A digital image of a smart building system dashboard; A digital image of a smart building system dashboard;

Arup Neuron

Translating smart buildings data into smarter insights and better decisions

Translating smart buildings data into smarter insights and better decisions

If buildings had a ‘brain’, monitoring their systems and responding in real time, how much more secure, comfortable and efficient could they become? We are answering that question with Neuron, using artificial intelligence to make our buildings, districts and cities healthier, more sustainable places to live and work.

Neuron is an app that integrates our insights into the built environment with emerging digital technologies into a single platform. It uses 5G and the Internet of Things to gather real-time ‘sense data’ from equipment and systems. It uses Building Information Modelling (BIM) to display these complex data sets through a cloud-based, centralised management console. Neuron’s ‘brain’ uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse, optimise and automate operations.

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Neuron unlocks smarter, data-driven decision making: for facility managers; for building owners; for city authorities. We have created four applications that put them in control of the energy they use, the health and well-being they provide and the carbon emissions they produce:

  1. Neuron Building

  2. Neuron Health

  3. Neuron Carbon

  4. Neuron City

The insights they create are informing the way a new generation of smart buildings and infrastructure are designed, constructed, managed and maintained.

Neuron Building: smart buildings, smarter decisions

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems give us year-round comfort but are huge (and costly) consumers of energy. The data traditional building automation and control systems generate has allowed operators to monitor and react to changes in these systems. Real efficiency, however, comes from the ability to anticipate, not just record and respond. Neuron Energy is an app that turns this data into predictive control.

A digital image of the Arup Neuron app dashboard A digital image of the Arup Neuron app dashboard
Through analyzing historical data, machine learning models uncover hidden patterns and give estimation on energy usage for better planning in advance.

Arup Neuron’s trend analysis feature allows forecasting of energy demand to better match cooling loads – the rate at which heat is removed from an environment - to occupancy. Discovering dips in equipment performance curves allows for early fault detection and preventative maintenance. Neuron’s self-learning abilities mean it continually refines and improves its forecasts, translating that learning into the energy efficiency of the systems it controls.

One Taikoo Place: Hong Kong's first AI-enabled building

One Taikoo Place is Hong Kong’s first AI-enabled, data-driven smart building. Neuron’s cooling load predictions are within 5% of actual use, helping developer Swire Properties successfully reduce energy use by 15%.

Learn more about our work

Neuron Health: healthier buildings, healthier rentals

Air quality makes the difference between so-called ‘sick’ buildings and healthy ones. It not only affects the health of the individuals working in a building. As companies increasingly prioritise the well-being of their people, healthier buildings also translate into healthier rentals.

Neuron Health monitors temperature, humidity and levels of pathogens in the air, identifying the correlations between indoor air quality and occupants’ health. Its predictive modelling gives building operators visibility of the risks and identifies measures to mitigate them.

Cleaner air for Beijing's iconic Water Cube

Implemented in Beijing's iconic Water Cube building, Nueron has not only been responsible for energy savings of up to 25%, is also helping to monitor air pollution. The platform is linked to a network of IoT sensors deployed throughout out the venue that continuously monitor the indoor air quality and collect data to help optimise building system operations.

AI-powered health screening tool

During the post-COVID-19 transition back to normality, we developed a new feature for Neuron to identify those with a high temperature – one of the first symptoms of the disease – in public or commercial environments.

We added a thermal imaging camera, which can measure forehead temperature quickly and efficiently. The system can identify individuals with an elevated body temperature and send that person to a separate queue for further screening by a designated employee with a hand-held temperature scanner.

Download thermal imaging camera brochure

Neuron Carbon: intelligent sustainability

Carbon emissions cost. In environmental impact and in energy bills. Neuron Carbon is providing an intelligent way to reduce those costs. It allows building operators to benchmark their resource management performance.

Neuron captures a complete record of emissions from the whole ecosystem of a building. From direct, onsite emissions such as generators and cooling systems to company cars, purchased energy, water, material and waste recycling. The analysis Neuron’s algorithms provides helps set targets and implementation plans, reducing carbon and providing an evidence base for carbon credits.

Neuron City: from smart buildings to smart cities

The insights Neuron’s digital platform creates are not limited to individual buildings. Asset owners can monitor, control and compare performance across their whole campus or portfolio. With Neuron City, we are working with authorities to bring that same level of insight and control to entire city networks.

Predicting responses

Meteorology can give us advanced warning of events like a typhoon, but how can we predict how a city in its path will respond?

Working with Hong Kong’s electrical and mechanical services department, Neuron City is integrating the government’s Internet of Things with a Geographic Information System to visualise the whole city’s performance. The video wall in the department’s control room monitors the real time situation, anticipating how a typhoon may affect city infrastructure such as traffic lights and helping authorities plan their response.

Awards

Photograph of a man on a windfarm looking at a map on a handheld screen Photograph of a man on a windfarm looking at a map on a handheld screen