IBM’s Dave Bartlett talking today’s Smarter Buildings

I had a chat with IBM’s Dave Bartlett while we were both at at Pulse 2011 about the state of Smarter Buildings and Smarter Cities today and their possibilities.

Here’s a transcription of our conversation:

Tom Raftery: Hi everyone! Welcome to GreenMonk TV. I am here with Dave Bartlett. We are at IBM’s Pulse 2011 event.

Dave, you have become known as the Building Whisperer. We are talking about smarter buildings at the event quite a lot. It seems to be one of the focuses that IBM is looking at very strongly.

Is it all science fiction or is this kind of stuff that we can do today, or are we talking a year or two years? What’s the kind of time scale that we are looking at for this kind of stuff?

Dave Bartlett: No, it’s today, a very present possibility. When we stepped back and looked at what’s happened in the last decade, there has just been a rapid acceleration and proliferation of smart sensors. Every appliance going into buildings now has smart technology into it. So they are all emitting all these digital feeds. So that’s where the Building Whisperer comes in. There is all this data. If someone just really listens to it end-to-end, it’s amazing the opportunity we have today just to integrate into those systems and save energy.

Tom Raftery: Sure. But these buildings are emitting data, but I mean, how long is it going to take to actually get something out there that will be able to integrate all these feeds and present it to somebody?

Dave Bartlett: Okay. So when you look at it, they are emitting a lot of data from different equipment types. So there is different protocols to deal with, different networks to deal with. It’s a lot of data. That’s a second thing.

Third, it really does need an IT focus in addition to the building management skills, and that’s what IBM does so well. I was able to find technology that exists today off the shelf in IBM to really do the monitoring connection to the equipment, to do the data warehousing, to do the analytics, to build the dashboard, that technology all exists today. So it’s just a matter of connecting it and connecting it turns out is not a big deal.

Tom Raftery: So we can do it today. You are going to market with products for building managers to run buildings and global facilities?

Dave Bartlett: Absolutely! In fact, when I presented it to our Chairman, he said, well, this is great, take it market, but I want to start within IBM, which I thought was some great leadership.

So just within the past year we have implemented it, not only in our headquarters building, but in one of our biggest energy using sites, and it has already exceeded the base case in terms of savings and given 200% return on the investment.

Tom Raftery: Wow! I mean, what’s the kind of global marketplace for this kind of stuff?

Dave Bartlett: I mean, there are lots of different estimates, but there has been a study done by a Climate Group called SMART 2020 that said, if we do exactly what we are doing, apply existing communication and IT technology to the space, that we could save hundreds of billions of dollars in energy between now and the year 2020.

Tom Raftery: Okay. Dave, that’s great! Thanks a million for coming on the show!

Dave Bartlett: Thank you!

Disclosure – IBM sponsored this video and paid T&E for me to attend Pulse.

You should follow me on Twitter here


Friday Morning Green Numbers round-up 04/09/2010

Green numbers

Photo credit Unhindered by Talent

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


April 13th GreenMonk Energy and Sustainability show

Here is a recording of today’s GreenMonk Energy and Sustainability show complete with the chatstream below:

