The built environment is an essential piece of the smart city puzzle. Buildings are the biggest single source of carbon emissions, accounting for about 40% of the world’s carbon footprint, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Buildings are energy hogs too, eating up nearly half of all energy consumed in the United States. Any city serious about livability, workability and sustainability must raise the “intelligence quotient” of its built environment.
A consortium of companies is taking energy conservation to the next level by creating an entire eco-minded neighborhood just outside of Paris, France.
An “intervention” staged at a long-abandoned building in Molise, Italy was designed to bring it up to current energy efficiency standards and to give it a useful life again. For the lighting system alone, the estimated electricity saving is about 50-60 MWh, corresponding to a saving of about 10,000 Euros (roughly $13,000).
Seattle, Washington has a goal to better understand how to create economic opportunity for the city while saving energy and developing a sustainable urban environment. Council member Microsoft has been working with Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to develop an approach to driving energy efficiency at city scale
The city of Bremen, Germany wanted to unify more than 1,200 municipal properties under a single, open building management system (BMS) to optimize the efficiency of heating systems and reduce energy consumption. The challenge was that six control stations across the city were running a variety of proprietary building control systems.
The Makkah Clock Tower, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the world’s largest clock tower and the second tallest building. It has 76 stories and is 577 meters high. It is a vast complex with hotels, shopping outlets, food courts and luxury apartments. The owners of the luxury apartments at the Clock Tower wanted the contractor to implement a solution so that each of their 5,000 tenants could be billed individually for their utility usage.
Looking at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard today, it’s hard to imagine the dynamic 1,200-acre mixed-use campus as the country’s first naval shipyard – a place where historic ships were once built and some of the Navy’s most significant technological advances achieved.
Libreville is the capital of Gabon, a rapidly developing country in west Africa. Recent growth – to almost 1 million people – has outpaced the city’s ability to accommodate change and has taken place largely without the benefit of comprehensive urban planning. As a result, Libreville suffers from unplanned land uses and incompatible development.
Building smarter, more sustainable cities requires the support of public, private and civic stakeholders. Envision Charlotte is charting a new course. By taking a holistic and integrated approach to engaging these disparate groups and demonstrating the benefits – both environmental and economic – of lasting change, the initiative has assembled a strong consortium of public and private interests with shared vision and momentum.
What will homes of 2040 be like? What should they be like? Council member Enel, a forward-thinking Italian utility, turned to the wisdom of the masses to uncover truly transformational ideas that will result in the homes of the future today. Through its subsidiary Ampla in Brazil, it launched a crowdsourcing platform that will aid in the sharing and selection of ideas for building an efficient, smart and sustainable home.