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EVORA Partners With Qube Global Software – A Leading Provider of Property and Facilities Management Software

We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with Qube Global Software through its expanding Connect Partner Programme, further supporting Qube’s goal of showcasing best of breed technology and services to its customers.


EVORA Qube PartnershipEVORA Partners With Qube Global Software

With an ever-increasing emphasis being placed on environmentally-efficient buildings, our expert services have been adopted by some of the UK’s largest investment companies to ensure their portfolios meet strict and often complex regulatory requirements, while optimising the performance of their buildings.

Through a holistic approach, we deliver end-to-end sustainability solutions for property managers and owners that are tailored to their specific needs, developed for the real estate sector.

EVORA Partners With Qube Global Software - A Leading Provider of Property and Facilities Management SoftwareClick To Tweet

Paul Manning, Executive Sales Director at Qube Global Software, says:

“Qube’s comprehensive suite of tailored property management functions is used by more than 1000 organisations, and consistently helps clients to deliver increased return on investment and portfolio growth.

Additionally, our real estate investment software is proven to help users manage properties anytime, anywhere by providing a panoramic view of their assets. EVORA offers the same excellent service for sustainability and energy management, and is a perfect complement to our existing solutions.”

EVORA offers excellent sustainability and energy management services, and is a perfect complement to Qube's existing solutions.Click To Tweet

To support our experienced consultancy, we offer both a highly-polished sustainability management software solution, SIERA, as well as technical engineering services through our specialist division, EVORA EDGE. Combined, we can provide unrivalled end-to-end real estate sustainability solutions, delivering strategic goals that achieve optimal performance of buildings.

SIERA is an innovative and easy-to-use environmental management software, which is leading the way in the real estate sector. SIERA combines powerful data acquisition capabilities with sophisticated data analysis tools, simplifying the complexities of regulatory and voluntary reporting. In addition, SIERA’s ground-breaking energy Monitoring & Targeting (M&T) module automatically alerts you of energy efficiency opportunities in buildings, enabling savings to be quickly achieved.

Chris Bennett, Managing Director at EVORA, says:

“By understanding and addressing clients’ risks, then realising the opportunities, we are able to offer practical and easy-to-understand strategic advice combined with intelligent tools capable of putting it into practice. We look forward to working with Qube users in this way, and to exploring the many potential benefits of this exciting new relationship.”

'We offer practical and easy-to-understand strategic advice combined with intelligent tools capable of putting it into practice.' Chris Bennett of EVORAClick To Tweet

To find out more about effective sustainability management, you may wish to attend a joint Qube-EVORA webinar that will run on Wednesday, 11th October.

Those who attend the Qube World event on 31st October will also have the chance to learn about our solutions, as we are the Platinum Sponsor.

How To Use A Data Management System To Improve Your ESG Performance

Data Management: stop guessing and start making informed decisions that achieve real results!


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.

I couldn’t agree more. Without a plan, you’re basically lost and hoping you’ll get to where you want to go. But to make a plan you need to know where you are, what is on the road ahead of you, and understand if you’re heading in the right direction. In the world of sustainability this is where data comes in.

As I mentioned in my last blog, we create massive amounts of data in our buildings every day. The challenge is making sense of it all, allowing us to understand what the impacts of our actions are, and what we need to do (or not do) to reach our end goal.

A data management solution, therefore, is essential in helping you achieve your objectives – understanding your data will allow you to understand your challenges and make the right decisions.

How To Use A Data Management System To Improve Your ESG Performance EVORA

A picture is worth a thousand words. Quickly understand your data and the results of your improvement actions using SIERA’s powerful visualisation tools.

Using SIERA, we have been able to identify energy savings of between 10-15% on average for our clients, without any CAPEX costs. Let’s put this figure into perspective for a moment: Investment buildings consume around 40% of the worlds energy and contribute up to 30% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Imagine what results we could achieve collectively, globally, with said 10-15%  energy savings!

More than 95% of the world’s building stock is in existing buildings, and although we are making great advances in green technologies for new buildings, we need to make sure that we optimise the use of our existing ones as well.

Besides the potential of energy savings and GHG reductions, there are many other benefits to managing and sharing your data:

  • You can find and understand your data, allowing you to make more informed decisions
  • Business continuity if staff leave or new team members join
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication e.g. re-collecting or re-working data
  • Sharing data leads to more collaboration amongst teams
  • Improved scores on sustainability benchmarks through better management/data collection

Data management is not just about collating and reporting out the data. It is about understanding the data you’re producing to make informed decisions based on the results of your actions.

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Sir Winston Churchill


If you would like to learn more about the positive impact a data management system can have, please join our experts and GRESB on July 6th at 9.30 BST at our free webinar. More details on the webinar here.

