's Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability. As a member of the Mayoral Task Force on Sustainability, she wrote the city's preliminary framework for a sustainability plan. She has also contributed to the development of New York's greenhouse gas reduction plan and has developed strategies for greening city government operations and private sector buildings. Kerr has served as Chief of Sustainable Research for New York City's Department of Design and Construction and is on the board of the New York Chapter of the USGBC. Kerr holds an Masters in Architecture from Harvard University.
Constantine Kontokosta, PhD
Constantine E. Kontokosta is the Deputy Director of the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Applied Sciences Initiative. He is also the Founding Director of the NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment at the Schack Institute of Real Estate and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Wagner School of Public Service. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Kontokosta is the Principal and Founder of the KACE Group, a New York-based real estate development and investment firm focused on resource-efficient projects. He serves on the Americas Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is one of the founders of the Urban Systems Collaborative. Kontokosta holds a PhD, M.Phil, and MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University, an MS in Real Estate Finance from NYU, and a BSE in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, and a Fellow of the RICS. He has been named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the field of Urban Planning.
Young Lee, PhD
Young Lee is a Research Staff Member in the Mathematical Sciences Department of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center. Lee received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University. He currently leads an IBM research team on development of Smarter Energy Analytics for buildings and manufacturing plants. Before joining IBM, Lee worked for BASF, where he founded Mathematical Modeling Group and led the development of numerous optimization and simulation models for manufacturing and logistics processes. His research interests include modeling, simulation, and optimization of energy performance in buildings and manufacturing plants; supply chain management; workforce management; business processes; and emergency response operations.
Vijay Modi, PhD
Vijay Modi is leading the Earth Institute's efforts in energy, rural infrastructure, and development. He is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. He received his PhD from Cornell University and worked as a post-doc at MIT before joining the faculty at Columbia University. He led the UN Millennium Project's Energy and Energy Services section, and is currently focused on three projects: leading the infrastructure team for the Millennium Villages Project (10 countries, 14 sites across sub-Saharan Africa); developing planning and decision-support tools for infrastructure; and researching the food-energy-water nexus in Indian agriculture. Modi's areas of expertise are energy sources and conversion, heat/mass transfer, and fluid mechanics. Modi also works on projects in water, urban infrastructure, the optics of concentrated solar energy, and software systems.
Clay Nesler is the Vice President of Global Energy and Sustainability in the Building Efficiency sector at Johnson Controls, Inc. He is responsible for the company's enterprise advisory and integration services; its energy and sustainability strategy, policy, and innovation; and the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency. Nesler holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
John O'Connor leads Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities Business Transformation team. He is currently working with several large development projects to deliver Cisco's infrastructure and innovation platforms for the building industry. He was previously responsible for leading the pre-sales engineering team focused on delivering business value through technology innovation to Cisco's Fortune 1000 customers. O'Connor has worked in the life sciences industry in manufacturing, research and development, and information technology.
Sukanya (Suki) Paciorek
Suki Paciorek is Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Vornado Realty Trust. She oversees Vornado's energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives, including tenant outreach, LEED certification and energy efficiency efforts, and energy procurement for Vornado's New York portfolio. Paciorek has worked in the natural gas industry and for the U.S. Department of State. She holds a Master's International Energy Management and Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Kevin Settlemyre is the President of Sustainable IQ, a consulting firm focused on enabling innovative sustainable strategies for buildings. He works extensively with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on advanced simulation tools and his professional experience includes practice in architecture; façade engineering at Arup; environmental non-profit work at Green Roundtable and the Nexus Green Building Resource Center; and technology development at Revit Technology. Settlemyre holds a professional degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and has two masters' degrees from MIT—in Building Technology and Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Jane Snowdon, PhD
Michael Zatz is a Manager at the EPA's ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. Zatz oversees the development and implementation of activities aimed to improve the energy efficiency of a wide variety of building types. Zatz is also responsible for oversight of ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager energy benchmarking tool, which is used by nearly 300,000 buildings across the U.S. to evaluate and track their energy use. Zatz previously worked at ICF Consulting, a private environmental and energy consulting firm. He has specific expertise in the development and implementation of public-private partnerships. Zatz holds an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Craig Hardgrove is a postdoctoral research associate at Stony Brook University. He has a PhD in geology and is a researcher in planetary science. Specifically, he studies the thermal infrared properties of sedimentary materials that are analogous to those found on Mars. He was made a collaborator on Mars Science Laboratory for his contributions to the neutron detector instrument on the rover, which is capable of identifying water. Hardgrove is the founder of Astrum Terra, a group of professional scientists who are avid video gamers and want to help incorporate scientific concepts into gaming. He is interested in using video games as educational tools for communicating scientific concepts and in improving his own ability to explain scientific concepts clearly.
