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Schneider Electric will complete the transformation of their East Asia and Japan regional headquarters at Kallang Avenue into a carbon neutral building by the middle of next year

This achievement will be six months ahead of the Kallang building’s original schedule of end 2020 and is made possible because of the use of smart building technologies and the Singapore Government’s liberalisation of the energy market that has seen the price of renewable energy becoming more affordable.  Globally, the building will also be first among thousands of Schneider Electric buildings in the world to be carbon neutral. Schneider Electric is aiming to be carbon neutral and to fully run its buildings on renewable electricity by 2030.

The office building in Kallang has a total gross floor area of 18,500m², and houses 1,400 employees. It not only functions as office space, but also has an innovation hub. Schneider Electric officially opened this 25-year-old retrofitted building in March 2018. This smart and green building already has 3,000 connected internet of things (IoT) points and is 100 percent solar powered during daytime. For a building of this size, the Kallang building will be one of the first in Singapore to achieve carbon neutrality.

Damien Dhellemmes, Singapore Country President at Schneider Electric, said: “It is not that difficult to be carbon neutral – one can simply switch from using electricity to solar energy. The challenge here is making the switch to renewable energy at an economically viable and sustainable level.”

Since its official opening in March 2018, the Kallang building has already reduced its energy consumption by 20 per cent from using green design elements such as light-emitting diode (LED) lights, and air-conditioning systems with higher energy efficiency ratios. Another 20 percent of energy consumption savings is to be achieved from using smart building technologies. When energy efficiency hits 60 per cent, the company will then switch to 100 percent solar energy.

The Kallang building has more than 3,000 connected IoT points, connecting 1,100 Schneider Electric devices including circuit breakers, power tags, CCTV, card access, smoke detectors and motion sensors. Data generated by these sensors will be collected and analysed to help make real-time informed decisions on optimising the energy efficiency of machinery and equipment.

The reduction of energy consumption is not done at the expense of comfort. There are sensors that monitor and collect data of environmental temperature, humidity, noise, and light levels. Management can then aggregate and rank these conditions with a comfort score and pinpoint issues to improve work environments.

Other than making the building more energy efficient, the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is now more economically viable ever since the government liberalised the electricity market. Schneider Electric is able to take advantage of a reduction in solar energy prices to reach their goal of carbon neutrality earlier than expected.

“Achieving carbon neutrality is only the beginning. The bigger challenge is to continue to remain energy efficient as the equipment becomes older and the energy needs increase. To achieve sustainable energy efficiency in the long run, we need to use connected smart sensors and big data analytics to continuously monitor and control the energy management of the building, while ensuring the comfort and well-being of our employees in their working environment,” added Damien Dhellemmes.

 

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