Future-proofing facilities management (Future FM )

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Civil & Environmental Engineering

Abstract

Non-domestic buildings account for approximately 18% of UK carbon emissions and 13% of final energy consumption. In contrast to domestic buildings, which can be well characterised by a few representative archetypes, the non-domestic sector is highly diverse incorporating a range of built forms to satisfy the needs of commercial, retail, public service, and other end-use sectors. These assets are also very long-lasting and it is estimated that 70% of the UK's current non-domestic buildings will still be in service in 2050. Consequently a major challenge is to design technologies and operating strategies that support a transformation of existing non-domestic buildings into efficient buildings compatible with the UK's energy and climate policy goals.

Facilities managers must balance people (the occupants), place (the building's context), and processes (the installed equipment) in order to deliver agreed levels of building services to occupants, of which energy services are particularly important. However, experience has shown that the variability of occupant behaviour and long-term changes in the demand for energy services creates significant challenges for maintaining highly efficient building energy systems. Furthermore it cannot be taken for granted that future innovations will overcome these barriers. New technologies and business models - such as smart meters, heat pumps, phase change materials, real-time pricing, pervasive sensing, and more - will bring with them implicit assumptions about buildings and their occupants and facilities managers will again need to determine how they can be installed and operated effectively, in an integrated fashion. Therefore, although the future holds significant technical potential for improving the energy efficiency of non-domestic buildings, experience suggests that none of these innovations will remove the need for fundamental improvements in the energy management of non-domestic buildings, and indeed provide more opportunities for optimisation.

The proposed three-year research project will therefore develop and demonstrate novel adaptive methods both to improve the energy performance of existing buildings and to ensure that these gains are preserved in the face of technological and societal change. This will be achieved by working with partners representing the education, commercial, and retail sectors, thus delivering immediate impact to the energy management of their buildings and also enabling the developed techniques to be sufficiently flexible for widespread use in other non-domestic buildings. The research will therefore help the UK transform its building stock to meet a range of energy and climate policy goals, while enabling the facilities management industry to demonstrate new products and services for domestic and international markets.

Planned Impact

The proposed research will develop and apply novel facilities management strategies that deliver continuous energy efficiencyt improvements and are robust under changing technologies and policy environments. The work packages develop these outcomes in three distinct non-domestic building sectors with a view to ensuring that the results are as widely applicable as possible. Consequently the research is anticipated to provide both immediate and long-term sustained impacts for the following beneficiaries:

1. Construction sector: The construction sector is coming under increasing pressure to improve the energy efficiency of its products. This is giving rise to increasing pressure for vertical integration between the construction and the management/operation phases of the building lifecycle (with a critical focus on commissioning). The research will provide improved understanding of the relationship between design and in-situ performance and will produce underpinning knowledge to support successful vertical integration.

2. Building owners: The project will work closely with building owners in three key sectors: educational (Imperial), retail (Sainsbury's), and commercial (Laing O'Rourke). With experimental tests on specific buildings within each of their estates, the project will have an immediate impact by improving knowledge about these assets and highlighting the potential benefits of more efficient management. Furthermore the methods will lead to energy savings that in turn will deliver financial savings and reputational benefits. This knowledge will also enable these firms to be more demanding clients and thus to work with facilities managers and control providers to deliver the highest quality service. Long-term impact will be achieved as the lessons from these early pilot sites are rolled out across their wider estates.

3. Facilities managers: The research will demonstrate to firms how a close integration between sensed and opportunistic data can deliver additional energy savings and thus stimulate ideas for new business and service opportunities.

4. Technology providers: The research benefits from partnering with a BMS control specialist and this allows us to push the boundaries on designing advanced control strategies that maximise the use of new data streams for an improved building performance.

5. End users: One of the major beneficiaries of the research will be the end users of non-domestic buildings (both tenants and visitors/clients), who will gain a more comfortable environment, lower energy bills and a consequence have a lower carbon footprint. This is important for commercial office space, student residences, but also for food retail which are one of the highest energy intensive building types.

6. UK business: The facilities management industry is worth between £40-95 billion annually and continuous innovation is vital to ensure that this success continues both in the UK and export markets. As the techniques we develop will be generic and widely applicable, the stakeholders mentioned above will thus have a suite of new tools available to them for sale in overseas markets.

