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How Landsec plans to close its energy performance gap

The UK’s largest listed office developer has teamed up with BrainBox AI to cut carbon emissions from heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems through automation.

Starting with a trial at 100 Victoria Street next to London’s Victoria Station, BrainBox AI will look to optimise the building’s HVAC system with a process that it says can cut a property’s carbon footprint by 40%.

The platform studies how a building operates, finding possible improvements and continuously making “micro-adjustments” to the HVAC system. Decisions – which require no human input – are made by tapping into data from building systems such as BMS or access control, along with third-party sources for weather and occupancy.

BrainBox AI, which operates across 100m sq ft of real estate in 17 countries, installed its system at 100 Victoria Street in September.

Although it has not disclosed specific data, it said that early results indicate that the building is on pace to generate “significant energy savings and carbon footprint reductions”.

Jennie Colville, head of ESG and sustainability at Landsec, said: “We recognise that bridging the performance gap in buildings will have to come from innovative technology that is able to proactively optimise HVAC systems, which are a large source of inefficiency in buildings.”

BrainBox has estimated that about 45% of commercial buildings’ energy consumption comes from HVAC, of which 35% is wasted.

Landsec’s ESG goals

The developer pledged in November 2019 to become a net zero carbon business by 2030, setting out a SBTI-validated science-based carbon reduction target. Among its plans is to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 from a 2013/14 baseline year.

A report by sustainability consultancy EcoAct recently ranked Landsec as the FTSE 100’s best performing company – and third in the world among listed companies, after Microsoft and Apple – with regards to carbon reduction plans and reporting.

The report said that Landsec has “consistently achieved best practice emissions reporting” and alignment with recommendations by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

Sam Ramadori, CEO of BrainBox AI, said: “Landsec’s commitment to being an industry leader in sustainability is commendable, and we are delighted to be supporting as a clean technology partner.”

Click here to read Landsec’s net zero strategy.

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