Frequently Asked Questions

You might have some questions about the University of Birmingham's Smart Campus. Here are some of the most common questions and some helpful answers.

What technology is being deployed?

Smart Technology on Campus
Facilities Improvement Measure (FIM)Description
 LED lighting

LED lighting is the most efficient way of converting electricity into light. Lighting represents approximately 1/3 of the electricity consumption in T1 buildings.

Existing inefficient lighting fixtures will be replaced with modern high efficiency alternatives while maintaining or improving current lighting luminance conditions.

In general, the new LED fixtures will provide an average power reduction of between 60% to 70%.

In addition to the LED rollout, Enlighted lighting controls have been included in most areas within the buildings listed below and this will provide additional savings from occupancy and daylight controls. Enlighted is a market leading intelligent lighting control system and has the potential of providing additional savings of up to 25%.

The LED lights that Siemens will install have an operational life of 50,000 hours which, means they have an expected life well over the contract term of 10 years.

Enlighted IOT Technology:

Including Lighting controls, IOT sensors and Enlighted Space Application and Bureau

The rollout of LED lighting presents a once-in-a-decade opportunity to deploy Enlighted Internet of Things (IoT) technology at scale. These devices are integrated within lighting fixtures to create a sensor grid within each building that will transform the way the campus is operated and the way that space is managed.

The Enlighted sensor is an advanced digital sensor, which measures ambient light, motion (PIR), energy consumption, and temperature, along with Bluetooth® capabilities and wireless connectivity.

Data is collected 65 times per second to monitor environmental and occupancy changes and adjust lighting in real-time. The data is initially processed within the sensor - a true form of distributed (edge) computing - before being relayed securely to the Enlighted IoT platform for analysis and reporting. All data captured will remain anonymous as no personal data or images are captured.

The Enlighted Space application provides accurate insight into building usage, detailed occupancy views and patterns using data collected by the advanced sensor network. It has been proven to improve space utilisation by as much as 25%. Not only does this deliver financial savings it effectively delivers huge expansion of campus by identifying and unlocking inefficient use of the existing estate.

The proposal conservatively assumes an improvement of 10% space efficiency on average (equivalent to 14,000m2 in UoB terms a buildings the size of Met & Mat), creating more room for collaboration space, offices, as well as teaching and research areas.

The University will be the first university in the world to rollout IoT infrastructure at this scale. Siemens proposes to install 24,000 sensors across the estate, creating a truly Intelligent Campus. The Enlighted data is anonymous, will be held securely in the cloud and will be available for UOB researchers to use. A bureau service is included as part of the proposal to monitor the data collected with the aim of identifying opportunities to improve how space is utilised.

BMS Replacement 

Building Management Systems (BMS) are a critical piece of infrastructure which control heating and electrical systems within buildings.

Many of the T1 buildings have obsolete BMS controllers which are beyond their design life and no longer supported/maintained by the manufacturer.

This represents a financial and environmental liability, because when these BMS fail, it will result in a 30% increase in energy consumption alongside the disruption and operational impact, which could jeopardise the university’s decarbonisation strategy.

Siemens will replace each of these BMS controllers with an up-to-date alternative.

Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV) replacements/additions

The heating systems within eight buildings are served by the district heating network. Within these sites, individual Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV) are the primary method of space heating temperature control. There is a wide variety of heat emitters within these sites, ranging from original cast iron radiators, fan assisted convectors, to modern single and double panel radiators.

It has been observed during surveys that many of these individual TRVs are missing or non-operational. The result of this is that space temperatures are not adequately controlled, resulting in:

  • Excessive heat (gas) consumption
  • Overheating in certain areas
  • Underheating in certain areas
  • Poor student/staff experience/comfort

Siemens will replace selected TRVs within the eight sites below to regain the adequate space heating control of associated areas.

Navigator Energy Management Software and Bureau

Siemens will deploy energy management software called Navigator which will collect data from critical (and energy intensive) infrastructure within buildings.Every asset transmits its exact status in real-time and this is analysed by building performance experts from Siemens.

This allows the University to identify additional energy efficiency opportunities from poorly functioning equipment. It also reduces maintenance costs and building down-time by identifying when a critical asset is not performing as expected. A bureau service is included as part of the proposal to monitor, identify and direct swift responses to identified issues to deliver savings and efficiencies.

Can any of this technology identify individuals?

No. All data gathered is anonymous.

The technologies cannot detect sound, record images and/or be used to detect identity.

On a building-by-building basis, cumulative data measuring trends of motion, light, temperature, and power-usage will provide the University with the ability to adapt lighting conditions, improve space utilisation, schedule heating and cooling via a central dashboard, all whilst preserving individual anonymity.

Live data measuring and monitoring where and how energy (such as gas, electricity and renewables) is used will also be made available via a central dashboard, enabling the University to make close-to-real-time decisions on energy optimisation.

The live energy data will be captured via a range of building technologies: Enlighted IOT Technology will capture power consumption data for each light fitting, while Building Management Systems (BMS) will capture live data from a combination of energy meters. Key plant such as Air Handling Units [AHUs] will capture live data including fan speed and output temperatures.

All this data is not at an individual level, but is aggregated. It is not possible to tell what any one person is consuming and no personal data will be gathered as part of this initiative. The level of aggregation depends on the metering in each building (in some buildings we have just one meter, in other buildings we may have one on every floor).

Closely measuring and monitoring the above data sets will help incrementally drive down carbon use on the campus, contributing to a net zero carbon campus, while also keeping community members safe and comfortable.

Is the data anonymised?

The data is anonymous as the Enlighted system does not enable individuals to be identified. Enlighted IOT technology uses a Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor to measure infrared light that is reflected off moving objects that emit heat. This means that it is not possible to identify who the individual is.

Who owns the data generated through the IOT sensors?

The data is owned by Siemens Enlighted and is stored either on servers at the University or in the cloud. The data is stored securely and is only accessible by authorised individuals.

How will the data be used?

The Enlighted IOT sensors will gather data, process it, and translate that data to insights that make an applicable difference in building and equipment management.

Enlighted IOT technology can detect occupancy, light levels, electrical plug loads, and heat. From these data sets, building and facility managers can, at minimum, determine occupancy and space utilization patterns, locate assets, optimize light and heat levels for comfort and productivity, and dramatically reduce building energy usage.

Will Siemens be sharing this data with any third-parties?


What proportion of the energy on campus is in the 25 buildings surveyed?

These buildings account for the top 25 energy intensive buildings, of which their annual consumption is:

  • Electricity Consumption: 19GWh (31% of the university’s total consumption)
  • Gas Consumption: 31GWh (21% of the university’s total consumption, excluding gas used for electricity generation)
  • 10,149 tCO2

Deploying these five technologies the University will see a 5% reduction in carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of approximately 2,856 tCO2.

Who is the supplier of this technology?

Siemens will design, supply, implement and manage these technologies on the University’s behalf.

What do the Enlighted IOT sensors look like?

Four types of Enlighted smart sensor