Microsoft brings smart buildings to Seattle

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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 result is a smart buildings pilot for the downtown area inspired by the smart buildings pilot implemented on Microsoft’s Redmond campus. That pilot used Big Data to provide forecasted energy savings of 10% per year. It’s anticipated those savings will be surpassed by the Seattle pilot with energy and maintenance savings between 10 and 25%.

Working with Seattle and its utility Seattle City Light, Microsoft has joined with the Seattle 2030 District, a public-private collaborative of downtown Seattle property owners and managers that has established a 50% energy use reduction goal by 2030. The pilot will increase energy efficiency in large commercial buildings across Seattle’s downtown corridor; the initial set of buildings totals approximately 2 million square feet. It’s a mix of unique building uses, from the Seattle Municipal Tower and the Sheraton Hotel to Boeing facilities and a University of Washington School of Medicine research building.

A cloud solution based on Microsoft Azure cloud technology will collect data from the myriad systems in those buildings and use data analytics to provide a prescriptive approach to how the building management systems can be tuned to improve energy efficiency.