7. Academia: For academic audiences, we plan five journal publications one for each of the technical work packages and published as open-access. We intend to complement these with social media engagement and in particular YouTube videos to demonstrate the application of the methods to real buildings. This will also encourage engagement with a wider non-expert audience. Student projects related to the project, at both undergraduate and graduate level, will provide valuable leverage to the project funding and are anticipated to be particularly appealing to students as they will be embedded within the Imperial student residences. We plan publications in key trade journals such as Energy & Buildings, Applied Energy, and Energy Policy.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have demonstrated that the use of data obtained from sources such as building access control, lighting systems and computer network access can be used to improve the performance and energy efficiency of buildings, though enabling the more efficient operation of building management systems, such as the systems that control heating, cooling and ventilation. We have further been able to quantify these benefits for different non-residential building types.
Exploitation Route We are working closely with our commercial partners to develop these methods further with a view to their integration into commercial building management systems.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Energy,Environment,Retail,Other

 
Description Research outputs were used by one of our research partners, Imperial College Estates, to diagnose problems with occupant comfort in Imperial's central library and to develop a strategy to improve occupant comfort. Results were also subsequently used to create a new project, funded by the Singapore National Research Fund.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Energy
 
Description Built Environment Lectures in the Sustainable Energy Futures MSc programme at Imperial College London
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Over 40 MSc students in sustainable energy research were lectured on built environment research challenges. This group benefited from obtaining good fundamentals and a state-of-the-art review on the latest trends and methods in improving the performance of buildings.
 
Title Global sensitivity analysis and metamodelling of non domestic buildings thermal behavior 
Description A tool which is capable of using full scale models non domestic buildings thermal behavior and controls formulated in EnergyPlus software [1] and linked with SobolGSA. SobolGSA is a general purpose GUI driven global sensitivity analysis and metamodeling software [2]. [1]. SobolGSA software (2018). http://www.imperial.ac.uk/process-systemsengineering/ research/free-software/sobolgsa-software/ [2]. EnergyPlus software (2018) https://energyplus.net/ 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None yet 
 
Title TSO Optimal Design and Scheduling of Distributed Technologies 
Description Linear programming apparaising the techno-economic feasibility of low carbon investments 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact to be seen 
 
Description BE Thinking Limited 
Organisation BE Thinking Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Through the course of the research, we have developed methods that can assess the cost of maintenance regimes, and stated interest of the company. We've also developed extended energy dashboard capabilities. The methods were contributed by research associates involved in the project as well as supervised MSc students
Collaborator Contribution BE Thinking Limited has contributed their expertise in facility management performance contracting
Impact Multi-disciplinary outcomes in the form of publications, model development, knowledge transfer to industry and policy recommendations on building management. Key disciplines addressed are and building maintenance and operation regimes. Publications thus far have been: Various MSc Thesis from the Sustainable Energy Futures research programme and conference papers at internationally renowned events.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Imperial College Estates 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through the course of the research, we have provided detailed analysis of the operation of two buildings on campus. This includes and assessment of their energy consumption, potential energy efficiency measures and thermal comfort. We have allow evaluated methods for assessing building occupancy through ICT datasets. The results of which indicate that the current occupancy sensing methods could be replaced the college's current sensing elements saving costs for future deployments. The methods were contributed by research associates involved in the project as well as supervised MSc students.
Collaborator Contribution Imperial College Estates has contributed building energy and process data, case study facilities and access to FM regime, best practices and programs.
Impact Multi-disciplinary outcomes in the form of publications, model development, knowledge transfer to industry and policy recommendations on building management. Key disciplines addressed are and building energy efficiency and occupancy detection. Publications thus far have been: Various MSc Thesis from the Sustainable Energy Futures research programme and conference papers at internationally renowned events.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Laing O'Rouke 
Organisation Laing O'Rourke
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Through the course of the research, we have developed methods that can assess the cost of maintenance regimes, and stated interest of the company. The methods were contributed by research associates involved in the project as well as supervised MSc students
Collaborator Contribution Laing O'Rourke has contributed their expertise in asset procurement and facility management performance contracting
Impact Multi-disciplinary outcomes in the form of publications, model development, knowledge transfer to industry and policy recommendations on building management. Key disciplines addressed are and facilities maintenance regimes. Publications thus far have been: Various MSc Thesis from the Sustainable Energy Futures research programme and conference papers at internationally renowned events.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Sainsburys 
Organisation Sainsbury's
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Through the course of the research, we have provided detailed analysis of the operation of several of their supermarkets. This includes analysis to determine the causes of high energy consumption, abnormal behaviour of the HVAC system, and assessments of the risk of faults in their lighting, refrigeration, and HVAC systems. The analysis was contributed by research associates involved in the project as well as supervised MSc students.
Collaborator Contribution Sainsbury's has contributed building energy and process data, case study facilities and access to FM regime, best practices and programs.
Impact Multi-disciplinary outcomes in the form of publications, model development, knowledge transfer to industry and policy recommendations on building management. Key disciplines addressed are building energy performance and facilities maintenance regimes. Publications thus far have been: Various MSc Thesis from the Sustainable Energy Futures research programme and conference papers at internationally renowned events.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Trend 
Organisation Trend Control Systems Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Through the course of the research, we have developed methods to estimate building occupancy that can be integrated with their control systems for energy efficient operations. Further working with Sainsburys' have developed an energy risk framework that can be incorporated into their current dashboard offerings. The methods were contributed by research associates involved in the project as well as supervised MSc students
Collaborator Contribution Trend has contributed their expertise in advanced building control strategies including access to their product portfolio and current research and development efforts
Impact Multi-disciplinary outcomes in the form of publications, model development, knowledge transfer to industry and policy recommendations on building management. Key disciplines addressed are and building energy control systems. Publications thus far have been: Various MSc Thesis from the Sustainable Energy Futures research programme and conference papers at internationally renowned events.
Start Year 2014
 
