Improving building environment and plant performance

    LSH teams up with 4D Monitoring to provide a cost-effective solution to improving building environment and plant performance.

    Traditionally, large multi-occupied office buildings had an onsite caretaker or building manager to monitor and deal, often reactively, with any issues surrounding the buildings mechanical plant. Then came the integration of BMS (building management systems) but its success relied upon the user being able to interpret data and interrogate the system to analyse performance. Big, shiny trophy buildings often incorporate smart buildings via expensive BMS and M&E consultants but LSH has successfully sourced and implemented a cost-effective, immediate payback smart building. With proper tenant consultation, LSH has managed to trial the technology and costs were recovered via the buildings service charge budget.

    What is it?

    4D monitoring is a cloud-based system that allows all system participants to directly monitor the building environment and performance of plantroom equipment.

    How does it work?

    Sensors are fitted to critical assets and transmit live, immediate data to the 4D monitoring gateway. The data is collated and sent to the 4D monitoring portal. Parameters can be set around sensors to sound an alarm which highlight inefficiencies in plant. For example, by placing a sensor either side of an air filter, the filter can be replaced when it needs it rather than on a standard PPM (planned preventative maintenance schedule). The range of low costs sensors is significant so that there are multiple and matrix monitoring opportunities within a live building.

    Why do we need it?

    This smart technology is a new approach to monitoring maintenance and sustainability, which can reduce energy consumption. LSH is currently monitoring temperatures, water pressures, flow rates, run times. It enables the user to interrogate live performance data to quickly establish issues that perhaps would ordinarily become apparent only from reviewing utility bills, meter readings or on monthly service visits.  

    Testing

    LSH has already tested the technology on more than 34 buildings, with 388 sensors, over a three-month period and trained six contractors to use the system. The aggregate cost to install was in the region of £2,000 per building allowing it to be installed in all sizes, types and ages of office building with simple install and no interruption to building users. At a site on Bermondsey Square, LSH has calculated electricity savings of £18k p.a at one of their buildings, at another, the trial resulted in 32% reduction in chiller and boiler operation and 35% in air handling unit operation per seven-day week. This was achieved through incrementally adjusting temperatures.

    Future

    Footfall, people movement, air quality and humidity trials have now started and solutions for retail parks and industrial parks such as car park light monitoring are being considered.