How digitalization is changing building management

Buildings and the various disciplines of building technology are constantly producing data. However, it only holds value when meaningful information can be gleaned from the enormous volume of complex data. To this end, Siemens is now offering user-oriented services on an integrated platform. 

Digitalization is changing the way we do business, and the real estate industry is no exception. For example, smart solutions from the field of building automation can optimally control heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and shading while also managing how power is distributed to various building technology disciplines. Moreover, complete networking and the incorporation of fire protection, safety, energy efficiency and evacuation technology make building management an integrated and centralized operation. By controlling each discipline based on current requirements, optimal conditions can be established in every part of a building and quickly adjusted at little cost to suit new user habits.

Digitalization is playing an ever greater role in building technology. It will aid us in our goal of creating perfect places.
Josef Stadlinger, Head of Siemens Building Technologies for Austria, Russia, Turkey and CEE

"With the needs-based conditioning of individual areas, we are making buildings into places where users can feel comfortable, safe and secure," says Josef Stadlinger, Head of Siemens Building Technologies in Vienna, which is responsible for Austria, the CEE region, Russia and Turkey. Digital services always come into play when it comes to operating buildings more flexibly and sustainably. To bring about the necessary transparency, they use intelligent algorithms to consolidate the data from the systems and equipment into useful information and provide recommendations on how the individual buildings can be optimally managed. At the same time, this information forms the basis for decisions in the field of predictive maintenance, energy data management and resource optimization.

"Building managers can already use digital services to compare media consumption from all kinds of buildings and thus optimize energy use without making any additional investment. Essentially the transparency these services bring is precisely what creates added value," explains Stadlinger. "Not everyone knows that the latest developments in the field of building automation can also contribute to performance and profitability." By integrating various disciplines and areas of infrastructure, building owners and managers can make substantial savings on installation, operating and maintenance costs over the entire life cycle of the building.

Integrated building management increases performance, security and comfort

Siemens is offering new, user-oriented services from a single platform via the higher-level, integrated building management platform Desigo CC. Using intelligent algorithms, Siemens experts can create rules to define clear limits and performance ranges for the building technology. Unlike a pure building automation system, however, the analytics tools are not restricted to the areas of HVAC, fire protection and security; they incorporate a whole range of additional information into the analysis, benchmarking and optimization. This makes it possible to monitor buildings in real time, for example, or to compare different buildings, find best practices and address the weaknesses of underperforming buildings. The analysis of system and service reports can successfully predict and prevent malfunctions. At the same time, data analysis helps to reduce unplanned downtime of systems and components, to improve their operating efficiency and to increase safety. Moreover, the platform provides a framework for integrating smart buildings into smart grids. If the existing measurement points and energy meters are deployed with greater purpose, the task of implementing an energy management system with ISO EN 50001 certification becomes considerably easier.

With its higher-level offering of digital services, Siemens relies on proven and secure cloud computing solutions. By combining these with established technologies for remote maintenance, powerful analysis capabilities and cyber security tools, Siemens customers can analyze, compare and optimize resources and introduce predictive maintenance along with an overall energy management system. This opens up entirely new possibilities in building management. For instance, simulations and predictions can be used to develop new strategies for real estate portfolios, to recommend appropriate energy and sustainability strategies and to update the budgeting and planning.

Service in the city

Siemens offers this comprehensive range of services to its building sector customers at innovative, future-oriented service centers worldwide. The Advanced Service Centers (ASCs) provide access to digital services using modern, intelligent technology, and the experienced employees cover a broad spectrum of building technology expertise. Siemens operates four such centers in Europe, one of which is at Siemens City in Vienna, the Siemens headquarters for Austria and CEE. Here, all the relevant systems and components of 470 buildings are monitored via specially designed secure remote access points. The goal is not merely to collect all the data from the buildings, but to structure it in a way that is valuable to the building manager.

"Thanks to our technologies, ASC Vienna can not only listen to buildings, but also understand them. So we are genuinely adding value to the data gathered from the buildings and thus opening up new possibilities for our customers to optimize their building portfolio over the entire life cycle," emphasizes Gernot Schwarz, Head of ASC Vienna. "An important point for us is that the ASC's individual and modular services can be seamlessly integrated into the operation and planning of the properties, depending on the resources and competences available to the customer. This allows appropriate economic and environmental decisions to be made, while observing all legal requirements.

If necessary, errors can be fixed via remote maintenance from the ASC. Should a technician be required on site, they know what spare parts are needed and where the source of the fault is before they even set out.

"In the future the predictive data will play an even greater role. The goal is to link our intelligent analysis tools with information from the power management tools. For example, they could give an overview of the building's currently available energy storage, or an immediate forecast of the potential share of renewables in a building's energy budget. Optimal actions can then be derived from these findings. For instance, whether to shift loads, consume energy, store energy in another form or generate it from renewable sources. The combination of building technology and digital services is therefore creating the crucial link that allows a real integration of smart buildings into the smart energy grid," says Schwarz.

Picture credits: Siemens AG


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