Arup and Swire develop AI-enabled building in Hong Kong

The artificial intelligence (AI) smart platform ‘Neuron’ is a collaboration between Arup and Swire Properties to create an AI-enabled building in Hong Kong – it is believed to be a first in the city. Both partners have won Silver at the 2019 Hong Kong Green Innovations Awards (HKGIA) for this work, which transforms building operations and drive sustainable development and innovation in the industry.

Tested and implemented at Swire Properties’ newest triple Grade-A office tower, One Taikoo Place, the Arup-developed technology is a pioneering AI and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled central analytic platform that serves as the ‘digital brain’ of the building.

Combining the computational power of AI with machine learning, Neuron transforms building operations by analysing and learning from large historical data sets to automatically discover trends and perform energy forecasts, optimise building systems, detect faults and allow predictive maintenance.

“Neuron puts the concept of smart buildings on a new level: it will change the way buildings are designed and constructed, operated and maintained. We’re keen to further explore and develop this data-driven approach in shaping a more sustainable world,” said Michael Kwok, East Asia region chair at Arup.

Completed in September 2018, One Taikoo Place was designed with the highest green building and wellness standards in mind. The 1-mil-sq-ft office tower has already won multiple accolades and international green certifications. Besides being the first commercial building in Asia to achieve WELL Core & Shell Final Platinum, it is also the first commercial building in Hong Kong to obtain a triple Platinum rating (WELL, BEAM Plus and LEED Final Platinum certification). The development also won the ‘Pioneer Award - Green Building Leadership’ at the Green Building Award 2019, organised by the Hong Kong Green Building Council.

Don Taylor, director for office at Swire Properties said, “Neuron, and our partnership with Arup, is part of our greater placemaking efforts to use game-changing technology to drive efficiency in our operations, reduce our carbon footprint and promote wellness all at the same time. Physical buildings are a key part of building vibrant sustainable communities and we will continue to explore technology that mitigates our impact on the environment and creates smarter ecosystems that help people and businesses perform better.”

The HKGIA is part of the annual Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence – organised by the Environmental Campaign Committee and Environmental Protection Department – and encourages local companies to tackle environmental challenges through innovative new technology. For the 2019 edition of the awards, there were a total of 84 entries.

Images: Arup