King County in Washington State, US, is launching a 2-year pilot project of the Smart Buildings Energy Tracking System (SBETS); new software that helps reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Using software developed by Microsoft partner Iconics and MacDonald Miller Facility Solutions; SBETS is based on Microsoft’s cloud and business intelligence platforms.
The pilot project will provide King County with real-time energy analytics at five locations. This will help staff operate buildings in a more efficient manner, and identify heating, ventilation and air conditioning problems more quickly and accurately. Furthermore, the design firm, Seattle based, MacDonald-Miller will install the software at no extra cost to taxpayers for the 2-year pilot project.
King County is the most populous in the state, home to around 2 million people. The project now makes the county the largest government in the United States to use the same energy-tracking system that Microsoft uses to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions at its headquarters.
“We’re thrilled to be working with King County to showcase how technology solutions from Microsoft Partners can be used to reduce energy consumption in public buildings” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental and cities strategist at Microsoft. “As we work with cities around the world to reduce their carbon footprints and address climate change, King County’s efforts are an ideal example of how investing in information and data as a resource can make all types of buildings more efficient”.
In fact, Microsoft discovered that some of its greatest energy savings have actually come from LEED-certified buildings, which have not been maintained and operated optimally.
The energy tracking software will be installed at five King County buildings and will provide the staff with real-time analytics helping them operate facilities more efficiency, identify problems faster, and better prioritize maintenance work. Microsoft claiming – employees can spend less time identifying the cause of a problem and more time fixing it.
"This diagnostic tool will do for the efficient operations of buildings what an MRI does for healthcare. On a single dashboard, building operators will be able to see vital information about energy use that will make the invisible visible and provide the tools for action to reduce energy waste" said Perry England, Vice President of Building Performance at MacDonald-Miller.
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Massachusetts based Iconics, using Microsoft’s cloud-based platform, developed the energy tracking software. Founded in 1986, Iconics is a software developer offering real-time visualization, HMI/SCADA, energy, fault detection, manufacturing intelligence, and a suite of operational analytics.
“Iconics is proud to be part of the King County Smart Buildings initiative. As the winner of the 2014 Microsoft Public Sector CityNext Partner of the Year and Sustainability Partner of the Year awards, Iconics with its partners, MacDonald-Miller and Microsoft, are uniquely positioned to provide advanced energy smart buildings solutions to King County” announced Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of Iconics Inc. “Built on the power of Microsoft Azure cloud technology, we are confident this energy management and continuous commissioning solution will have a great impact in the state of Washington and King County”.
Microsoft has been using the Smart Buildings Energy Tracking System in the 145 smart buildings at their Washington State based HQ, for several years. Representatives from the company recently co-hosted a tour of the facilities for politicians, as well as energy and education representatives to demonstrate the benefits of the project more comprehensively.
“I spend a lot of time talking with government officials and our partners across the world about the mounting pressures of population growth and resource depletion” said Microsoft’s Bernard. “It will be critical for all cities and governments to manage their natural resources more efficiently and bridge the disparate systems to optimise performance and value creation. Civic leaders want to grow the economy, but with urbanisation and less resources, they recognise the need to increase efficiency. King County’s pilot project is a great example of this”.Please Sign up to our newsletter for all the latest news on energy management and important issues from across the smart building industry.