Carnegie Mellon University recently partnered with IBM to pioneer use of a new cloud-based analytics system for reducing energy and facility operating costs.

CMU’s Pittsburgh campus will use IBM Building Management Center technology, delivered via the IBM SoftLayer cloud, to monitor thousands of data points from building automation and control systems. The system, prebuilt and delivered as a service, is capable of diagnosing energy management problems and can “proactively trigger corrective actions,” according to the announcement.

Although elevators, HVAC, lighting and alarms constantly report data across building networks, most organizations do not use the data to monitor overall building performance or identify trends in building use. With the use of the smart building technology, the university expects to reduce energy and facility operation costs to the tune of about $2 million or 10 percent on utilities a year, the partners said.

The Smarter City management tool features a dashboard that can be tailored for specific tasks and alerts. The dashboard also provides graphs and energy consumption levels for real-time data gathering and analysis.

"On its own, the deployment of this technology will drive significant energy and operational savings with a very attractive return on investment,” said Donald Coffelt, associate vice president for CMU’s Facilities Management Services.

"This technology offers us important gains in initiatives related to advanced infrastructure systems research, the Pittsburgh 2030 initiative and a more proactive building and infrastructure management model," he added.