04:31 TomRaftery : About to kick off
04:32 TomRaftery : Can you see & hear me ok?
04:33 TomRaftery : Hello?
04:33 ustreamer-36203 : Hi Tom
04:33 ustreamer-36203 : Andrew Newton of APEsphere here
04:34 ustreamer-36203 : yep, all good
04:35 ustreamer-39040 : I can see and hear ya. Just have to log in – This is Suki
04:37 TomRaftery :
04:37 ustreamer-13870 : Den here..
04:37 ustreamer-13870 : Ola todos
04:39 TomRaftery :
04:40 TomRaftery :
04:43 ustreamer-13870 : Wonder if SAP will try doing the same thing as MSFT?
04:44 TomRaftery :
04:44 Suki_Fuller : I’ve gotten sucked into the Zigbee newsletter – liking this thing
04:46 ustreamer-13870 : RyanAir are the world’s worst airline IMO
04:47 Suki_Fuller : Nah – Delta
04:47 ustreamer-13870 : It’s a flying shopping mall
04:47 TomRaftery :
04:48 ustreamer-13870 : I will do almost anything to avoid flying RyanAir (anyhooo – good for them in dropping prices)
04:50 TomRaftery :
04:51 TomRaftery :
04:55 Suki_Fuller : They seem to be going backwards in all regards apparently
04:55 ustreamer-36203 : Another Amazon CSR blinder from today:
04:55 TomRaftery :
04:55 Suki_Fuller : That better be tap water
04:57 TomRaftery :
04:57 TomRaftery :
04:59 TomRaftery :
05:05 TomRaftery :
05:07 TomRaftery : Anyone anything else to talk about?
05:07 Suki_Fuller : Us UK people over here had to get up.
05:07 Suki_Fuller : In US
05:07 Suki_Fuller : UK people in US
05:08 Suki_Fuller : Thank you Tom as always learned much
05:08 TomRaftery : Over and out – thanks everyone for a great show
05:09 TomRaftery : Thank you Suki


ICT could deliver approximately 7.8 GtCO2e of emissions savings in 2020

Measuring time
Photo Credit aussiegall

James has, in previous posts referred to the fact that IT is responsible for 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions but that it can have a disproportionate influence on the other 98%. This is something we believe fundamentally in GreenMonk so it is great to see others vindicating our position.

The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) recently published a report, independently audited by McKinsey and Company called Smart 2020. The report is a fascinating read and comes to the conclusion that ICT could:

deliver approximately 7.8 GtCO2e of emissions savings in 2020. This represents 15% of emissions in 2020 based on a BAU [Business As Usual] estimation. It represents a significant proportion of the reductions below 1990 levels that scientists and economists recommend by 2020 to avoid dangerous climate change. In economic terms, the ICT-enabled energy efficiency translates into approximately €600 billion ($946.5 billion) of cost savings. It is an opportunity that cannot be overlooked.

Apart from emissions associated with deforestation, the largest contributors to climate change are transportation and power generation, so how could IT help these functions?

According to the report the use of

  1. Smart motor systems – optimised motors and industrial automation would reduce 0.97 GtCO2e [0.97 giga tons CO2 emissions] in 2020, worth €68 billion ($107.2 billion)
  2. Smart logistics – global savings from smart logistics in 2020 would reach 1.52 GtCO2e, with energy savings worth €280 billion ($441.7 billion)
  3. Smart buildings – smart buildings technologies would enable 1.68 GtCO2e of emissions savings, worth €216 billion ($340.8 billion) and
  4. Smart grids – smart grid technologies were the largest opportunity found in the study and could globally reduce 2.03 GtCO2e , worth €79 billion ($124.6 billion)

Even though we have been heavily promoting the use of smart grids and demand response on this blog I was impressed that they could reduce CO2 emissions by 2 giga tons by 2020. This is one of the reasons why I was super-excited today when SAP’s Mike Prosceno invited me to attend their SAP for Utilities conference which is going to be in San Antonio Texas in October. This is a conference about the future of utilities and there will be a big focus on smart grids, smart meters and AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure).

How will IT help reduce emissions? It comes back to that old chestnut – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Or as Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group said in his opening address in the report:

When we started the analysis, we expected to find that ICT could make our lives ‘greener’ by making them more virtual – online shopping, teleworking and remote communication all altering our behaviour. Although this is one important aspect of the ICT solution, the first and most significant role for ICT is enabling efficiency.

Consumers and businesses can’t manage what they can’t measure. ICT provides the solutions that enable us to ‘see’ our energy and emissions in real time and could provide the means for optimising systems and processes to make them more efficient. Efficiency may not sound as inspirational as a space race but, in the short term, achieving efficiency savings equal to 15% of global emissions is a radical proposition.

Via Doug Neal (aka gblnetwkr)