In one hour, you’ll see how easy it can be to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of your buildings, and achieve your ESG goals!


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PS – SIERA is now on Twitter! Here’s our first Tweet, which has already got people talking!

 

Webinar: How To Save Up To 70% Of Your Time On GRESB Using SIERA

UPDATE: This webinar is no-longer GRESB specific. We will still be showcasing the GRESB automation functionality, but due to high demand we will also be demonstrating SIERA’s other features, such as its M&T module, which has been described as ‘groundbreaking’, ‘visionary’ and ‘the best system of its kind’. Trust us – you’ll want to see this! Scroll down to book now.


Goodbye spreadsheets, hello automation!

We are delighted to be partnering with GRESB on this upcoming webinar.


GRESB

What?

How to save up to 70% of your time spent on GRESB using SIERA. Discover how SIERA automation saves you time and stress by delivering immense GRESB reporting efficiencies.

When?

Thursday July 6th 2017, 09:30 – 10:30 BST

Who for?

This webinar is for all GRESB participant organisations, or those who are thinking of responding for the first time in 2018.


Don’t let GRESB reporting and multiple spreadsheets cause you undue stress next year. There’s a better way!

This live demonstration will show you:

  • How simple yet powerful SIERA is, and why it ‘wows’ everyone who sees it
  • How SIERA has revolutionised the collation of data in a format that enables Performance Indicator reporting thanks to its highly efficient drag-and-drop functionality
  • How the responses for various questions, including R5.1 (portfolio characteristics) and Q31 (EPC coverage), have been automated, thereby delivering even greater efficiencies
  • How easy it is to get started and how our expert consultants and SIERA will do the hard work for you

Following the demo, there will be a Q&A session with a representative of GRESB.


If any of this sounds appealing, what have you got to lose by attending this short free webinar?

 

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I'm joining GRESB and EVORA on this upcoming webinar to learn about GRESB reporting automation using SIERA!Click To Tweet

 


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.

Connect With The Speakers, Sponsors and Organisers of the 7th Annual 40 Percent Symposium

Using Listly, we have created the following list of all the Organisers, Speakers, Sponsors and Partners of the 7th Annual 40 Percent Symposium, which took place on 3rd November 2016 at the Regent Hotel in Berlin.

This allows you to follow and/or connect with those involved with this year’s Symposium. For example, you can follow some of the speakers on Twitter or, where social media profiles didn’t exist, learn more about the company by visiting its website.

Stay tuned for our full post-event write-ups.


How We Use Big Data To Add Value To Our Clients’ Assets

Big Data in Our Daily Lives


A few weeks ago, whilst on the train, I was browsing my emails when a new, unfamiliar email, landed in my inbox. Opening it, I was told I had earned 30 leaves in the past month. Apparently, I was doing quite well. People in my area had earned, on average, 26 leaves. The email was from Nest, and contained my first report on energy usage.

In its own subtle way, the email showed how Big Data is not just a buzzword, but very much a reality for people in their day-to-day lives. The Internet of Things is enabling huge amounts of data to be recorded and we are being meticulously analysed, whether we like it or not.

Big Data for Sustainability


A couple of years ago, John Hsu wrote about the potential of Big Data use for sustainability. EVORA was already considering the use of Big Data for its clients at that time. We understood the impact that Big Data would create, and have since developed systems for SIERA, our proprietary sustainability software, that allow manual as well as automatic data import. This allows us to accrue vast amounts of data for our clients. The amount of data we store is demonstrated in our recent infographic: SIERA By Numbers.

Once the data is in place, the possibilities for reporting are almost endless. That is why we are currently developing features that will allow clients to shape and visualise their data into meaningful reports.

 How EVORA Uses Big Data To Add Value To Its Clients' Assets (2)

As the name suggests, Big Data brings a sense that data can be overwhelming to human perception. The term ‘Data Lake’ has been coined to describe an entity that is difficult to render anything meaningful from. That’s why SIERA provides rich, intuitive reporting features such as its GRESB capabilities. For example, in less than a minute, SIERA can auto-generate an asset data spreadsheet that’s fully aligned to GRESB’s template, ready to be uploaded directly into the GRESB portal; a process that saves our clients a lot of stress, time and money.

With its rich reporting features, SIERA sustainability software saves you stress, time & money.Click To Tweet

Big Data and Predictive Analysis


But perhaps the biggest selling point of Big Data is its use in predictive analysis – using data to model what will occur. EVORA recognises this powerful use of data and we are working towards features that will enable clients to predict the future.

The obvious benefit is to help reduce cost. One such example is our metering strategy. Earlier I mentioned Nest. Through collation of metering data, we can suggest monitoring and targeting strategies to enable real savings; not just the awarding of leaves!

