Urbanisation is one of the main trends shaping our world today. As cities grow and new buildings appear across the globe, we must look closely at the places where we live, work, and play. It is in these spaces that some of the biggest energy challenges can be seen… and answered.
Energy efficiency is one. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, energy consumed by buildings has grown to around 40% of total consumption. Should this trend continue, buildings may soon become the biggest consumer of energy worldwide. In light of these figures, the urgent need for energy efficiency measures in new and existing buildings is evident.
This is not a case of sustainability for sustainability’s sake ― the energy needed to power buildings constitutes a major part of operating expenses. It’s an area for potential savings in almost any enterprise.
During my many years at Schneider Electric, I have seen first-hand that that integrated building management solutions are an excellent way to enable smart, sustainable ecosystems inside and outside of buildings. Our SmartStruxure solution, a combination of software and hardware, provides greater levels of insight and analysis using energy and operational data. As a result, building owners and operators gain a better understanding of their physical assets and can save up to 30 per cent on energy costs.
A second challenge posed by the growing number of buildings is the risk of electrical failures and downtime. In today’s economy, electrical safety and reliability are key. Every building is business critical.
To maximize electrical safety in all types of buildings ― to protect people, equipment, and data – buildings need innovative and reliable safety equipment.
To provide one example from Schneider Electric, consider the Masterpact circuit breaker. This was the first ever maintenance-free, high-power breaker in the market and the first to intensively use electronics, minimizing risk from high current to neighbouring devices. Today, it can be connected to a building management system with modern communication features and offers a balance between safety, power availability, and energy efficiency.
The bottom line is that, by using well-designed equipment and smart management solutions, building owners and operators can ensure building safety and energy efficiency. This is very important, because in today’s buildings, energy waste and electrical risks are simply unacceptable.