Technopolis Lithuania uses novel artificial intelligence for building maintenance

Technopolis, which manages the largest office campus in Lithuania, is testing the capabilities of artificial intelligence in the Delta building – the ventilation, cooling, and heating processes are monitored and regulated by the Lithuanian-developed Apex system. Preliminary data shows that in the first four months, electricity savings of up to 40% were achieved. If the project proves successful, the AI systems will be installed in all six of the company's buildings in Vilnius next year.

“Business centres are among the biggest consumers of energy, they cost a lot to maintain, both environmentally and financially. Therefore, more efficient building maintenance is a long-standing strategic goal of ours, and one that is echoed by our customers – with the pandemic reduction in office occupancy, customers want to keep their bills as low as possible while they don’t use their premises in full scope. So this spring was the right time to try out the AI-controlled system and it proved to be very successful – from April to August, during the pilot project in the Delta building, we saved as much as impressive 44% of the electricity used for cooling and ventilation,” says Tadas Zinys, Real Estate Manager at Technopolis Lithuania.

“What is more, this result was achieved with very low investment – we calculate that the system costs around €0.40 per square metre to install, while monthly maintenance will cost just €0.02 per square metre or less. So there is no doubt that we will continue to deploy AI in the office campus – we plan to install it in all our managed buildings in Lithuania within the next year. In the oldest buildings, the investment will be slightly higher, but the change in energy consumption should be even more impressive,” Zinys continues. Technopolis is also implementing similar pilot projects in other countries, for example, in Finland campuses, and in Estonia.

Typical electronic control systems, planned at the building design stage, automate processes, and regulate heating, cooling, humidity and other factors in a building. However, even the newest systems have limited automation capabilities and do not allow 100% observation and modification of the operation of every element of the system. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence allows real-time data to be relied on around the clock, and mathematical algorithms allow conditions to be dictated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account environmental factors and not allowing systems to be operated in a standard way. For example, artificial intelligence reveals that the “eco” mode set by a standard system turns out to be even greener.

Technopolis is one of the first companies in Lithuania to use the artificial intelligence solutions to building systems management. In order to reduce its CO2 impact on the environment, all Technopolis campuses in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania use 100% renewable electricity. In addition, Technopolis Lithuania generates about 17% of the energy needed for its buildings by installing solar power plants on the roofs of its offices.

“Sustainability has been an integral part of our business strategy for many years, and we firmly believe that sustainability creates value not only for the planet, but for all stakeholders and more importantly to our customers. We are continuously investing in further developing the environmental sustainability of our existing buildings and in obtaining certifications for our new buildings. Our goal is to have 84% of our properties LEED- or BREEAM-certified by the end of 2022, and by 2030 all our buildings will be carbon neutral for energy,” says Niko Pulli, CEO of Technopolis.