Solid Insight targets Green City Startup top three
Solid Green looks forward to August when Johannesburg’s Green City Startup will decide if Solid Insight, Solid Green’s data- and resource-management platform, places in the Green City Startup top three, a placement which promises between R300 000 and R1 million in prizes and development grants.7
A quiet revolution has been happening where we live and work. The Internet of Things has brought smart energy and water meters to our homes, schools, offices and places we shop. Solid Insight, developed by leading green-building consultancy Solid Green, connects the energy and water data generated by building-management systems to the web and closes the loop between what we consume and our understanding and management of it.
Solid Insight’s initiative has already been piloted at GBCSA’s offices in Cape Town in 2014 – and at Solid Green’s offices in Johannesburg – which have just received the first 6-Star Green Star SA Interiors certification for refurbishment undertaken in 2015.
“Solid Insight is like internet banking for your energy,” says Warren Gray, a director at Solid Green. “When users are provided with clear, real-time insight into the workings of their buildings, they are able to pursue sustainability goals as informed and responsible agents.”
The platform presents a building’s environmental data and green features in a way that engages both occupants and visitors by generating accurate live-metering data that are displayed both in building foyers and online – and which can be accessed from any connected device. By integrating with a building’s existing smart-metering systems, the application enables automated billing of energy and water consumption. Environmental reporting is also handled automatically – thus giving stakeholders access to their energy and water use in an easy to read format.
“Many BMS or SCADA systems are complicated and generate too much raw data, making them inaccessible to the average building user,” observes Chilufya Lombe, a Solid Green director. “Solid Insight allows you to display accurate live-metering data in a clear and easy to understand manner, allowing you to influence the behaviour of the users of your building.”
Solid Insight was developed to directly and efficiently address this issue, providing a simple, affordable and presentable system for green-building developers to showcase live-metering data and earn innovation points for a building’s Green Star rating. The system was then extended into the currently available Solid Insight suite, and big plans are afoot for its evolution into a complete solution.
Green City Startup
Earlier this year, Solid Insight entered Green City Startup, an initiative of the City of Johannesburg in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle, which aims to give innovative entrepreneurs with ideas in building, energy, water, transport or waste the opportunity to develop their ideas into green startups.
Solid Insight was selected as a top-20 candidate and, following an investor pitch for the Green City Startup judging panel on 10 March, was selected in the top eight. Using a R250 000 grant awarded for this purpose, the Solid Insight team is developing the platform further in anticipation of the top-three adjudication in August. This will require demonstration of a working prototype that has market traction. The first-place winner will receive an additional R1 million from the City, with prizes of R500 000 and R300 000 for second and third places, respectively.
“A further advantage of the system is that building owners can use the system to inform, educate and instil pride in a building’s users,” Gray adds. “By giving occupants access to resource-consumption data, as well as tools to affect that consumption, tenants, clients and prospective tenants know just how much you are doing to mitigate your lettable space’s carbon footprint.”
A direct benefit to building owners and developers is that the Solid Insight service is approved for earning Innovation points when determining a building’s GBCSA Green Star rating. Solid Insight is recommended for all commercial real estate, including office, retail, industrial and residential developments that either already have smart energy and water meters or are looking for such solutions.