I echo the concern expressed by Jamie Bennett-Ness in his recent article ‘Buildings fail to handle the heat’ over the failure of UK buildings to cope with the recent slew of heatwaves. However, the real estate industry should not resign itself to outdated air-conditioning systems but should instead embrace building management system (BMS) technologies.

After record-breaking temperatures in the UK, it’s clear that adapting our buildings to cope is the only choice.

In a country that has traditionally designed its buildings to retain as much heat as possible, this appears to be an insurmountable task.

Traditional air conditioning (AC) methods will no longer cut it. Costly both to our pockets and the planet, AC units account for almost a tenth of all global electricity demand. Upping our AC usage is therefore not a viable option with net zero targets in mind.

This is where BMSs come in, which enable the implementation of energy optimisation tools that can monitor and regulate building temperatures automatically.

This ‘energy AI’ adds a deeper layer of understanding and intelligence to energy usage, meaning automated decisions can be made. By using incoming real-

time data from sensors and weather forecasts, energy optimisation tools can automatically control heating, ventilation and AC systems to maintain the perfect temperature whilst using the minimum amount of energy.

Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions are likely to stick around. Those who ignore the value of energy optimisation tools risk creating an unproductive and inefficient environment – ultimately driving commercial value down.

Tim Streather, managing director, Spica Technologies