What Is Microsoft Doing at Greenbuild?
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Microsoft releases initial results from an energy management pilot project that uses the MS campus as a test bed. The Microsoft campus is serving as a test-bed facility for a "smarter buildings" pilot project that analyzes and interprets e... That data set also includes real-time weather data and building occupancy statistics. Now Microsoft is developing algorithms that take all this information and learn about how buildings respond to weather--not just climate--as well as occupancy on a really granular level. This is really cool stuff with a lot of potential for providing us with better predictive energy modeling as well as greater ability to get building occupants invested in controlling their own energy use. Start making sense The pilot project also focused on getting data to make more sense for facility managers. The systems can diagnose, prioritize, monetize, and alert the operations staff about problems before anyone complains--and about problems no one would notice to complain about. This "smart building" idea, according to the paper and a Microsoft blog post about it, can pay for itself in 18 to 24 months and offer energy savings of 10%–30%--without any capital improvements or retrofits. Clearly, sealing and insulating your building is also important, but if you streamline your ability to manage your energy data before undertaking a big retrofit project, you might even be able to diagnose and prioritize the most cost-effective retrofits before you get started. I'll be talking more about this pilot project in an article on occupant engagement in next month's Environmental Building News . Meanwhile, what do you think of Microsoft's idea of saving 10%–30% on energy without so much as picking up a pry bar?