How you can get big results with little data

Ever used or heard of Shazam? When you hear a song you like and get curious about the title, Shazam will take a small piece of information and analyse it to tell you exactly what music is playing around you, including the name of the songs, the lyrics, the artist – and more.

The genius of Shazam is that with only a few seconds of sound bite, a unique fingerprint can be created, and when compared to a bank of information, insight can be drawn. It’s simplicity at its finest. 

Listening to the rhythm of your building

So why would monitoring the energy efficiency of our buildings be any different? Every building has an incredible amount of information to analyse without even installing any sensors. Think about utility data, electricity bills, the use of the space, the general occupancy, the square footage – and the list goes on and on.

By looking at a selection of key pieces of data, you can start to discover how to “fingerprint” a building’s efficiency. When you combine these insights with other readily available information about the building, such as the climate and the location, you’ll have even more information to go on. Benchmark the building with how other buildings with similar characteristics perform, and you have even more information to work with. All of this…and that is before using any internal building data sources. 

The genius and simplicity behind the ISO52120 standard

This is exactly what can be achieved with the ISO52120 energy efficiency standard. It isn’t about retrieving every piece of data from a digital twin building: it can start as simply as discovering what hours a heating system runs and comparing that to occupied building hours, or checking what temperature the heating is generating and comparing it to outside weather conditions. 

It is all about how you operate your building systems. Think of your fridge at home. You can have an A-rated fridge, but it won’t be efficient if you always leave the door open. A well-looked-after D-rated fridge can outperform an A-rated fridge when it is efficiently operated.

The right algorithms and analysis of your building allow you to use minimal data to discover the current efficiency levels, how you compare to other buildings, what steps need to be taken to improve efficiency and the initial amount of savings that could be achieved. Why make things more complicated than they have to be?

With the right information, you can make easier, faster and more effective decisions about how energy is being used. Make your first improvements within six months.

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