The leader's social is a monthly sustainability networking event, featuring SEEDS leaders and exclusive topics related to sustainability. For the fourth leader's event, SEEDS featured ENGIE Solutions, a pioneer and global reference in low-carbon energy and services where they collaborated to shed some light on smart cities.
According to the Business Dictionary, a smart city is a developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. Smart Cities use technology and collect data to fix city problems and enhance the life of its residents. With the rapid advance in information and communications technology (ICT) over the last decade, we have seen an increasing crossover in the application of this new technology. Most notably in the performance and interactivity of urban services. Key drivers to move towards smart cities include Urban populations rapid growth, Communications Technology and Public Private Partnership and The Global Competition for Jobs.
Mr. Robert White, Head of Technology and Innovation, presented how ENGIE Solutions deploys Technology & Innovation for Clients including Smart Cities and presented Masdar City as a Case Study with demonstrable results and savings. He highlighted how ENGIE combines energy and technology to optimize solutions for clients and increase efficiency, Their technology works by collecting live energy information into the operations control centre. Mr White also shared some smart city solutions in terms of building technology, smart platforms , technical insights and operations control centre. He also introduced tools that ENGIE uses to enable proper collection of data in smart buildings and cities. One of these tools is the Smart O&M , which was created by ENGIE to collect live data of what is going on in the building. The tool has algorithms to determine and detect any faults or failures or improvements needed. It allows them to act accordingly based on data collected.
Masdar City is a long term client of ENGIE solutions. By design, it is very efficient in design as it combines both passive and active technologies where ENGIE's main responsibility is Facilities Management and making sure everything is running smoothly and effectively. Under the current circumstances of the pandemic, Mr White explained how they used the Internet of Things (IOT) to help their long term client Masdar City, have integrated covid-19 detection. This shows a clear example of how smart cities have better opportunities and abilities in adapting to the unknown changes of the future. Mr White wrapped his talk by stating that ENGIE is also looking at different innovations and technology that they can adopt for the future.
Following, Mr. White, Mrs. Ranya Metwalli Shields, SEEDS Leader, shared her presentation on the "Personal Building". She started by talking about how technology has helped save lives and the economy specifically in the COVID-19 pandemic. She talked about smart devices, how most people currently own them and how they make a good method of collecting information and data about the occupants. Although having this information will be beneficial however, it also imposes an issue of privacy. Always having location means lack of privacy. The smart devices make a great communication tool and can be utilized to serve smart buildings. With advanced technology, smart devices can work as a - two way communication street between occupants and buildings and vice versa. This information can help make the building smart and more safe specifically under the current circumstances. Mrs. Shields gave real-life examples on how smart and personal buildings used this information to utilize the protective measures of the COVID-19. This includes alarm systems that go off in places where an occupant's temperature is high and a notification system that tell people when a place is being sanitized and cleaned. Buildings can also be linked to regional/national tracing systems, emergency services and health services. Mrs. Ranya proved through her presentation how buildings play an important role in communicating information to responsibles to help enhance the health, wellness and satisfaction of its occupants.
The event ended with a panel discussion with Energy Management experts including Ms. Kate DeWolf, Mrs. Ranya Shields and Mr. Rober White where they collectively answered questions and shared their opinions on the challenges we face in the local region, the local legislations, and the role of smart cities to prevent pandemics in the future.
Stay tuned to our next Leader's social event under the topic of The Value of Waste with Waste Management Experts!