Reality Check: K-12 Districts Are Leap Years From True 'Smart Building' Implementation, But Here's How to Get Ready
By Danielle Villegas
Vice President, Product Management
Changing energy-use behaviors and maximizing the performance of energy-consuming assets is crucial to the success of smart technologies, and schools have a long way to go in achieving smart building implementations. Aging buildings and resistance to
change will exist, but districts that understand the benefits of better energy-use behaviors and how to reach them can position their campuses for true smart building implementation as technology evolves. It all goes back to building a strong foundation for the future smart building capabilities, so it is important to consider where facilities stand today and how to reach the end-goal.
What Is a True Smart Building, and Why Haven’t Schools Taken Advantage of Them?
A true smart building is context-aware, says FacilitiesNet, meaning it leverages data to help managers and staff make an informed decision. In addition, the insights gained empower workers and consumers in the building, or “teachers and students” in schools. At the same time, smart building implementation means leveraging the latest technology to drive improvements and make the environment more comfortable and sustainable. Unfortunately, some schools may lack the funds necessary to make vast changes to assets and implement new systems and technology on their own. However, with these IoT devices, software, technologies & innovations becoming more prevalent, they are becoming less costly and easier to obtain, making it easier for districts to retrofit their schools to become “smart buildings”, augmenting the energy management program and ultimately, lowering energy use and utility spend.
Gaining Asset-Level Visibility Is Essential to Smart Building Implementation in K-12 Schools
The critical focus of smart building implementation is increasing productivity for building occupants. This is applicable in all buildings, and in the K-12 sector, it amounts to better instruction, better student performance and reinvestment in education. Facility Managers must gain asset-level visibility into the performance of all assets and how energy use behaviors affect performance. Fortunately, Cenergistic can achieve this goal while achieving savings without incurring huge, upfront investment costs.
Working together with the Energy Specialist, which are embedded at all Cenergistic K-12 School District clients, also empowers your team members to understand what to review in managing energy, how to connect with faculty and students, and other ways to drive savings, such as considering future upgrades to your lighting system and more.
Get Your District on Track to True Smart Building Implementation
Smart buildings have the potential to reshape how the world uses energy and operates. Smart buildings empower facilities of all types, helping them serve their purpose faster and more efficiently, and the same concept applies to K-12 smart building implementation. Although nationwide smart building implementation in K-12 schools is still a distant objective, your district can be part of the solution by understanding the importance of visibility and following the best practices to achieve your goals.In fact, these best practices complement any current energy program or sustainability initiatives in which your district is currently engaged in efforts to drive better energy use behaviors and performance measurement. To learn more about taking the first steps in making your district buildings smart buildings, and how your district can be a catalyst for sustainable practices in your community visit Cenergistic online or call 1-855-798-7779 today.