Buildings typically operate on set schedules. Calculations and a lot of effort is done to optimize these schedules, but they don’t respond well to actual conditions. This can result in spaces that are over-ventilated, under-ventilated, too hot, or too cold at times. Additionally, building components performance drift over time and set points need to be adjusted accordingly.
Building IQ takes the building management data and uploads it to a cloud based server. From there, analytics are performed to optimize the setpoints and operating parameters of the system. This not only reduces the amount of energy used in these systems, but also increases the life time of the equipment as they are operating only as fast as necessary.
Work with control companies to find a platform of customers to develop pilot programs for installation. Get the utility companies to approve Measurement and Verification process to establish savings estimates. Next, have the utility companies issue prescriptive rebates for this type of installation. Finally, work with the controls company to install and run Building IQ at the sites.
“I spent 8 years in the Navy operating Nuclear Power Plants on an aircraft carrier. I love this idea. The biggest issue is getting the power from the plant to the shore, but if they can do it with wind turbines, they can do it with nuclear power.”
1) Sustainability Problem: Energy Use
70% of Electrical Production relies on fossil fuels and the USDA has predicted that by the 2030s electrical demand will increase by 40%. Currently, buildings use 40% of the electricity generated in the United States and this is expected to increase. Currently, photovoltaic technology, which uses sunlight to create energy, is gaining momentum as a form of renewable energy yet in order to harvest enough energy to run a commercial building, a huge swath of land must be employed. Roof-installed solar panels are not sufficient as their limited size also limits the amount of solar energy they can absorb.
1) Sustainable Technology: Solar Windows
Solar Windows Technology, Inc. has created a solution to energy production that would create acres of vertical solar farms in cities by installing solar paneled windows on skyscrapers and tall towers. They claim that this innovative technology would eliminate the need to use vast acres of land as a 50 story building could generate the same energy production as a 6-acre solar farm and allow for both electrical generation and energy banking. Solar Windows Technology, Inc is targeting towers and skyscrapers which consume about 40% of the energy generated for electricity in the United States. They claim that financial models show that these windows could save building owners 30-50% per year and installation would have a simple payback of 1 year. According to a recent article in Newsweek, “Researchers say transparent solar cell technology that harvests invisible wavelengths of light could meet nearly 100 percent of energy demand in the United States.” While there are still issues with efficiency of solar panels, and these windows are not immune to this problem, researchers are seeing improvements and they believe that approximately “5 billion to 7 billion square meters of glass surface in the United States could be used to meet 40 percent of the country’s energy demand, or “close to 100 percent” if energy storage is improved.”
3) Technology Stakeholder
Large Building Onwers
Solar Windows Technology Inc.
Identify a large city that has a sustainable energy problem they want to address.
Create a public-private partnership between the chosen city, sustainable investors, and Solar Windows Technology, Inc.
Create a multi-year timeline to roll-out solar window technology in 5 city-owned and operated buildings that have been monitoring their energy use for at least 5-10 years. This is essential to create baseline measurements.
Install in 2 buildings over first 6 month period.
Compare savings every 3 months after installation to the baseline measurements ensuring that the comparison covers the same period of the year (i.e. February compared to February).
After the first year, if energy savings are 30-50% as expected, roll-out to remaining 3 buildings. If the model is successful, create a policy for new construction and building retrofits for all city-owned buildings.
Sustainability Problem: With rising sea levels and the ever-increasing population growth, alternative living solutions are in dire need. Italian architect Luca Curci has just unveiled a design that envisions a soaring zero-energy tower infused with greenery on each level that will be planted into the sea floor, resulting in what could be the future of self-contained architecture.
The Vertical City tower is designed to reach a height of 2,460 feet with 180 floors. The tower will be layered with a membrane of photovoltaic glass to ensure there is sufficient energy for the entire building. Other features are as follows:
190,000 square feet of mixed-use floor surface
Natural lighting due to perforated slots throughout the exterior
66,000 feet of outdoor green space
Access possible through water, land or air
Solar Vertical City is a self-contained, green-infused tower planted into the ocean floor| Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building
“A very innovative idea! However, my concern is, how would Olli cater to many different passengers’ destinations? Will it be able to find the most optimal route to drop each passenger (like Via)? Or will it drop the passengers one by one according to when they stepped into the bus?”
Many new construction technologies are being developed to help build sustainable buildings. Sustainable and green construction materials, green ventilation architecture, zero-energy buildings etc. are some of the key areas technology innovation is driving sustainability. Zero-energy buildings are specially designed and engineered to rely on renewable sources of energy allowing them to operate independent of the electric grid.
About 40% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed in residential and commercial buildings, or about 39 quadrillion British thermal units. The primary sources of this energy demand is met by fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas which are harmful to our environment causing devastating effects.
Consumers, Institutions, Commercial Enterprises around the world
Incorporate green and zero-energy construction technologies like solar, wind, smart glass, smart roofs and natural sun-light
Provide meaningful government support and subsidies for green buildings
Legislate incorporating green standards to be used on building constructions. Ex: % green thresholds similar to emission controls or minimum mileage standards in automobiles