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Greater standardisation and reporting of building data enable decarbonisation

11 November 2021

To coincide with Cities and the Built Environment Day at COP26, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) have published a new report on using data and smart technology to reduce emissions from buildings.

(Credit: IMechE)
(Credit: IMechE)

The report “Decarbonising building operations: Data as a driving force in reducing greenhouse gas emissions” makes the case for standardisation and increased sharing of information relating to how buildings are used by their owners and occupants.

Facilitating the ability to use digital technologies, such as those associated with smart sensors, Digital Twins and Cyber-Physical Systems will support the better management and use of energy.

Better data reporting and analysis can also identify spaces that can be used when a building is not occupied or is under occupied and therefore facilitate other uses for such spaces.

The key to all this is the role of information. The intention is that this information is used to inform the development and implementation of robust design guidelines focused on the core issue of greenhouse gas emission reductions and based on properly sourced and understood data.

The role of the government is clear: facilitating the development of data and information protocols or in bringing together the relevant partners in support of change and development.

Matt Rooney, Head of Policy at the Institution, said: “Improving energy efficiency of buildings has long been associated with low-tech solutions like insulation and more efficient appliances. Opportunities to implement new advanced technology in addition to these gives the potential to accelerate progress in decarbonising buildings.

“By standardising and sharing data on building use, while also enforcing strict privacy rules, the increased employment of methods like digital twins and cyber-physical systems can both reduce emissions and make more productive use of our physical spaces.”

The release of “Decarbonising building operations: Data as a driving force in reducing greenhouse gas emissions” has been timed to coincide with Cities, Regions, and Built Environment Day at COP26.

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