BBP takes Singapore's sustainable growth agenda forward with advanced analytics
Five-year-old Singaporean start-up, Barghest Building Performance (BBP), has been helping industrial and commercial buildings in Singapore enjoy increased energy savings from the optimization of their Air Conditioning Systems, the most energy intensive system in a building. What started as a passion project by two Stanford Graduates with an expertise in environmental solutions and finance, has quickly evolved into an innovative, award-winning solution, accredited by Singapore’s national government bodies such as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
Singapore’s national smart building movement has gained much momentum and international recognition since the BCA set its goal of greening 80 percent of Singapore’s buildings by 2030 . BBP quickly understood that the way buildings operate in Singapore must change to support this goal. With support and grants from SPRING Singapore, BBP leverages advanced analytics to support a solution that improves the energy consumption of buildings. Recognizing that advanced analytics is key to further research and development (R&D) into energy efficiency for buildings, BBP approached SAS to collaborate.
Taking these efforts to the next level, BBP has been working with SAS since 2017 to help its customers improve energy efficiency. With 30 employees serving customers across the region in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, BBP is now looking to expand their innovation and capabilities to other emerging markets such as India, Philippines and Taiwan.
At the heart of BBP’s solution lies data analytics. The journey with SAS started with a Results as a Service project, where SAS worked closely with the team to define its business objectives and project scope, focused on delivering analytical models and results. This results-driven engagement was on a Cloud-based, high performing environment, allowing for quick and flexible deployment and value to be realized within just three months after data collection.
BBP then moved to purchase SAS’ Analytics solution to extend its innovation and capabilities. Working with SAS Analytics tools, BBP can remotely monitor, gain deep insights, take action to improve performance and efficiently maintain systems, in real-time, further optimizing their equipment by 20 percent and helping customers achieve up to millions of dollars in cost savings.
Analytics will continue to form the backbone of our system, especially as we advance and work with a growing number of customers in Singapore and the region. SAS enables us to develop complex insights faster and take appropriate action to further energy savings and sustainability goals for our customers. We believe we are on the right path to aid long-term energy efficiency and this is demonstrated by our unique revenue approach. Customers pay for our solution through a portion of the savings we achieve together, without any up-front charges. Supported by advanced analytics, there is both environmental and economic motivation for us to continue improving our solution and help customers save more.
Sustainable buildings are also the smartest
BBP’s software-based proprietary central control system uses algorithms to ensure sustained efficiency, continuous improvements and cost savings of Air Conditioning Systems. This central control system can be installed at any chiller plant without installation risks and works to operate existing equipment optimally.
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), a resort and lifestyle destination in Singapore, is one such customer. RWS has enjoyed improved efficiency for their seven-year-old chiller plant, leading to more than half a million Singapore dollars worth of annual energy savings and an NEA award in 2017. Philips Lumileds Singapore, a leading LED manufacturer, is another customer that has benefitted from BBP’s solution installed at its manufacturing plant in Singapore.
Working with BBP in Singapore, Philips Lumileds achieved improved energy efficiency for its 17-year-old chiller plant, resulting in efficiency improvements by 27 percent and up to 400,000 Singapore dollars worth of annual energy savings. As a result, the plant was awarded the Green Mark Platinum Award for existing buildings, BCA’s most stringent award category.
Analytics as a key enabler
With a solid track record of success in Singapore, BBP began seeking opportunities to further the benefits of its solution in the region. With the support of government-led SME funding and access to data analytics capabilities, BBP has been able achieve this vision much faster than planned. In just five short years, BBP now has a growing presence in key markets such as China, Malaysia and Thailand, with locked-in revenue doubling year on year.
What’s interesting is that BBP has continued to remain lean, at just 30 employees serving its 18 customers across the region. “Analytics is a key enabler of internationalization for us. With a solid IT backbone as well as remote monitoring and advanced data analytics capabilities in partnership with SAS, we can drive regional customer acquisition, evaluation and post-installation support from Singapore. Today, we have connected, intelligent buildings all over the region, providing important data to our experts here in Singapore. This allows for consistent, real-time analysis of data for improvements to our algorithms, which in turn improves the performance of buildings,” said Poyan.
“Singapore has made it easy for BBP to accelerate our growth beyond her shores. The benefits have been two-fold as we are helping companies in the region save costs without taxing the environment. SAS Analytics accelerated our innovation and speed to market, uplifting the capabilities of our solutions by more than 20 percent. Analytics, coupled with today’s hyperconnectivity, has truly allowed a home-grown player like us to make an impact on the regional stage,” Poyan added.
Investing in the future
BBP is also currently a partner of the SAS Business Intelligence & Analytics (BIA) Program, a company-led national initiative to support Singapore’s youth in Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics upskilling and recruitment. Recognizing the value of in-house data analytics talent to support their innovative business model, BBP started engaging SAS on a consulting basis, while growing their analytics team within the business.
“Joining the BIA program has been an ideal next step for us in this partnership, as we work towards a growing data analytics team to support and maintain our database architecture, IT security and more. We’ve seen our partnership with SAS come full circle as we were able to hire a skilled employee through the BIA program, who is now an integral part of supporting our data analytics team using SAS software,” noted Poyan.
The analytics economy
Looking ahead, BBP has sights set on bringing their innovation to the international stage.
“With SAS and the Singapore government as our partners, this vision may not be too far ahead. BBP’s technology sits at the exciting intersection of business efficiency and sustainabilty goals. While analytics has always been a passion for us, today we see a lot more businesses beginning to understand the real power of data and the insight it can extract to improve every aspect of business operations. With our first global tender under our belt, we are committed to uncovering new ways to harness data and bring faster, deeper and more accurate actionable insights to businesses across the globe,” Poyan concluded.
BBP wanted to leverage analytics to better optimize its equipment to improve its customers' energy efficiencies.
Optimizing their equipment by 20 percent and helping customers achieve up to millions of dollars in cost savings.