the Impacts of Energy-Smart Buildings

Published October 06, 2011


This white paper from Microsoft, Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory looks at how conducting an IT retrofit of building management tools can have a quick return on investment.

Microsoft, in partnership with Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, deployed smart building management systems on 2.6 million square feet of its corporate campus — which totals 15 million square feet over 118 buildings. Through energy management, alarm management and fault detection and diagnosis, Microsoft expects to save more than $1 million per year in energy costs, with a payback time of less than 18 months.

The findings of the project, which is intended in part to be a learning experience to understand the potential and limitations of current building management systems, can be put to work for almost any company.

The white paper lays out some other success stories from similar projects, including:

  • Accenture’s smart buildings practice has observed similar results among its corporate clients. Deployments usually pay back in 18 to 24 months, with average energy savings of 10 to 30 percent.
  • A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that food services company Sysco used analytics to cut its energy use by 28 percent, a monthly savings of 18 million kWh.
  • Another Berkeley Lab study looked at the impact of continuous commissioning across 24 buildings. Average energy savings were 10 percent, with up to 25 percent energy savings in some buildings.

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