UnaBiz and Honeywell data drive HVAC at mall

  • October 3, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Honeywell and Sigfox-owner UnaBiz are enabling data-driven ventilation at Nex, the largest suburban shopping mall in the northeast region of Singapore.

UnaBiz is a massive IoT service provider and integrator. By integrating indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring with the mall’s HVAC system, it is optimising airflow and energy consumption.

The main purpose of HVAC is to help maintain comfort and a stable temperature. A data-driven HVAC system helps ensure good air quality for shoppers and tenants wellness, while a high energy-efficiency system helps optimise energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions. 

“As part of our strategic move to align our business operations with the company’s ESG goals, Nex has initiated numerous green initiatives in the running of the shopping mall,” said Eugene Toh, senior operations manager at Nex. “With UnaBiz’s IoT, we measure the IAQ of the mall every minute, which is equivalent to 1440 data points throughout the mall on a daily basis. The data are then seamlessly integrated into our local building management system managed by Honeywell. The smart control system automatically adjusts the air-conditioning to optimise thermal comfort for users, the air quality indoors and the energy consumption of the HVAC system live. Facility managers can now take immediate actions to improve circulation of air, such as increasing the airflow within the mall, as traffic in the mall increases during peak hours, to create a healthier and safer environment for our shoppers, tenants and staff.”

Nex is a seven-storey shopping mall located at the Northeast Line and the Circle Line Mass Rapid Transit line rail network intersect and is integrated with the air-conditioned Serangoon Bus Interchange. Positioned as the vibrant, social and recreational hub for the north-east community, the shopping mall receives an average of three million shoppers each month within the 60,000m2 mall.

In 2021, Nex achieved the Green Mark Goldplus certification from the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) on the back of enhancements to their e-waste recycling programme, green procurement policies, and the implementation of smart water management system together with its tenants. IAQ monitoring is one of its initiatives to improve health and well-being, the third goal under the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of IAQ in protecting people as we spend a good amount of our time indoors,” said Jonathan Tan, managing director of UnaBiz in Singapore. “UnaBiz is proud to support Nex on their journey to provide a better environment for their shoppers and tenants. By leveraging data collected from our LoRaWan IAQ sensors, building managers of Nex can implement data-driven ventilation to monitor air quality, calibrate the fresh air intake, and balance the need to maintain tenant comfort while optimising energy consumption. In the longer term, data intelligence will allow Nex to formulate ventilation strategies that balance the need of good indoor air quality and the need to be energy-efficient in order to reach their ESG targets.”

Aw Bing Chia, Singapore service sales leader at Honeywell (www.honeywell.com), added: “Honeywell is pleased to collaborate with UnaBiz to support efforts to help maintain tenant well-being and enhance energy efficiency. The data captured by UnaBiz’s IoT sensors, seamlessly integrated into our building management system, allow us to proactively control and adjust the HVAC system, creating an optimal indoor environment while meeting Nex property’s sustainability benchmarks.” 

And Tan said: “UnaBiz is happy to share another tangible outcome of its technology convergence strategy rolling out LoRaWan for our customers together with Honeywell. We hope to be the go-to partner for facility managers in Asia and beyond, to monitor, track and optimise the health and well-being of people and buildings.”

Nex is owned and managed by Gold Ridge, and PGIM Real Estate is the asset manager for the property.

“The strategic improvements completed at Nex, geared towards furthering the sustainability of the asset, are demonstrative of PGIM Real Estate’s broader commitment to incorporating ESG principles across our global portfolio,” said Benett Theseira, head of Asia Pacific for PGIM Real Estate.

UnaBiz (www.unabiz.com) is a massive IoT service provider that specialises in design, manufacturing, connectivity and data platform services across a hybrid of LPWA technologies such as Sigfox, LTE-M, NB-IoT and LoRa. Founded in 2016, the company is headquartered in Singapore, with R&D centres in Taipei and Labège, France, and sales offices in Tokyo, Paris, Madrid and Netherlands.