VRT MultiRes Monitor, a purpose-built MDU WAGES monitoring solution

High rise residential buildings (or MDU - multiple dwelling unit) are increasingly being designed with sustainability as a core goal, and often as a consequence, are increasingly complex from a monitoring and control perspective. And that's just the greenfield projects. There is a looming demand also coming from established buildings, in some cases driven by regulations, e.g. Victoria. Another major driver is for building owners/managers to be able to fully implement a "user pays" system.

The Green Building Council of Australia defines six credit points available to encourage the design and installation of systems that facilitate effective metering and monitoring of water & energy consumption. Most building owners are keen to grab several (or all) of these, but in many cases the additional complexity brings with it cost and risk that may make the options less attractive.

The VRT MultiRes Monitor solution is based on VRT's Vsuite for Energy Management. This is a modular approach to systems integration – we have a reference architecture that supports a range of different options, and we select the best fit for your requirements. We don't design from scratch for each project, and we don't take a punt on untested technologies. This approach allows us to offer a range of proven solutions that offer "Good / Better / Best"  options for any MDU development:

  • In cases where simple electricity, water & gas monitoring is required, we have solutions tuned to reducing the cost of metering and communications investment, while still offering options for cost-effective in-unit colour touch screen (~3" size) displays if required (in some cases we can deliver in-apartment metering, communications and display panels for a significant saving over competing approaches). These solutions are cost-effective, simple, and don't require an ongoing internet-based service to operate (i.e. no ongoing Op-ex cost).
  • In larger or more sophisticated complexes, we are able to provide comprehensive metering & communications options (multi-protocol, local memory, battery backup) that includes comprehensive site-based energy management software for base building monitoring (including power quality), with an expanded range of options for tenant consumption monitoring that  includes larger in-unit touch displays (>4" touch screens), or options for "Bring your Own" device (BYOD).
  • For premium developments, we are able to offer solutions that deliver comprehensive metering infrastructure, as well as a range of options for in-apartment and BYOD interfaces, including integrated touch panels that combine energy, security and intercom functions in a single unit. These solutions leverage the capabilities of the Switch Smart Hub and can include BYOD or in-unit panel displays that integrate energy management, security and intercom functions, as well as providing portfolio management capabilities for property owners with multiple sites.

For more information about this solution, download a product overview which describes more of the background to this development as well as the features and benefits of this approach.

VRT is currently involved in the design and delivery of several projects utilising all of the options within the broad range of solutions mentioned above. Some of these will become the subject of detailed case studies during 2015.

If you are designing, building or renovating an MDU, we would be happy to share more of our experiences in the sustainability monitoring/control area with you. Please contact us at VRT Systems.