Progressing from physical materials to supporting digital solutions.
A connected building involves integrating an overall technical management system that covers all of its functional aspects (energy, fluids, air conditioning, safety, etc.) and which allows users to visualize and understand how they use these functions.
The building sector is essential for the energy transition
Buildings represent the historical moment we are currently living through: the globalized urban age.
In France, the building sector is responsible for more than 45% of end-energy consumption, more than transportation (32%), agriculture (31%) and industry (19%). It is therefore key that the sector be involved in meeting the challenges of the energy transition. Whether at home, at work, at school, at cultural or sporting events, we spend 80% of our time in buildings. Improving user comfort and the overall system productivity could have a huge impact on the quality of life of millions of people and the performance of millions of buildings!
Why connected buildings?
For a long time, it was impossible to accurately know how systems work in a building (peaks of use, duration, the most used services, etc.). Thanks to connected objects, we are now capable of monitoring how building services and systems are used and therefore how to improve them.
Also, buildings are being “virtualized” like many other physical environments. Building Information Modeling (BIM) provides operators with a digital overview of the building in all its dimensions, while makes it easier to manage from a technical perspective.
ENGIE, connected buildings and BIM?
ENGIE took a stake in Sigfox in February 2015 and in Connit in October 2016. These two partners provide the Group with access to a network and solutions for capturing, analyzing and processing information. These technologies have already been integrated into solutionsthat the Group provides (Cofely Vision, monitoring consumption at the meter level, etc.).
The Group is also developing Novaldi, an overall solution that will allow us to offer Usage Performance Contracts (CPU) for in the commercial real estate sector. This solution relies heavily on BIM.
Energy producing buildings
Connected buildings also mean those that can generate energy to cover their needs, but also – thanks to the emergence of blockchain technology – sell surplus energy to others.
In Belgium, ENGIE Electrabel installs solar panels for individual homeowners that includes a Boxx solution to help them control their consumption.