As the real estate industry turns to metrics to evaluate buildings, it is seeking to address the opportunities as well as the difficulties presented by an accumulation of data. Under the current climate, the industry increasingly must adhere to new regulations and respond to a growing market interest in buildings’ performance. Modeling, measuring, and benchmarking building performance is therefore set to become the industry norm; however, if other scientific and industry sectors are anything to go by, these activities may lead to a ‘big data’ problem, a situation in which data are so profuse and complex that data sets become difficult to manage and analyze.
Ultimately, the goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, to improve indoor environmental quality, and concurrently to positively affect the financial bottom line. Data provide a means to realize these goals: data sets can be leveraged to alter user behavior, can revolutionize building design and engineering, and offer a different method for valuing buildings based on performance. This conference sought to unite current work in this field, addressing common challenges faced by diverse stakeholders—operators, owners, regulators, bankers, underwriters, and tenants—to move the industry forward.
Compiling energy consumption data in the auto industry
Keynote Speaker: Didier Stevens (Toyota Motor Europe)
The conference began with a keynote presentation by Didier Stevens, Senior Manager of European and Government Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe. The auto industry, like the real estate industry, is being transformed by ‘big data,’ and has had to adapt to meet new requirements for reporting energy consumption. The trend towards reporting data began in the early 1990s, when increased awareness of climate change stimulated consumer demand for data on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. The auto industry has faced several challenges in meeting these requirements, mostly associated with how to report energy data: which parameters are important to consumers; which are important to government; and how should data be compiled to convey meaningful information that will allow for comparisons among different products? These same questions are important for designing building energy management systems.
Energy data analysis is complex because these data are comprised of many different variables. The energy efficiency status of a building is dependent on variables like its design, occupant behavior, and energy management system—and stakeholders have different priorities for energy use; likewise, the energy efficiency status of an automobile is dependent on multiple variables and measurements and reporting guidelines vary widely. Driving test cycles measuring fuel economy change to reflect driving conditions in different regions; even in Europe where these tests are standardized, results are interpreted differently regionally. Stevens focused on explaining how the auto industry reports energy data to consumers, explaining that there are several ways these data can be reported—to reflect fuel economy in miles per gallon, annual fuel cost, fuel cost savings over 5 years compared to the average new car, and greenhouse gas or smog rating (for electric cars the label also includes driving range and charge time). Toyota is working out strategies to integrate data sets to help consumers compare vehicle ratings.
New technologies are central to efforts to harness new data capabilities. Toyota has built a small city in Rokkasho, Japan to test novel systems such as systems that integrate plug-in hybrids into the electric grid, innovative interfaces between homes and cars, and home energy management systems that will provide consumers with personal energy information. The hope is that consumers will be able to utilize real-time data to change their energy consumption patterns; to this end, Toyota is constructing an easy-to-use energy management system for the home consumer.
Stevens emphasized that energy reporting provides an opportunity to connect with and empower consumers, and thus to improve consumer satisfaction. He reported that two thirds of consumers list "not harming the environment" as the number one responsibility of big corporations. In response, Toyota is increasing fuel efficiency and implementing environmentally-friendly business practices. Toyota has sold 4 million gasoline hybrid vehicles and plans to make new choices available in the near future: purely electric vehicles for short commutes; mixed gasoline hybrid vehicles for intermediate distances; and hydrogen-based vehicles for long distances. Making data freely available facilitates the development of new products; this becomes easier when companies adhere to one standard for reporting and focus on simplicity in presentation. Stevens argued that the explosion of data has great potential to transform business practice: data management is not just about responding to consumer and regulatory pressures; it provides an opportunity to create new and innovative technologies.
