“We wanted to test Smartvatten to see if it was a viable way to keep track of water consumption for our properties. The solution with the camera that is mounted directly on top of the water meter is smart so that you do not have to invest in expensive technology.”
SISAB, Skolfastigheter i Stockholm AB, is a municipal company, which manages and owns 400 preschools and 200 primary and secondary schools in Stockholm. Given the nature of these buildings, SISAB wants to offer sustainable and smart solutions in a secure educational environment that inspires both children and teachers.
With regard to water consumption, it is not primarily SISAB that has control over it; that responsibility lies with their client. It is, however, still in SISAB’s interest as a property owner to know how well the buildings work and if there are potential problems which need to be rectified. This is also the reason why Smartvatten was a service they wanted to get help from.
Today, SISAB has had Smartvatten installed at two schools for over a year. The result has been surprising and the lessons learned significant for both the present and the future.
Surprises were quickly discovered
Since the water is not included in the rent, the water meters have never been connected to SISAB and it has thus not been known what the water consumption level was.
“We wanted to test Smartvatten to see if it was a viable way to keep track of water consumption for our properties. The solution with the camera that is mounted directly on top of the water meter is smart so that you do not have to invest in expensive technology” explains Mats Carlqvist, Operations Co-ordinator at SISAB. He has been involved in the project from the start.
With the meters in place, SISAB was soon able to gain an understanding of water consumption around the clock and easily locate any issues. This was an easy way to get a better view of the properties and find out how they operate and if there are any leaks; information that they would not otherwise get.
It was immediately discovered that water consumption was not at all as expected; it was surprisingly high and this was due, among other things, to leaking toilets and activities outside regular hours.
An environmental as well economic cost
Water has long been considered cheap and therefore ended up rather in the shadows when it comes to efficiency and cost reduction. With the discoveries that SISAB has now made with the help of Smartvatten, it has been possible to see that significant savings can be made. To date Smartvatten has identified a total of 36 leaks, the size of which varied between 0.06 litres – 9 litres per minute.
“To remedy the abnormal water consumption we have installed shut-off valves during the night. Thanks to this we will reduce water consumption at one of the schools to an amount equivalent to around 100,000 SEK per year” says Mats Carlqvist.
In addition to the direct cost of water consumption there are other benefits of keeping track of these figures. It is possible to see patterns and detect leaks that can affect the property in terms of greater costs in the long run than just the consumption itself. The water may be cheap but it can cause costly damage and, as a property owner, you want to avoid that.
Towards a sustainable future
Getting started with Smartvatten and using the service has been easy and also provided significant insight for SISAB, something that brought with it thoughts of wanting to use the product with more properties.
“Right now we are continuing with the water meters at the schools that have been involved from the start in order to test how the shut-off valves work at night but when it’s done, the idea is to be able to test this in more schools.”
Even if SISAB is not responsible for the water cost, they still want to take consumption into account from an energy perspective because they have a keen interest in sustainability. One solution could be for the water to be included in the rent in the future in order to have full control over consumption and be able to take appropriate measures so as not to waste such an important resource.
“We have not laid out the plan for the future yet but we have learned that with connected cold water meters you can learn a lot.” concludes Mats Carlqvist.
“SISAB is paving the way for a sustainable future. A clear sustainability plan in which technology is one of the most important factors in streamlining property management is something we completely agree on. For future reporting we have also chosen to include CO2 calculations related to water consumption in order to support companies’ ESG strategies.” says Joe Hamari, CSO at Smartvatten.