Companies and real estate owners around the world are right now facing an unexpected and unwanted challenge – How to re-open their offices and re-start their business, and at the same time, be able to guarantee a safe and healthy workspace without challenging their sustainability targets. The solution is most likely to be found in the use of new technologies like AI, to upgrade existing office buildings to become safe, smart, and resilient.
For years it has been known that a healthy working environment has a high impact on the productivity and wellbeing of people working in offices. Providing simple things like good ventilation, clean air, and proper lightning will pay back in multiples. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have estimated that just improving indoor air quality in offices could add as much as $20 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
Even though handling the COVID 19 situation is the main challenge at the moment, the overall demand for sustainability, energy reduction, and CO2 neutrality is still there. Bering in mind that buildings alone are responsible for a staggering 40% of all global energy consumption and an equal amount of all CO2 emissions.
A healthy and safe building is the new minimum
Real estate owners and employers around the world are now facing demands that are partly new from their employees; My building needs to be safe! Office buildings in the future must be a great place to work in, and they must be in a safe and healthy building. If not, companies will not be able to attract people to come back to their offices.
To be able to provide a safe office environment, you need to be in control of the situation in your buildings and to know; How many people there are in the facility and where they are? How is the air quality, and do we have an optimal CO2-levels, humidity, and temperatures inside? Thanks to new and easily implemented IoT sensors that knowledge is relatively easy to obtain today. The challenge for the real estate companies is to make use of it. To be able to act on all variations to avoid deviations from the optimal conditions that could have a significant negative impact. Here is where AI can make a huge difference and guarantee a safe and healthy environment.
A study performed by Harward’s Healthy Buildings Lab found that every time you double the rate of outdoor air delivered into an office, worker performance improves by 1,7%. Another analysis of sick leave data for more than 3.000 workers across 4.000 buildings found that 57% of all sick leaves were attributed to poor ventilation. Reasons enough for actions, without taking COVID 19 into the calculation.
AI learns and adjusts 24/7
Adjusting and optimizing the HVAC system to secure optimal indoor conditions is constant work, where Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning has proven to outperform manual labor. At best, real estate companies have an energy expert adjusting the HVAC system monthly.
“Our new AI software adjusts the ventilation between 4-5.000 times day, says Tuomas Pippola CEO at Nuuka Solutions, that is more than 600 adjustments per hour or 10 per minute. Impossible to achieve manually. The software makes adjustments based on the buildings’ earlier performances, in combination with real-time data from both internal and external sensors, such as CO2 levels in different areas, outside temperatures, and levels of pollutions, etc. The result is safe and optimal indoor conditions“.
To use new digital technology for updating existing office buildings has been on the table of many real estate companies for several years, but has now moved to the top of the agenda. More and more companies are connecting their portfolio to a cloud-based platform to get in control of their buildings’ conditions and consumption.
Study’s shows that you can achieve 20% energy savings in HVAC using AI, which means around 6% savings in total operating cost for the real estate company. Big numbers and a significant impact on sustainability. And that is on top of giving optimal indoor conditions.
“Thanks to more than 100 ready integrations, our system is possible to implement on top of most of today’s building systems and sensors, says Tuomas Pippola, which means that most buildings can be upgraded to safe and sustainable buildings“.
This crisis, like earlier, will most likely be a driver for new ideas and technologies. Giving resilient companies an advantage, and that providing a healthy building will go from a “nice to have” to a competitive advantage.
For more information regarding the Nuuka AI services contact Olli Parkkonen, +358 50 494 1584 olli.parkkonen@nuukasolutions.