Combining ‘bricks and bytes’ for a safer, sustainable future

As I take on my new role as President of ABB’s Smart Buildings Division, it is with a sense of commitment, responsibility and anticipation.

The opportunity that lies ahead to address the world’s energy challenges through leading with technology is significant.

The buildings we use for our workplaces, industries and homes consume almost a third of the world’s energy and generate nearly 40 percent of the world’s annual green house gas emissions. Reducing this massive environmental impact is one of the biggest climate challenges of our time.

Reducing and replacing

Decarbonizing new and existing buildings is being driven not just through legislative forces like the Paris Agreement, but also through our collective understanding of the urgency to make the changes we need in the fight against climate change.

Tackling the emissions challenge is two-fold – we need to both reduce the amount of energy used overall, and also replace much of the energy that we do use with renewables. Whether the challenge is integrated solar power or reducing overall consumption, smart technology and data analysis is key.

Data-driven decision making

By implementing technology, to link data across heating, lighting, ventilation, security and building occupancy, we can make more informed decisions. It’s through utilizing the vast amounts of data generated within a building and integrating systems that we can better manage our buildings to reduce waste, increase security and optimize space.

Reducing energy usage through greater connectivity doesn’t just mean lower emissions, it also means reducing costs. When fully implemented, our building automation solutions can deliver up to a 30 percent reduction in energy costs.

Safety alongside sustainability

The other major challenge of our time is of course safety, as we adapt to the impact of Covid-19 in the places we come together to live and work. Again, technology and data take center stage.

Adapting to the pandemic has accelerated our use of technology and increased our expectations of it to improve our ability to live and work safely. Technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, and artificial intelligence (AI), which enable us to understand movement of people within a building, can not only inform better staffing plans, but also increase safety with enhanced layouts, ventilation and sensor technology to replace physical touch.

Smart, connected technologies make it possible to engage with building occupants in new ways, while also driving down operational costs of maintaining business infrastructure with the aim of improving the bottom line. Powered by data, the buildings of the future enhance the quality of life.

Working together to amplify our impact

It is when innovation and collaboration come together that progress really happens. At ABB we have the technology to power carbon reduction, and we are using it as part of our own sustainability strategy. By sharing our technology and experience  and working hand in hand with our customers, partners, and local communities, we can collectively build a future that’s safe, smart and sustainable for buildings everywhere.

Making commercial, industrial and residential buildings safer for occupants and better for our environment is a major global challenge. Smart buildings are the building blocks to smarter communities that can help companies shift towards a decarbonized world for cleaner air and cities.

I am looking forward to our journey ahead.

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About the author

Mike Mustapha

Mike is the Division President of ABB Smart Buildings and was appointed in February 2022. In this position he has full accountability for the performance of the global Smart Buildings business in ABB, which includes a broad portfolio of market leading home and building automation solutions as well as the portfolio for energy distribution systems and products. After starting his career in the U.S. in 1990 as an Application Engineer with Rotoflow Corp. Inc., a leading supplier of high-speed rotary and cryogenic machinery for process industries, Mike built global leadership experience with Altas CopCo, a multinational industrial company, where he held various leadership positions. In January 2009, Mike founded the new Pre-Engineered Buildings and Hot Rolled Structured Steel Group, headquartered in Jeddah, KSA with its own independent Board. Mike assumed overall accountability for the company, overseeing the Middle East. Mike joined ABB in August 2011 as Low Voltage Division Regional Manager for India, Middle East & Africa. In June 2014, he was promoted to Global Managing Director for the Building Products Business Unit prior to his 2018 appointment as Head of Global Markets for the Electrification business. Mike currently resides in Dubai and holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC), U.S.
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