Isle of Wight council staff have more information about energy use and environmental impact of a local leisure centre in a project which will provide valuable data to an EU-wide study analysing how the smart cities of the future may operate.

Siemens and the Isle of Wight Council chose the Heights Leisure Centre as a pilot project to see whether energy demand could be reduced as well as using it to evaluate how smart building management systems can be incorporated into existing infrastructure to create a smart building.

As part of the project, Siemens’ engineers, working in conjunction with local controls and automation engineers from FW Marsh, integrated the existing building control and energy infrastructure with a smart building management system, turning a conventional building into a connected building.

The work, part of the ongoing EU-funded InteGRIDy project, included analysis of how the Centre’s building management system worked, looking at where improvements could be made, and which loads could benefit from remote demand response control.

While the Centre had a functioning building management system to control many of the primary energy sources, it didn’t provide the level of data needed to analyse energy use effectively. To be able to analyse the data, the team installed the Siemens Navigator system, a cloud-based data collection and analytics platform which helps the user understand where and when energy is being used and what is happening in the Centre’s spaces.

Once installed and working with the existing system, the platform began to provide engineers with 18,000 new readings from 60 data points daily for analysis. This includes data which helps identify continued operation of systems when the building is closed to finding the optimal air temperature that balances energy, comfort and impact to the building.

This could lead to changes being implemented which would allow people using the building to experience more comfortable temperatures, the Council seeing reduced energy bills and reduced carbon emissions.

Mark Byvelds, energy engineer from Siemens Building Technologies, said: “This has been an incredible project to work on which has started a conventional leisure centre on the journey to becoming a smart and connected building.

“We live in a world of big data where buildings and more importantly, their occupants, have a great opportunity to benefit from detailed analysis of this data.
“The result of this could lead to greater transparency on how the Centre operates using the data analysis services running in the background to identify opportunities to reduce operating costs, increase energy efficiency and improve comfort for the Centre’s visitors.

“This project demonstrates how a conventional building can become a smart building and proves that existing buildings can become easily connected with the right know-how.”

The Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for environment and heritage, councillor John Hobart, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting this innovative approach to understanding the energy used by council facilities, and the potential for closer control of our systems offers great opportunities for reduced running costs and a more comfortable environment for users.”