1. Carbon dioxide emissions and their influence on climate change. 2. Steps we can make to reduce CO2 emissions. 3. Solution for retrofit buildings.
1. Is the climate changing?
According to NASA statistics, carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650 000 years, global temperature rise for 0,82 °C since 1880, Arctic sea ice declining at a rate of 12,8%per decade, sea level rises 3.3 millimetres per year. These are not just numbers, they are identifiers of the coming changes. And if we keep ignoring them, the price may be overwhelmingly high.
We know that energy consumption is directly influencing carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere and thus temperature rise. So, the obvious solution for slowing down temperature rise is decreasing energy consumption. But how? Especially in the modern, urbanized world where the population increases by 82 million every year and is expected to reach 8 billion in total in 2023. It may seem that there is no way to do something about constantly increasing levels of CO2. But here is an interesting fact. In 2020 the global emissions dropped by 6,4% or 2,3 billion tons as a result of the slowed economy due to COVID-19. This example is showing us that when billions of people change their behaviour the result may exceed our expectations. A pandemic may give our planet a chance to catch a breath but it is not the way we should make a difference.
2. Steps we can make to reduce CO2 emissions
So what should we do as the Building Management System community to take part in changes directed to a decrease in energy consumption?
Identify the old and non-efficient buildings which are present on the market.
Prepare the retrofitting plans with clear and straight calculations for return of investment.
Push energy efficiency regulations which will pursue building owners to consider modernisation of the BMS.
Adjust and modify current BMS systems according to the latest algorithm standards.
Popularise the highest efficiency standards in energy usage.
First of all, we need to adjust our energy policy worldwide, all energy sources should be considered carefully and valued according to their efficiency and influence on the environment. There is a vast difference in pollution by different energy sources. Coal, for example, is used to produce 44% of the United States electricity but is responsible for 80% of carbon emissions. Our goal is to get rid of coal energy as fast as possible. Secondly, we need to take care of current energy 'wasters'. What do I mean by “energy wasters”? All these buildings and plants were built 20-30 years ago and have a minimum or none at all energy-saving technology. Modernisation of the retrofit buildings may cost owners huge investments, but still if done correctly, may save them money and environment for future generations. Imagine an old building where the air quality is so low, that the tenants are urged to work with open windows even during the heating/cooling period. Multiplied by hundreds, the amount of wasted energy makes a significant bill for both building owners and users. It is a carbon dioxide nightmare. The temperature control may not be precise as well, people are not comfortable, thus not productive, thus spend more time at work generating emissions.
3. Solution for retrofit buildings
Ok, so if you are going to retrofit a building - the 'Do it once and do it right' approach is the best. Typically the upgrade is an investment for decades so the chosen solution should be implemented according to the latest BMS standards. Also, one of the biggest challenges while retrofitting an old building is integration with existing or third-party equipment. So make sure you choose the technology which can connect all the different existing devices which could not be replaced. One of the examples of such technology is the Niagara Framework which is well-known worldwide for its wide range of available open protocols.
In our iSMA portfolio, we have all the devices, which are needed for retrofit building and proved to be leading technological solutions on the market.
iSMA devices together create a perfect upgrade for every office and may reduce energy wasteto a minimum. While these devices are effective and needed, they will not make a difference while laying on the shelves in our warehouse.
iSMA-B-MAC36NL plays the role of Master-Controller with Internet connectivity, graphics, trends, alarms and powerful integration possibilities. Powered by Niagara Framework this controller represents the latest standards in cybersecurity and IoT connectivity.
iSMA-B-AAC20 is a universal controller which proved to be an excellent solution for HVAC control and integration. Modbus and M-Bus protocols implemented in this controller allow for collecting data from energy and water meters.
iSMA-B-FCU and iSMA-B-LP are the closest devices to the end-user. They provide local temperature, humidity and CO2 control according to the most efficient control standards without need of programming.
It is unbelievable that just four devices can make a life-changing difference in the operation of a building. There are plenty of BMS manufacturers and every one of them offers some solution for building retrofit. While choosing the right one, pay attention to the reputation of the manufacturer, possibilities solution can give you, and a proven record of successful implementation. It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to do the retrofit at the lowest possible cost, so keep in mind that overall return on investment and energy efficiency is much more important. Whether it is iSMA, Honeywell, Schneider or Johnson Controls we are playing in the same team. And the stake in this game is our planet.