Credit Suisse Real Estate Asset Management, one of Europe’s largest private builders and building owners, joined forces with real estate management company Wincasa and Siemens to launch an energy controlling program. This project involves examining and optimizing the energy efficiency of approximately one thousand properties within the bank’s real estate portfolio in order to systematically reduce their total energy consumption and CO2 emissions without any additional construction work. This five-year program is expected to cut the CO2 emissions of all buildings by at least 10% annually, equivalent to approximately 13,000 metric tonnes.
In the past, Credit Suisse Real Estate Asset Management had limited opportunities for systematically examining ways to save and optimize energy use in its existing properties. The successful energy management system implemented conserves resources and is based on meaningful information and transparency in energy balance sheets. In other words, it is possible to verify when, why and where energy is needed and consumed. Energy data is monitored, collected and evaluated continuously to facilitate targeted optimization measures.
Hansjörg Sidler, Sales Director Energy Efficiency of the Siemens Building Technologies Division, says, “We examine all data needed to assess and increase efficiency, subject it to a thorough analysis and compare it with industry standards. Benchmarking across all buildings allows the customer to purposefully use their funds to improve sustainability.” In implementing the program, engineers and technicians at Siemens Building Technologies draw on their wealth of experience with specific operational optimization measures that they have collected over the course of many years, including the work on the energy efficiency program at their own worldwide facilities.
Real-time energy monitoring
Approximately 60 buildings managed by Credit Suisse that consume the most energy and account for over 40 percent of the portfolio’s total consumption were connected to the Siemens Advantage Service Center (ASC) over a remote control link. The ASC monitors and controls the connected properties efficiently and cost-effectively via remote access. It also consolidates all important information and operating functions, such as controlling and regulating the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems as well as consumption monitoring data relating to oil, gas, electricity and water use. The ASC maintains a detailed overview of the buildings’ energy consumption in real-time. Experts can take corrective action when values deviate from the predefined setpoints. Any optimization work that cannot be done remotely is carried out on site by service technicians or employees of the building operator.
Another 900 buildings within the real estate portfolio are checked annually based on their energy consumption data. For this purpose, energy engineers analyze the properties, optimize the systems and fine-tune their operation. If it turns out, for example, that the earlier ventilation operating times did not meet the daily needs of the building users, or if the rooms are overheated and underused, the engineers can correct this situation and keep the energy consumption in check. More extensive energy savings measures are implemented by the building operator.
The data is centrally captured in the Siemens Service Platform and is made available to the customer in dashboards and statistics. This proven tool provides all functions and energy efficiency data needed for energy management over the Internet. It forms the backbone for all processes and activities during all phases of a building’s or a property’s life cycle. Building managers can retrieve the latest information on energy consumption values and costs, CO2 emissions and benchmark figures at the click of a mouse on a clearly organized dashboard. In addition, benchmarking across all analyzed buildings makes it possible to use funds earmarked for sustainability improvements purposefully and effectively and to operate the buildings sustainably over the long term.
Energy efficiency increases building’s value
“Real estate companies want to give their tenants an attractive ‘green’ building because they see this as an opportunity to do their part for sustainability. Sustainable buildings are more valuable and thus more attractive. This joint energy controlling program enables our customer to meet their ambitious sustainability goals without spending a lot of money,” concludes Sidler.
Roger Baumann Global Head of Product Development and Sustainability at Credit Suisse Real Estate Asset Management, adds: “Energy efficiency also protects investments in real estate. Not only does it extend the life cycles of technical systems, it also allows you to reinvest the saved energy and operating costs in the buildings. This makes it possible to finance necessary modernization projects that protect your investment.” In the end, this also benefits the building users. After all, it has been demonstrated that employee productivity increases in office buildings which offer a comfortable work environment.