How can data impact energy management?
Moderator: Chris Pyke (U.S. Green Building Council)
Panelists: Suki Paciorek (Vornado Realty Trust), Derek Johnson (BuildingIQ), and Clay Nesler (Johnson Controls, Inc.)
There are already a plethora of data available about energy usage in buildings, so the question is: how can these data be optimized? As a starting point, a panel moderated by Chris Pyke from the U.S. Green Building Council discussed how data are being leveraged to manage energy consumption and improve infrastructure. Speakers highlighted topics ranging from how to manage data from individual buildings to how to compile global statistics on energy consumption. Clay Nesler from Johnson Controls, Inc. presented the results of a global survey currently in its 6th year, which includes over 3000 facility and energy management executives in 13 countries. Energy management is clearly a high priority: from 2010 to 2011, the number of respondents claiming that it is "extremely important" increased across all regions, with a desire to reduce energy costs cited as the main factor influencing this choice. Using data analysis software, Nesler identified four key practices that correlate with greater investment in energy efficiency. First, set a goal: organizations that did so invested in twice as many energy improvement measures compared to organizations that did not. Second, analyze energy data frequently: organizations that adopted smart grid or smart building technology were two and a half times more likely to frequently review their energy usage. Third, increase internal and external resources; for example, hire individuals or consultants with experience in energy management. Fourth, leverage external financing, such as incentives and rebates, to fund energy improvements. Organizations that implemented all four practices invested in four times as many efficiency measures as organizations that implemented none. According to Nesler, it is essential to analyze energy consumption regularly using tools that can distill large data sets and provide strategic insight and actionable information.
Suki Paciorek from Vornado Realty Trust discussed the significance of making data available on a room-by-room and tenant-by-tenant basis. Vornado has implemented a system called the Energy Information Portal to provide energy information to consumers, hoping to effect system-wide changes in energy consumption at the ground level. Tenants can access meter data in real time; building managers can access overall steam and electric consumption; and accounting, budget, and portfolio managers can evaluate infrastructure and capital allocation across multiple properties. Vornado has found that simply making these data available reduces the environmental impact of their buildings as a direct result of action taken by tenants and building managers. For example, building managers reduced steam usage by 20% to 30% simply by monitoring the system and identifying problems. Although data analysis is resource intensive—Vornado collects 6 million data points per year—Paciorek demonstrated that it is clearly valuable.
Derek Johnson, Vice President of Global Operations at BuildingIQ, explained that effective building management demands an understanding of the goals that shape energy consumption patterns: building managers aim to achieve tenant satisfaction and tenants aim for comfort. BuildingIQ is creating an automated system that will manage day-to-day operations to maximize energy efficiency, but also be adaptable enough to cater to different consumers and appeal to building managers by allowing for intervention in the system.
Making data available to consumers: Developing systems to track and compile energy data
Moderator: Nilda Mesa (Columbia University)
Panelists: Jim Fletcher (IBM), Michael Zatz (Environmental Protection Agency), and Vijay Modi (Columbia University)
Providing information about energy use can empower consumers to improve consumption patterns; given the sheer volume of such data, presentation is key. A panel moderated by Nilda Mesa from Columbia University discussed how data should be compiled and whether these data should be made freely available to the public. Jim Fletcher, Chief Architect of Smarter Infrastructure at IBM, discussed using analytics and automation to create systems that will compile data and present it in useful terms. According to Fletcher, building data should not be owned but should be open and easily accessible; this promotes efficient management systems and, by allowing consumers to become better informed, creates a competitive environment among equivalent buildings.
Vijay Modi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, supports free data, with the caveat that insurance is provided against its misuse. Modi presented aggregated zip code-level data from New York City illustrating energy use across several types of buildings. He argued that energy efficiency could be gained by making these data available to individuals at many levels—from tenants to policy makers; for example, waste heat from residential buildings could be used by adjacent commercial buildings.
