Globally, 30% of CO2 emissions can be traced back to buildings. We must commit not only to more sustainable buildings, but also to sustainable construction. The multidisciplinary construction group Denys is already leading by example. It recently invested in energy monitoring systems based on the ATS SmartKit, mounted in mobile site cabinets. In this way, they can identify standby consumption on their own sites and evolve towards more energy-efficient operations.
Denys is not just any construction company. Growing from a background in pipes for water and gas, it has emerged in recent years as a specialist in civil engineering. Three pillars are central to the growth achieved by Denys over the past decades: diversification, innovation and internationalization. With more than 40% of its activities realized abroad, it is working hard to achieve this. The secret of the blacksmith? The enthusiasm and creativity of its employees. "We are engineers who love challenges, it is ingrained in each of us. In construction and infrastructure projects where there is an extra layer of complexity to it, we can realize the most added value." Speaking is Lander Fonck, active in the technical department at Denys. This team provides all of Denys' construction sites with the tools needed to bring the works to a successful conclusion.
The map of sustainability
Within Denys, sustainability has been pushed very hard in recent years. "We really want to be a pioneer in this," says Tuur Bossuyt, energy coach within Denys. "In all areas. By choosing sustainable machines and materials, by creating an inclusive, pleasant working environment for employees, and by extending the principles of circular construction into projects as much as possible." In doing so, Denys is also investigating how it itself can become more energy efficient on its construction sites. "Because we notice that this demand is starting to come more and more. Sometimes specifications already include requirements around maximum emissions per day. So we try to weigh the costs and benefits ourselves to go as far as possible in sustainable construction."
ATS SmartKit ideal tool
But to reduce its own energy consumption, it is important to first map it in detail. Says Fonck, "We had already learned from machine manufacturer platforms how to do that. But we really wanted a solution that was on our lines. A demo of the ATS SmartKit and we knew we had found what we were looking for." With this proprietary platform, ATS has a system that knows how to store all the digital data available and turn it into actionable information. "It originated in the industry to make production conditions in batch processes more traceable. But the possibilities are basically endless. Anything that has a digital signal, we can basically capture," knows Neal Dhanyns, application engineer at ATS.
Mobile, robust and dummy proof
So for Denys, it's all about energy. The company wants to map where the energy consumed goes and when. "In the first place to detect slumber consumption at the time when a yard is not active, during the weekend for example. In addition, thanks to this energy monitoring, we want to be able to benchmark between yards of similar size and works. Secondly, we want to use these systems to size power groups. After all, we can use the captured data to calculate peak currents," Bossuyt said. The technology already existed. It was up to ATS to turn it into a mobile, robust solution. "A solution that was also dummy proof. It had to function like any yard box, so that anyone can plug it in and the data flows in automatically."
All energy data brought together in one environment
A challenge that ATS gladly accepted. "Solution-oriented thinking along with the customer, that's what Denys and we have in common," emphasizes project manager Tom Leutenez. It initially involved three site cabinets. However, the heart of the solution remained the same: a WAGO controller that connects to the Internet via 4G. Thus, the captured data is transmitted to the ATS SmartKit cloud solution. "This is where we make the difference with the antenna, which had to be very robust in order to stay connected under all conditions on site. We also delivered two more compact yard boxes that were developed with tower cranes in mind, but can actually be connected directly to any other consumer (up to 1,500 A) for specific short measurement campaigns. This allows them to detect anomalies. Finally, we built our solution into an existing Denys site container. That way, all data around energy monitoring can end up in one centralized environment."
The real customization, however, was in the programming. "In consultation with Denys, a number of features were added to go further in usability. They made it clear what would be a logical way of working for them. We drew on the expertise and experience already around the ATS SmartKit to better put that puzzle together. Feel free to call it a case of co-creation, because we also learned things from this interaction," Leutenez says. One example are the legends that accompany the charts. By simply clicking on them, Denys can dive deeper into the information.
Denys also values the interaction. Fonck: "That's the great thing about working with ATS. No ready-made solution is forced upon us. We have our own say in finding the best way to work together. The short lines of communication, the fast response times to questions, it makes everyone find each other and progress is made quickly in a very constructive way. And we already know from experience: they deliver quality anyway." The intention now is to put these site boxes on every site as standard. "Measuring is knowing. We want to be able to monitor every connection to always make the best possible economic and ecological analysis. It won't always be significant energy savings, but every little bit helps to be more energy efficient," Bossuyt adds.