IBM selected to make Calgary schools “smarter” through analytics software

IBM has been selected by the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) to implement a system to track schools’ power usage and reduce energy and maintenance costs. IBM is helping the district transform their schools into “smart” buildings that use new green technologies to save money and manage facilities and assets more efficiently.

The growing school district, which serves over 45,000 students in more than 100 schools, is responsible for tracking and maintaining 2,800 assets from small items like tools or keys all the way up to 600 portable classrooms that shift locations based on need.
“For the past 15 years, we have worked to make our schools more energy-efficient, whether it’s replacing lighting or properly maintaining equipment to ensure it operates at peak efficiency,” says Al Berting, the CCSD’s operations manager. “IBM software will help us take these efforts to the next level with better and timelier information about actual energy usage.”
Using IBM work and asset management software, the school will streamline the service request process for all the district’s schools through a centralized system, integrate information from diverse systems to eliminate duplication, automatically assign work to staff and contractors, and improve cost transparency be integrating with financial systems.
To date the system, being implemented in phases, has resulted in labour savings, faster responses to maintenance requests, and better-maintained and longer-lasting equipment. For example, staff previously responded to more than 30 daily service calls, many for lack of heat in portables. That has been reduced to two or three calls per week.
Using IBM software, the CCSD can review and triage maintenance requests, identify recurring breakdowns, create and track – in real time — work orders and assign the job. In the future, the district plans to feed sensor and meter data from equipment so preventive maintenance can be triggered based on hours of use. IBM worked with Johnson Controls on the solution.
“By adding a layer of intelligence, elements of a building including temperature, electricity, ventilation, water, waste management, telecommunications, and physical security can now be integrated for better management and control,” says Florence Hudson, energy and environment executive for IBM. “Our information shows smarter, more sustainable buildings using a combination of active and designed-in technologies can reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 50 per cent to 70 per cent and save 30 per cent to 50 per cent in water usage.”

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