Michael Zatz from the Environmental Protection Agency discussed Portfolio Manager, a free Energy Star online tool for benchmarking and tracking energy use and comparing it across buildings. This tool tracks variables like costs, savings, carbon emissions, and water usage, and data are used to incentivize energy efficiency and encourage buildings to apply for Energy Star certification. In September, 2012 New York City will become the first city in the U.S. to implement a public disclosure agreement with Energy Star. According to Modi, this is a positive development; however, given that there are so many metrics and so many ways to interpret the information, it is difficult to predict how it will be used by the public. Portfolio Manager exemplifies the importance of assessing context when evaluating building efficiency: energy performance depends on the number of occupants, the number of hours people work, and the amount of electricity being used; therefore, a system like Portfolio Manager, which tracks multiple variables, is superior to a single number reporting energy use in kilowatt hours for assessing efficiency.
Creating value from energy data: Optimizing building performance
Moderator: Jane Snowdon (IBM)
Panelists: Stuart Cowan (Autopoiesis), Kevin Settlemyre (Sustainable IQ), and Young Lee (IBM)
Reporting data has clear potential to reduce energy consumption, but some systems go one step further and use data to predict, control, and optimize energy use. A panel moderated by Jane Snowdon from IBM examined some innovative approaches to data management and explored how energy data could be incorporated into real estate valuation. Kevin Settlemyre, President of Sustainable IQ, is working with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to build a performance database for buildings. This database comprises 65,000 buildings and uses empirical data, simulation, and testing to optimize building performance. It tracks and benchmarks energy usage and carbon emissions; users can access this information online at energyiq.lbl.gov. This large-scale approach is useful for comparing buildings and tracking compliance with local and national guidelines.
Young Lee from IBM is working on creating value from building data. Lee incorporates data from multiple sources—including meters, sensors, energy bills, the power grid, the weather, building characteristics, and other sources—into a physics-based inverse model that uses heat transfer modeling (conduction, latent heat, etc.) to determine heat loss and overall energy use. Lee utilizes multivariate regression modeling to detect data anomalies and to assess, benchmark, track, and forecast energy use.
Stuart Cowan from Autopoiesis is using building data to drive market growth by mapping, measuring, and modeling the environmental and social value of buildings, hoping to encourage companies to include the ecological and sociological impacts of businesses in market valuation and investment models. The Living Building Challenge encourages building designers to include features that have ecological and social value, such as green space and public gathering areas, in order to increase both energy efficiency and employee productivity. Cowan argues that including this type of information in economic models for building appraisals would make these variables more highly valued in the real estate market; thus encouraging developers to improve energy efficiency.
New systems: What is the future of data management?
Moderator: Chris Garvin (Terrapin Bright Green)
Panelists: Peyman Faratin (RobustLinks), Paolo Gaudiano (Icosystem), Arkadi Gerney (OPower), Joe O'Connor (Cisco Systems, Inc.)
Effective data management will become increasingly important as we move into the future; as the amount of data available accumulates, new technology capable of handling an unprecedented volume will be needed. Potential uses for data sets are vast, and these must be harnessed in ways that are both meaningful and efficient. In the future, more devices will generate data; for example, all home appliances will soon become part of a home network that will demand better data processing capabilities. A panel moderated by Chris Garvin from Terrapin Bright Green discussed systems that are being developed now to anticipate these changes.
Peyman Faratin from RobustLinks is working to develop a system capable of supporting trillions of pieces of data, which would store and sort data to make information searchable. Current systems typically only store data, but Faratin's would allow for any individual piece of data to be extracted based upon which device or system generated it.
According to Joe O'Conner from Cisco Systems, Inc., there will soon be "zettabytes" (one thousand, billion gigabytes) of data—created in part by smart appliances like Internet-connected microwaves, refrigerators, thermostats, and lighting systems—and computer and data scientists need to provide solutions for handling this volume. O'Conner cited a study from the McKinsey Global Institute reporting that the real estate and rental sectors are poised to benefit most from smart appliances, which, because they are subject to high consumer demand, would significantly increase properties' market value.
Paolo Gaudiano from Icosystem uses a tool called Agent-Based Modeling (a type of predictive modeling) to capture key elements of a system and predict how it will behave. A typical data-centric approach to analyzing systems is to collect data, identify correlations with key variables, and then extrapolate new conditions; with Gaudiano's new approach, any system can be modeled using only a few variables that are known about how it behaves. For example, it is possible to model traffic patterns with surprising accuracy by inputting data on acceleration, deceleration, lane changes, and distances between vehicles. In an energy context, Gaudiano believes that current models can be improved by combining our knowledge of human behavior and energy use with quantitative modeling of building data.
