Efficiency services

Our technology and services focus on improving the operational performance of buildings, driving positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for the benefit of all.

Investors & Managers

Fund managers and asset owners need to know their buildings are being operated at their optimal performance. Studies consistently show that strong sustainability credentials drive higher investment returns. Assets that perform to their technical potential achieve greater capital efficiency and produce better financial outcomes.

At Buildings Alive, we focus our machine learning technology on identifying and delivering efficiency improvements that require little or no capital investment. Our technology determines optimum energy usage profiles for buildings and portfolios under any combination of operating conditions by analyzing energy and environmental data at fine-grained intervals. Our automated technical analysis and feedback then helps drive efficiency improvements by analyzing divergences between the observed and optimal profiles.

The sophisticated technology that underpins our assessment of a building’s potential and supports investigation and strategy development also powers our daily, weekly and monthly feedback and analysis.

Buildings Alive was founded on the knowledge that with clear, timely feedback, building operators are able to more effectively experiment with tuning initiatives and evaluate performance. This leads to continuous improvement as actions that are associated with improved performance are repeated and factors associated with bad results are eliminated.

This system of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is the operating principle underpinning ISO 50001, the international standard for Energy Management Systems. We amplify the power of PDCA with our automated daily email feedback, our range of analysis tools and applications that support deeper investigation, and through the active support of our highly qualified and experienced team of building efficiency experts.

Utilities & Policy makers

Historically, the focus of balancing supply and demand has been predominantly on ensuring that variable demand is met with available supply. However, as variable renewable energy enters the system, it becomes necessary to consider compensating for variable supply with flexible demand. 

Buildings consume approximately 50% of electricity generation and more than three-quarters during peak times. What is less well known is the enormous scale of their potential contribution to network stability and decarbonisation. Buildings offer among the cleanest, cheapest and most powerful ‘batteries’. 

Buildings can be thought of as an interface to Distributed Energy Resources (DER) because most DERs connect to the electricity network via a building’s utility meter. By calculating and forecasting demand profiles at the utility meter level, as well as the carbon intensity and cost of electricity on the grid, Buildings Alive facilitates the ramping of loads up and down to cut emissions and stabilize demand.

Buildings Alive helps to harness the potential of buildings to become grid-interactive, efficient and flexible, supporting clean energy generation by shifting load to times of the day when energy is at its cheapest and cleanest. Such buildings are what the International Energy Agency (IEA) calls ‘zero-carbon-ready’. 

The potential from harnessing this technology at scale is enormous. For example, if Australia’s buildings shifted 33% of the energy they use in the late afternoon in summer to the middle of the day it would deliver new peak capacity in the energy market equivalent to boosting the output of coal, gas and hydro power stations by around 25%. 

A load shift of this magnitude would be a revolution in how Australia invests in the peak capacity of the electricity system. It would effectively provide new peak capacity for other energy users, equivalent to half of Australia’s existing coal fleet (52% of nameplate capacity) or more than all of Australia’s gas and diesel generators (108%). 

Load shifting does not change the amount of energy consumed but the time of the day when it is consumed. Load shifting is cheaper than expanding the peak generation capacity of the grid. In addition, for most commercial buildings, load shifting requires no capital expenditure or increase in operating costs and there are significant benefits in the form of lower energy prices.

Load shifting has immediate economic and environmental benefits for consumers and the economy, reducing costs and emissions and supporting the transition to renewable energy sources.