EVORA can enable real savings for its clients through the collation of metering data and monitoring and targeting strategies.Click To Tweet

However, there are other tangible benefits for Predictive Analytics. It could also suggest disruptive methods that may realise an advantage by changing policy or practice.

How Big Data Will Continue to Shape SIERA


As the Big Data concept matures further, there will no doubt be more possibilities not yet realised. We will continue to build  more functionality into SIERA to enable our clients to get the insights and information they need to improve their sustainability efforts. This helps each client with their long-term aim of adding value to their assets and retaining tenants.

As for my Nest leaf count, I’ll keep you posted…


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SIERA Sustainability Software: By Numbers [An Infographic]

Leading Sustainability Software for the Real Estate World

SIERA, our proprietary sustainability management software, has, until recently, been an inadvertently well-kept secret. As a result, “This is great, why haven’t I seen it before?” is one of the most common questions we are asked when demoing the software to our commercial real estate prospects.

Well, no longer will SIERA remain a secret!

We are actively demoing the software to multiple businesses with assets across the globe. What’s more, our clients who are already using it are reaping the rewards of having all their environmental data in one secure database, with powerful validation tools ensuring the accuracy and completeness of their data. SIERA has proved particularly popular with regards to its GRESB reporting automation capabilities. Read more about that here.

We have put together the infographic below to provide a visual overview of some of SIERA’s key figures. The numbers are, of course, changing each month as we add more clients’ assets to the system, but at least this provides a bit of a starting point. We’re very proud of SIERA and what it has achieved for our clients so far.

Would you like a demo of SIERA at your convenience?
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Click the image to view it in full size

(You will also be able to save it as a PDF should you wish to.)

siera-by-numbers-infographic-leading-sustainability-software-for-the-real-estate-world


Further SIERA reading:


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SIERA: A Case Study in Sustainable Project Development

Software development Rule No. 1:

“As long as you have users, your product will never be finished!”

When we began the SIERA project we knew that our journey would be one of continual improvement and continual change; our product would have to evolve to meet the demands of our clients, global reporting standards, a constantly changing regulatory environment and the challenges of working in different jurisdictions.

Our project methodologies and technology frameworks would, therefore, have to provide the flexibility needed to meet this constantly changing agenda. Part of my Technology Director role is to ensure that our development project is sustainable in terms of the tools we employ, the security of our environments, and the availability of resources to manage and develop our software.

Here’s how we achieve that:

Agile Project Methodology

The basis of Agile is to be close to the user and their requirements, and allows us to build and deploy a new release approximately every two weeks. This approach minimises the impacts associated with large amounts of change. It means that we are continually, incrementally, improving the software.

The key to Agile is communication. As a dispersed dev team in Glasgow, London, Swindon and Milton Keynes, we have a daily 15 minute scrum using Join.Me’s screen sharing, video and audio facilities.

Throughout the day (and night!) we are in touch through Slack, our collaboration platform. Project plans are kept in Trello and GanttPro and we share specifications across the team using Google Docs. Freshdesk is our ticket tracking software that can be used by clients and consultants to report faults. Our code is controlled and securely stored with Bitbucket, which allows multiple developers to work independently without getting in each other’s way.

All these tools are in the cloud and can be used on our mobile devices or PCs. It creates an environment where we are always in touch, able to seek out project documentation, and can keep tabs on progress and issues, wherever we are.

Virtual Infrastructure

We deliver SIERA through a ‘software as a service’(SaaS) model. Fundamentally, this means we deliver from a highly secure data centre accessible through the internet. Our servers are virtual machines e.g. not physical servers but a piece of server software running in a massively powerful physical server. We can flex the size of this server within minutes to meet demand by increasing the number of processors or amount of storage. The majority of our clients ‘share’ the same virtual server and database which brings massive economies of scale. It also allows them to instantly benchmark their portfolios – anonymously – against the hundreds of other asset details that we store. Some clients prefer their own server and we can facilitate this easily. In fact, we can ‘spin up’ a new server in under 60 minutes with all the software pre-installed and ready to go.

We take a belt and braces approach to backups; each server is ‘imaged’ once a day and, just in case our data centre went up in smoke (highly unlikely for an ISO27001 certified facility), all our data is backed up to a 3rd party every night.

