McMaster partners with IBM to save energy

IBM Canada Ltd. will be collaborating with Hamilton, Ont.-based McMaster University to make buildings on the campus energy efficient as a part of its “Smarter Planet” initiative focused on using technology efficiently to be environmentally friendly.

IBM Canada, headquartered in Markham, Ont., will use its applications and analytics models to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and help identify ways to save energy within McMaster’s 60 campus buildings.

IBM’s “First of a Kind” (FOAK) program that applies its research to real business challenges, will fund the initiative using McMaster’s previously existing meters and sensors to collect real-time data, according to  Tony Cupido, the assistant vice-president of facility services at McMaster University.

“It allowed us an opportunity to mine the data that we have,” Cupido said.

With IBM’s software, McMaster will be able to analyze the data taken from meters and determine what factors affect energy consumption in the campus’ buildings, which will help them save energy, according to Cupido.

“This gives us a chance to use the analytics that the university collects,” Cupido said.

FOAK spoke to McMaster about a year ago to discuss this project to help develop new commercial solutions, according to Bill Oliphant, an industry lead at IBM Global Technology services. As a part of the agreement, McMaster will be able to keep the software for two years after the project finishes.
One of the 60 campus buildings that will be monitored is a nearby hospital, the McMaster University Medical Centre, which is 42 per cent occupied by the university as learning space, according to Cupido.

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