Big Data needs Big Ambition

Big Data needs Big Ambition

I recently enjoyed reading Andrew Eastwell’s interesting article in February’s edition of Modern Building Services entitled ‘Making buildings better’ which also appears here

Andrew identifies the potential of Big Data in helping improve the design and operational performance of UK buildings. Andrew also goes on to explain that much of the data required to provide greater insight into building performance is ‘…already available through installed BEMS.’ Whilst useful data is captured by BEMS, it’s generally not readily accessible, at least not in the public domain…. but it could be.

In the US the DOE Buildings Performance Database (DOE BPD) provides energy data, based upon annual energy returns, from almost 200,000 buildings spread across the USA. Check it out it’s awesome! In the UK AMEE (AMEE) provides an environmental score based in part on anonymised energy consumption data from 400,000 UK companies; two examples of ambitious Big Data projects.

In 2010 the newly elected coalition government in the UK directed all central government departments to capture and publish their energy consumption, live to the web. This directive continues today, so nearly 4 years of time series energy consumption data from prominent UK buildings is available on publicly accessible websites, for example here

We have the technology to capture and publish in the public domain, the operational performance of individual buildings (and the cost of the technology to do this continues to fall), what we need however to deliver Big Data is quite simply Big Ambition.

John Taylor is the MD of TR Control Solutions Ltd