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SAS pioneers smart campus tech

Even the dumpsters at SAS world headquarters are getting smarter, equipped with sensors to deliver hourly volume data

The SAS  smart campus in Cary will include two on-site solar farms
The SAS smart campus in Cary will include two on-site solar farms

Analytics specialist SAS is establishing a smart campus at its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. Using its own advanced, real-time analytics, the smart campus project will improve energy usage while proactively monitoring equipment performance to boost operational longevity.


Starting with a handful of buildings, two on-site solar farms, and select waste containers, the project will eventually span across most of the 24 buildings on campus.


"Analytics should be one of the cornerstones of smart city management," said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. "Using our own analytics to help us operate more efficiently and identify ways to make improvements on our campus has additional value for our customers. It gives us firsthand insight into how we can help them navigate their own smart city-related initiatives with products and best practices that will help them be successful."


The smart campus IoT project provides direct access to data from equipment and energy meters connected to a building management system. Using SAS Visual Analytics, the company will analyse the data gathered from this system to improve operational efficiencies.


In addition, SAS Event Stream Processing will be used to analyse the streaming data, capture that data and trigger alerts in real time. As the project progresses, data from other sub-meters, wireless sensors and smart-enabled devices will also be analysed to identify opportunities for improvement.


SAS anticipates this pilot programme will illuminate relationships between the overall system and its components to help pinpoint drivers of electricity consumption. Ultimately this will translate into finding ways to reduce costs while benefiting the environment. Knowledge derived from the pilot will also support R&D initiatives, as well as hone SAS IoT solutions.


Brady Services, a regional HVAC and building services company, has played an important role in supporting SAS’ smart campus efforts by providing industry expertise on implementing building solutions.

SAS is also deploying hundreds of wireless sensors to track interval energy consumption in buildings. Transmitting data every 10 seconds, data from these sensors will be analysed to improve facility operations and energy management. Detailed usage and historical data will help SAS better understand operations, monitor environmental conditions and benchmark energy consumption.

The dumpsters at SAS world headquarters are getting smarter too. Sensors placed in trash and cardboard dumpsters will deliver hourly volume data, so the company can adjust waste and recycling services. With this information, SAS can accurately measure waste and recycling, eliminate unused dumpsters and reduce pick-up schedules – therefore decreasing operational expenses.


SAS’ solar farms are also seeing improvements that will increase efficiency. Most of the panels on Solar Farm 2 have already been replaced with newer, higher-capacity panels, while old panels will be recycled. Upgrades to monitoring and communication systems for Solar Farms 1 and 2 will provide more granular data for use in SAS Visual Analytics, plus real-time data to use with SAS Event Stream Processing.


Building A, currently scheduled for completion in early 2019, will be the first office building on campus with almost half of its power supplied by a renewable resource. The 1.7 megawatt hours produced annually by Solar Farm 1 will provide about 45 percent of the electricity needed for the newest campus structure, which will house SAS’ Collaboration and Learning Centre.


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