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ENERGY: The Next Step in Intelligent Building Management


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Schneider Electric South Africa, a global specialist in energy management, announced that its EcoStruxure solution architecture will integrate with IBM’s recently announced Intelligent Building Management Solution (IIBM). EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s comprehensive active energy management architecture portfolio that connects five domains of business expertise – power, data centres, process and machines, building control and physical security – within an open and flexible technology architecture, delivering up to 30 percent savings in energy efficiency.

“Making intelligent energy management possible within buildings is what Schneider Electric does with thousands of customers worldwide,” says Gys Snyman, vice president: Energy Efficiency at Schneider Electric South Africa. “By connecting our expertise in energy management with data-driven metrics and analytics, we optimise business performance by reducing energy consumption and improving building operations. Schneider Electric helps organisations around the world meet global environmental and energy challenges, resulting in smarter and more efficient, sustainable buildings.”

Worldwide, buildings are the largest consumers of energy, accounting for 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to a recent report issued by Forrester Research, they foresee “a bright future for carbon and energy management software as it will enable companies, for probably the first time, to concretely facilitate and track their sustainability performance.”* Today, enterprise-wide energy savings of up to 30 percent are achievable, but most building owners and operators are not equipped with the tools to effectively manage and analyse energy usage in their facilities.

As part of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure architecture, the Andover Continuum building management system integration with IIBM is designed to overcome these challenges. Information is shared and energy consumption is optimally managed in buildings by monitoring and controlling building systems and devices including video surveillance, utility meters, physical security, HVAC, lighting, data centres and power generation equipment.

“IBM is all about taking large amounts of data and turning it into smart, actionable information,” says David Bartlett, vice president: IBM Smarter Buildings. “This joint solution gives building owners and operators the ability to analyse data by function, so they can improve operations and maintain peak building performance over time, which is a key element to creating smarter buildings.”

IIBM will integrate with the EcoStruxure architecture, using energy analytics to identify sources of energy waste in buildings due to inefficient equipment operations. Energy waste can now be attributed to specific building assets. The complementary technologies provide energy intelligence with automated fault detection and diagnostics to continuously identify improvement in energy consumption.

Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure architecture leverages IBM Maximo Asset Management software to increase building systems’ reliability and make the building maintenance and repairs more cost-effective. For the first time, building owners and operators have a consolidated view of operations and management information to continually optimise energy efficiency and deliver high performing buildings. An innovative energy management dashboard provides constant visibility into the energy health of the building, highlighting equipment that is wasting energy so that corrective remedial or preventive maintenance can be performed.

The availability of the Schneider Electric Andover Continuum integration with the IBM Intelligent Building Management solution builds on an alliance formed in 2005 between Schneider Electric and IBM. The alliance began when Schneider Electric was selected as a key data centre physical infrastructure provider to IBM’s Scalable Modular Data Center (SMDC), and leverages Schneider Electric’s global leadership in energy management and IBM’s world-class service and integration capabilities to help organisations realise environmental responsibility goals through active energy management practices

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