Balanced buildings

Balanced buildings

Just south of the ancient city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is one of the world’s newest high-­efficiency buildings. It is the home of Verweij Elektrotechniek, an established electrotechnical company that has created a new state-of-the-art smart office building.

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Ron van de Beek ABB Electrification Rotterdam, Netherlands, ron.beek@nl.abb.com

The company’s 70 employees use 3-D building information models (BIM) to generate building plans for their customers – just as they have for their own building.

Loaded with networked sensors and actuators, the building responds automatically to a range of changing conditions. For instance, the lighting above workstations adjusts its color according to the location of the sun. Lights are activated by motion sensors; but if no one is in an area, even the green emergency exit signs switch off.

01 The building’s energy platform provides insights into potential savings.
01 The building’s energy platform provides insights into potential savings.

Of course, in addition to maximizing the comfort and productivity of its users, saving energy is what the building is all about. Equipped with the ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset management platform, the building not only generates much of its own energy by means of a heat pump combined with a photovoltaic system but monitors and balances this with demand – including EV charging. This load balancing ensures that systems operate safely and that peak shaving takes place, meaning that the building is virtually energy neutral in the context of the surrounding community.

Furthermore, since all the building’s energy-related systems are monitored around the clock, the resulting data is used to optimize maintenance and improve the accuracy of predictions.

02 Data generated by the building’s systems helps optimize its energy use.
02 Data generated by the building’s systems helps optimize its energy use.

The building’s energy platform is brand-independent and provides clear insights into its energy flows. Furthermore, it presents data in a clear dashboard and compiles energy reports that help users zero in on potential savings. Data is securely stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. 

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