IBM to work with McMaster University to create energy-smart buildings on campus

IBM is collaborating with McMaster University to improve the energy uses and supplies in its buildings campus-wide. The new technology which will debut at McMaster University will assess, simulate and forecast energy consumption from 60 campus buildings and a university hospital using the latest modeling techniques in physics, mathematics and statistics.

Traditional energy analytics under-utilize all the data available from building operations and energy uses, and lack comprehensive modeling capability that can help building managers/occupants understand how energy is consumed. This new analytics capability from IBM Research will help McMaster analyze the information from a variety of activities in their buildings (heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, running equipment etc.) as well as factors contributing to the inefficiency in energy consumption.

“This is a very exciting project that opens new grounds with the endless capabilities analytics can provide. Our University will benefit from added intelligence to better understand the factors that affect energy consumption in a public campus setting. The learnings from this project will have ramifications beyond our institution since we will be able to demonstrate, with IBM’s expertise, that smart buildings can help save money and manage assets,” said Tony Cupido, assistant vice-president, Facility Services at McMaster University.  

McMaster will improve its decision making process and raises the bar for sustainable, cost-saving building management practices. Working with IBM, McMaster will be able to develop building performance models and analytics using real-time data from sensors, actuators and meters, and dynamic-pricing data – along with IBM Information Management software – to accurately assess, track, forecast, simulate and optimize energy consumption for 60 campus buildings. The system will also identify under-performing buildings and the causes of energy inefficiencies.

“The project with McMaster University will make significant contributions towards a better understanding of energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions, which is knowledge that can be used by all kinds of corporations and institutions as they look for ways to be more environmentally and energy efficient,” said Bill Oliphant,  Industry Lead, IBM Global Technology services. “With global concerns about energy, the environment and sustainability, being able to help organizations be more efficient, accountable and socially responsible can have a profound impact.”

This project is the latest in a long line of technologies developed as part of the IBM First of a Kind program, where IBM Researchers and industry experts collaborate with clients to apply technology to solving business problems.

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