Sustainability as a corporate goal

Energy optimization is being carried out at Sihlcity Zurich, a building complex that belongs to Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate.

In 2012, the Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate, working with Siemens Switzerland and Wincasa, embarked on a five-year program with the goal of reducing energy consumption at some 1,000 Swiss properties by 10 percent, thereby cutting CO2 emissions by 13,000 tons.

Buildings worldwide consume approximately 40 percent of global primary energy through heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and hot water. As such, buildings are responsible for around one third of all CO2 emissions generated by human beings. “Sustainable construction and operation create the necessary conditions for us to overcome ecological, economic and social challenges today and in the future,” says Roger Baumann, COO and Head of Sustainability,  Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate. This is why the Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate decided as early as 2010 that all new construction should be certified according to the company’s own greenproperty quality seal or comparable standards for environmentally friendly, resource-conserving, sustainable construction and operation of real estate.
So far, Switzerland’s largest private real estate developer has had 70 properties certified, with a further 50 currently going through the process. Adherence to the standards is monitored annually. “That is why the operator always needs up-to-date information on the energy consumption and ecological footprint of the properties,” explains Baumann. Today, all new construction projects from the Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate with the greenproperty quality seal are continuously monitored online.

Pioneer in the decarbonization of real estate

In 2012, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) examined the CO2 reduction potential of the Real Estate Investment Management arm of Credit Suisse and reached the conclusion that it could cut the CO2 emissions of its entire portfolio by 44 percent by consistently applying technical measures. Monitoring of HVAC systems offered the most potential leverage. Another financially attractive measure was to reduce the power consumption of electronic devices and lighting, which the study found would bring about a CO2 reduction of 12 percent. An important requirement for this saving was an energy tracking system to make energy consumption transparent and provide up-to-date information on the factors influencing the CO2 emissions of every building.
In July 2012, the Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate,working with Siemens Switzerland and the real estate service provider Wincasa, launched a five-year program to systematically reduce overall energy consumption and CO2 emissions from its portfolio properties. The goal of the program: reduce COemissions by an average of at least 10 percent across all buildings, equivalent to about 13,000 tons of CO2.
The project began with the 60 buildings that had the highest energy consumption. These buildings were subsequently connected online to the Siemens Operation Center in Steinhausen, where all key data come together. At the Operation Center, HVAC systems can be monitored and controlled, and the consumption of oil, gas, electricity and water can be viewed online. If measurements deviate from defined targets, the Operation Center can make immediate corrections. In this way, a high level of comfort in the connected buildings is continuously assured while simultaneously optimizing the use of energy and water.

Transparent energy consumption data

The Operation Center also delivers annual energy reports for another 900 buildings. The buildings’ energy consumption data is collected using the internet-based Energy Navigator, the cloud-based energy and sustainability platform from Siemens, then examined in terms of energy efficiency and registered in the energy controlling system. The energy consumption and CO2 emissions of all monitored buildings can be called up and evaluated at the touch of a button by all project partners with the appropriate access rights. A benchmarking of the buildings provides a quick overview of the energy efficiency level, which allows the resources available for improving sustainability to be utilized in a targeted and effective manner.

This case study was originally posted on the Siemens website.

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