Description ASHRAE Annual Conference 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a presentation on the work being conducted on HVAC Re-commissioning in existing commercial buildings to ASHRAE members in the USA. The talk covered the energy performance and statistical analysis on heating demands of a diverse set of buildings across the UK. This allowed us to recommend best practice on how to resolve comfort and energy related issues. Discussion was insightful as it provided us good feedback on further work opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Building Energy Systems Seminar (Omaha, Nebraska) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presented research at the monthly seminar of the Nebraska Building Environmental and Energy Engineering Research Group (N-BE³RG), a group of faculty and graduate students who research topics related to high-performance buildings. Members of the audience included researchers, postgraduates, and members of industry. Panel followed by discussion of research and plans for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://engineering.unl.edu/NBERG/nberg-presentations/
 
Description Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dissemination of the paper was presented to about 40 researchers at the Eighth International Conference on Sensitivity Analysis of Model Output - November 30th to December 3rd 2016 in France. The presentation produced a healthy exchange and debate on how global sensitivity analysis can influence building performance analysis. This work was presented by Dr Segei Kucherenko.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://samo2016.univ-reunion.fr/
 
Description ETH Zurich Smart Building Solutions Colloqium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The colloquium gathered researchers from across Europe and the US, professional practitioners,and graduate students to discuss various methods to provide solutions of building energy systems. Over the course of two days 7 presentations were made to prompt discussion. Interaction between all participants occurred during the question and answer sessions, group meals, and guided tours of facilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Energy Futures Lab Seminar (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact During term time Energy Futures Lab hosts day time research seminars from energy researchers at Imperial College London and other partners. Attendees included MSc students in the Sustainable Energy Futures Program, members of industry, and researchers interested in the topic. After the presentation we had a lively Q&A.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/administration/energyfutureslab/events...
 
Description London Energy Plan Stakeholder Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact With London's population expected to reach 11.3 million by 2050, the London Energy Plan is bringing together existing evidence and data, and creating new data and models to help London to identify the impact of the booming population on our energy infrastructure. It will also suggest options for how we can mitigate the impact whilst keeping costs down and hitting our climate change targets.

The stakeholder workshop discussed and reviewed the scenarios, data and assumptions used for the Plan, specifically for non-domestic heating, power and cooling demand, and demand response.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description ReCoVER-TEDDINET Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a presentation and overview of the impact our energy modelling efforts on the built environment is having on business decision making for on-site generation investment. Combining energy cost, demand, and CHP models is providing valuable inisghts. Q&A was insightful and it allowed us to engage with like-minded academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description TEDDINET Annual Conference 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Imperial College team presented a poster of the Future-FM and engaged with research, public and private parties on the activities we are conducting. High interest from all of these stakeholders was obtained, in particular industry who express high interest in collaborating with us in future activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description TEDDINET Networking Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Gave a presentation on the purpose and scope of the Future-FM project to fellow UK researchers interested in improving energy performance of buildings. Audience was in the range of 40 people. Q&A sparked high interest and this lead to good networking with fellow colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Teddinet-Energy Visualization Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact eViz (Energy Visualisation for Carbon Reduction) is an EPSRC-funded project, focusing on reducing energy demand in buildings by transforming people's understanding and behaviour through novel energy visualisations. The project is co-led by Plymouth University researchers Sabine Pahl, from the School of Psychology, and Pieter de Wilde, from the Environmental Building Group, along with academic partners in Bath, Birmingham and Newcastle Universities.

As a conclusion to the project, eViz held a workshop to report outcomes and discuss gaps in the field. Speakers at the conference included members of DECC, EPSRC, Innovate UK, Carbon Hub, and the University of British Columbia,

The over 50 participants held break out discussions to find answers to the following questions:
•How can visualisation help to communicate energy use?
•Which visualisations make a difference to motivation and behaviour?
•How can we integrate technical data into visualisations for end users?
•How can social media play a role?
•What are potential pitfalls?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/energy-visualisation