By 2050, over 2.5 billion people will move to cities (United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects: 2014 Revision). To accommodate urbanisation, our cities must become smarter and more efficient. How? We look to buildings: the bedrock of cities worldwide. Buildings are where we spend most of our lives: working, shopping, relaxing, studying, and even getting well. In short, living.
It’s no wonder that buildings consume 33% of global energy today and 53% of the world’s electricity. What’s more, their electricity consumption will grow by 80% by 2040 (IEA, 4Degree Scenario). Yet, to Schneider Electric and our customers, therein lies incredible opportunity. For 82% of the economic potential of energy efficiency in buildings remains untapped (IEA, World Energy Outlook 2012, internal analysis). Not only do we have the corporate responsibility to curb energy demand by lowering consumption; we have the technological advancements to do so.
Through Innovation At Every Level, made possible by our EcoStruxure™ architecture and platform, we can help cities make their buildings smarter to improve occupant safety and comfort, while boosting operational efficiency and lowering energy use as well.
Retrofit and future-fit
We say “smart buildings,” we don’t mean overhauling and rebuilding. In developed economies, at least half of the buildings that will be in use in 2050 have already been built (United Nations Environment Programme, Buildings and Climate Change). In many of those buildings, older or outdated building systems are the number one cause of large-scale inefficiencies. To address these inefficiencies, retrofit solutions that update aging infrastructure to monitor, measure, and optimise energy consumption throughout the lifecycle of a building, regardless of age or existing systems, are key.
Modernizing buildings for the here and now is not enough, however. Buildings must stand the test of time, delivering efficiency today and tomorrow. Any retrofit step we take must also be future-fit. Smart buildings break down traditional energy management silos by integrating disparate systems without the need to perform a costly ‘rip and replace’ installation. Benefits of smart buildings can be applied to chains of buildings, multisite branches, or single buildings.
By bringing together energy, automation, and software, EcoStruxure™ is our answer to enhancing ongoing value around safety, reliability, efficiency, and sustainability through a connected, dynamic building ecosystem – from sensors to services. And for new builds, EcoStruxure™ ensures that building efficiency can stand the test of time.