Bentley Incorporated: How Technology Collaboration Contributes To Net Zero Carbon Success

The UK will not meet its carbon emissions targets for 2050 if it continues to follow the current path of stuttering. It will not be enough to choose LED lighting, the promotion of electric cars or the change of energy supplier.

The built environment seems a natural starting point, an industry that contributes around 40% of global carbon emissions. Typically, more than 80% of emissions are found in the operational phase of a building’s lifecycle, and the remaining 20% ​​are distributed between the design and construction phase and the decommissioning / completion phase. life.

If we take the example of a hospital from an operational perspective, there are many different areas of assets that contribute to its overall carbon footprint. They include catering, waste management, cleaning, transportation, heating / cooling, lighting, refrigerators and medical equipment, which are distributed over the physical footprint of buildings, wings, floors, hospital rooms and theaters.

In the case of the NHS, it is estimated that over 60% of its carbon footprint is in Scope 3: supply chain and partners. While the carbon emissions figures may differ for other organizations, the trends are generally similar, so our focus should be clear: the operational phase. We also need to ensure that primary assets and services, as well as their supply chain, are properly measured, managed, monitored and improved.

Data, data and more data

Too often, static and active data from disjointed processes and disparate unconnected solutions is kept in silos or not persisted throughout the lifecycle. This disconnection prevents the data from being used for continuous improvement.

For new construction investment projects, static data is generally kept in CAD, BIM, CDE (common data environments) and asset management (CAFM, CMMS) solutions. Active data typically comes from sources, such as IoT sensing, BMS and SCADA solutions, which are mostly found once the asset is used in the operational phase.

But the importance of interoperability, or at least of defining a roadmap for migration to more modern systems better suited to an interoperable environment, must be stressed. Gap analysis can help us better understand the technology, people and processes in place, helping to deploy and integrate an appropriate smart building environment.

Only when these projects are supported by an ecosystem of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for disciplines sharing the same vision and goal of an interoperable environment generating reusable data for the business outcomes desired by customers. that we can expect to achieve Net-Zero Carbon (NZC) results.

Sharing and merging data from different solutions is essential. For example, why heat and light a room if it is not in use? This scenario requires static data, such as room, dimensions, and location, and active data, such as temperature, power consumption, and occupancy. The positive impact on NZC goals would be extremely significant if owner-operators and engineering, architects and construction (AEC) partners adopted open interoperable solutions to ensure that shared and non-siled data can be used for achieve desired business results such as NZC.

Why do solutions need to work together? Simply put, data-driven decision making opens up countless possibilities to reduce the carbon footprint, but we can’t do it by working like an island. We need to bring together static and active data to be part of smart sustainability algorithms aimed at reducing direct and indirect emissions.

The right questions about who, why, when, and how assets and locations are used need to be asked and applied to the merged data sources to gain insight and drive action and continuous improvement.

Simon Roberts, Managing Director of Mercateo UK & Ireland, said: “The digitally integrated approach we have developed with SRO and our green partners is a potential change for sustainability in the built environment. With proper use of the data collected and exploited throughout the entire asset lifecycle, we can now bring together intelligent asset management and e-procurement solutions to automate the supply chain process, from “identified need” using IoT on the asset, to ordering parts from selected sustainable suppliers, to managing maintenance work. orders.”

Collaboration and skills

But since different software and subject matter experts are required throughout the lifecycle of an asset, bringing different companies and their respective software / hardware and services together and accessing their data can be difficult. The skills of traditional AEC organizations are often only found in one area – like design or construction – and do not expand to take into account the much larger operational impacts that a true smart sustainable building must conform to.

Addressing interoperability using open standards of key solutions used throughout the asset lifecycle will ensure that data is not lost or duplicated. It will also ensure that data can be augmented and shared as the project progresses through the design, construction and operation phases.

Using an ecosystem of organizations, each specializing in the different solutions needed throughout the asset lifecycle of a built environment project, ensures modular open interoperable solutions and helps the client avoid risk to fall into closed and proprietary solutions where it risks being blocked by the supplier. in. Interoperability enables “best-in-class” solutions that can be easily replaced or withdrawn if they are no longer fit for purpose. This approach also supports economic sustainability, as it allows multiple organizations to participate and contribute.

The good news is that there are organizations that are taking this approach.

Amanda Gomersall, Managing Director Corporate Services and Real Estate at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, said: “The Design and Build Investment Project team, E&FM and other internal stakeholders are working together. and feed into a roadmap that will bring together new construction data. and existing systems, within three to five years. By having access to the right data and information, we can achieve peak efficiency, which will help us meet our net zero goals and become carbon neutral by 2040.

Professor Chris Gorse, University of Leeds Beckett, agrees: “The integration of digital assets and assets throughout the asset lifecycle is essential. The luxury of assuming that buildings are functioning as intended is insufficient. The lack of consistent and recognized measures prohibits clients from investing due to the inability to justify or prove business cases. As such, Leeds Beckett University will create an ‘exemplary’ environment capable of identifying, measuring and promoting opportunities and innovation in CO2 reduction and clinical health care outcomes. health. ”

Reach net zero

Achieving the zero net emissions targets is going to be a challenge for all asset intensive organizations. There are no quick fixes or quick fixes, and owner-operators and the wider AEC industry must leapfrog or fail for their organizations and the planet.

But innovation is not just a question of technology. It’s also about how technology, people, and processes are applied to a problem. There are some areas where a mindset shift is needed to sustain these leaps and bounds – from collaboration and an insufficient digital skill set, to engaging early operations, and interoperating solutions that produce non-siled data.

The NZC’s goals by 2050 are perfectly achievable. We have all the necessary technologies and other pieces of the puzzle. Collaborating, ensuring interoperability throughout the asset lifecycle and stopping Design-to-Handover thinking will be essential to achieve these goals.

Mark Coates, International Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Bentley Systems

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