Arkadi Gerney from OPower discussed the possibility of using energy data in the residential sector. OPower is helping residents to make better energy decisions and is providing new ways for consumers to view utility bills and energy usage. It has developed the Home Energy Report, which converts energy statistics into simple advice, shows residents how their energy use compares to other similar households, and provides tips on how to save energy. OPower reports that residents receiving these data are saving 1% to 3% on their energy bills.
Translating data into value: How much are data sets worth?
Moderator: Greg Hale (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Panelists: Ron Herbst (Deutsche Bank), John Gilbert (Rudin Management Company, Inc.), Ed Bogucz (Syracuse Collaborative Enterprise)
New technology is at the forefront of efforts to develop new data management systems. A panel moderated by Greg Hale from Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) discussed how technology is being used to promote better energy management and to translate data into real-estate value. John Gilbert from Rudin Management Company, Inc. discussed providing information on a circuit-by-circuit basis and utilizing smart devices to manage appliances remotely. Rudin is exploring the use of machine learning algorithms to control infrastructure systems based on feedback about outdoor temperature, weather conditions, and other infrastructure within the system. Such a system would be able to respond quickly to changes in energy performance to keep facilities running efficiently.
Ron Herbst reports that Deutsche Bank is committed to being carbon neutral; to achieve this, it has deployed 700 carbon projects around the world and initiated the Green Lease Initiative, which encourages clients to reduce their energy use though a billing system that charges for energy based on actual usage. The bank measures its own consumption and has changed key practices to become more energy efficient. Its Green Lease Initiative program has successfully reduced costs by creating benchmarks and predicting trends in the real estate sector.
Ed Bogucz, Executive Director of Syracuse CoE, New York State's Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, discussed how the organization investigates green energy and green buildings by combining manufacturing skills from upstate New York with market expertise from Manhattan. It operates a test bed to study how individuals behave when given control over environmental settings and to test how new environmentally-friendly green technologies work in individual and shared spaces. Specifically, Bogucz is building a green-data center to demonstrate how to optimize the environment around a large computer server room using natural gas for power and waste heat to drive coolers for individual computers.
Moderator: Chris Garvin (Terrapin Bright Green)
Panelists: David Hsu (University of Pennsylvania), Laurie Kerr (NYC Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability), Constantine Kontokosta (New York University)
The conference concluded with a look at a benchmarking report New York City is soon scheduled to release about energy use in city buildings. A panel moderated by Chris Garvin from Terrapin Bright Green discussed how the report is compiled and some of its implications for New York City and beyond. David Hsu from the University of Pennsylvania explained growing trends among cities to mandate the public release of energy data. California and Washington now have such laws; the cities of New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and Washington DC have followed suit and Philadelphia and Chicago are preparing to do so. There will soon be data available from 60,000 buildings, covering 4 billion square feet (4% of all commercial building data). In the short term, these data are being used to check the accuracy of energy consultant reporting; the results have been mixed, but data obtained are being used to generate an energy consultant scorecard that can be used to check the accuracy of energy auditors.
Laurie Kerr, Senior Policy Advisor to the NYC Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability, explained that New York City passed an ordinance several years ago requiring large buildings (>50,000 square feet) to benchmark their energy usage annually. In 2010, NYC had a 75% compliance rate for reporting. It is hoped that this initiative will be expanded to create a national energy efficiency monitoring system, with NYC providing the first set of data. The data have already revealed that similar building sectors vary widely, by a factor of four, in energy and water usage.
Constantine Kontokosta, Deputy Director of the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress and Director of the NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment, discussed how data can bring about change. In parallel to the food industry, where disclosing nutritional information effected significant changes in consumption patterns, it is hoped that disclosing energy usage may spur similar changes; just as mandating that calorie information be made available has prompted restaurants to improve menu options in response to consumer demand, simply making the end-users of energy aware of their usage could encourage consumers to improve efficiency.