Measurement and Verification

Bright Project – a fresh approach to energy efficiency

Traditionally, energy consumption across Sonae Sierra’s shopping centres has varied greatly, with only some of this variation being attributable to local factors such as climate, size and opening hours. We have found that a major problem in achieving continuous improvements in energy efficiency is the difficulty associated with predicting how people use technology. How people interact with equipment such as HVAC systems, for example, can have a profound effect on energy consumption. It is therefore important to be able to differentiate between inefficiencies that are due to technical reasons and those that are behavioural in nature.

Finding a model that could account for both these factors proved extremely difficult. Quite simply, it did not exist. A further challenge was overcoming scepticism amongst local shopping centre teams – their buy-in to the project would be critical for its success, but theoretical benchmarking was not widely understood. It was through an experimental process to tackle these challenges that we created Bright Project.

Bright Project uses a theoretical model to produce optimal energy consumption figures for each of our assets. Whilst traditional benchmarking tools struggle to account for local or regional-specific factors, Bright Project allows us to monitor the energy consumption of our shopping centres against a virtual simulation, identifying technical improvements and enhancing management practices.

Bright Project’s complex model was developed by a dedicated internal team which adapted a commercially available solution to create the ‘virtual standard shopping centre’ (VSSC) tool. The tool allows Sonae Sierra to accurately predict the optimal energy consumption of every shopping centre in its portfolio.

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