Multi-tiered Technology

We have created a multi-tiered technical architecture to deliver SIERA. Each layer uses industry standard components. There are 3 elements to this:

  1. Database (the bit that stores the data) – Microsoft SQL Server – Enterprise ready, used globally by thousands of organisations.
  2. API (the bit that links the data to the user interface) – Microsoft .NET providing a RESTful interface. This is a standard for APIs. It makes SIERA an ‘open’ platform that can allow other software to talk to it in a widely understood way, given, of course, that the correct OAuth2 credentials have been provided. All of this takes place through a https:// web address that encrypts all the traffic between the client’s browser and our datacentre.
  3. User Interface (the bit that the user works with) – we use Sencha, a javascript framework that is used by corporates and financial institutions across the world. It provides a rich toolset that accelerates the development process. It also allows us to deploy to PC, phones and tablets with minimal changes and with a common code base.

Subject Matter Expertise

Finally, the key to the success of our software is that its design is underpinned by the deep and detailed knowledge of our sustainability consultants. The origins of SIERA are ‘SDS’ (Sustainable Data Systems), a system that was developed to aid EVORA’s consultants with day-to-day data management processes and reports. SIERA has evolved from SDS and is now almost unrecognisable, but the core processes and reports still prevail, a testament to the solidity of the original design.

Read More:

SIERA – 5 Key Features & Benefits [Infographic]

SIERA and GRESB Data Automation: Ensuring Seamless Does Not Result in Senseless

SIERA Automates GRESB Reporting for Second Year Running

To learn more about SIERA or to see a demo of the software, please do not hesitate to contact our experts today.


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GRESB Data Automation – Ensuring Seamless Does Not Result in Senseless

Sacha van Tuijn, an Analyst at GRESB, recently posted a blog highlighting the anger and frustration that completion of the GRESB Performance Indicators evokes. I don’t think many will argue with that!

The complexity in pulling together the varied data elements every which way can be enough to want to make you pull your hair out. But there is no doubt GRESB is mobilising many organisations to take action to collate and better understand their environmental data, which should lead to performance improvement. That can only be a good thing… despite the pain!

So what is being done to save us all from pulling our hair out and keep our blood pressure at sensible levels?

Well, quite a lot. As Nils Kok, CEO of GRESB says in his blog, ESG, Real Estate and the Six Stages of Grief, “One of the exciting developments is that GRESB is slowly moving from manual entry of information to seamless data flows between many different data management platforms and our Portal”.

Well our proprietary software, SIERA, is one of those sustainability data platforms he refers to, so what’s our take on this?

The original – and still widely used – approach is where participants manually aggregate their consumption data and then enter it per sector, line-by-line, in the standard GRESB Portal. This is time consuming, requires a lot of manual calculations and is subject to human error.

For the last couple of years, a semi-automated approach has been made available, the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet, which provides an Excel template of 159 columns – yes, 159 columns – of required data by asset, which once completed, can be uploaded directly into the GRESB portal saving manual data input. Now this is obviously not for the faint hearted but it does give a good indication of the data collection and analysis requirements to meet the GRESB reporting requirements and achieve a good score. But let’s not write this method off just yet, we’ll come back to it later.

The third option is the latest development from GRESB to achieve seamless transition of data direct from data management software systems such as SIERA, directly into the GRESB portal using clever mapping tools, known as an API or Application Programme Interface. This sounds great, and of course, in many ways it is. But as with any system, dodgy data in means dodgy information out. So the big risk is to make sure ‘Seamless’ does not equate to ‘Senseless’ through lack of visibility of data flowing directly into GRESB.

As soon as data automation gets involved, audit trail clarity can be lost and this is the potential risk here.

Which brings me back to the second option of the 159 column Asset Spreadsheet. The beauty of this approach is that the spreadsheet model can actually be auto-generated in software platforms, an approach SIERA has taken, and swiftly interfaced into the GRESB portal through an uploader. This process takes less than a minute and populates the Performance Indicator questions for all sectors reported by a portfolio. Although a hefty spreadsheet, it is clearly structured and provides a great audit trail and visual clarity of all the data before it heads off into the GRESB machine. And it certainly didn’t reduce EVORA’s efficiency in delivering GRESB for our clients, with SIERA processing more than 40 submissions in 2016.

We’re happy to implement the clever mapping tools into SIERA but, as both professional sustainability consultants and software providers, visibility and clear audit trails to ensure quality of data is our number one priority for our clients. We have even replicated the full GRESB Performance Indicator report at fund and sector level to provide additional visibility, SIERA being the only software platform to do this according to Luc van de Boom, Analyst at GRESB.

Call me belt and braces, but although I run a professional sustainability consultancy I am a chartered accountant by profession and old habits die hard!

To find out how SIERA completely transforms your data capture and reporting, speak to our experts today and request a demo.


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SIERA Features and Benefits [Infographic]

With its many advanced capabilities, it’s not a straightforward task to summarise the SIERA features and benefits to just five apiece… But we’ve tried anyway!

SIERA (Sustainability Intelligence Environmental Reporting & Analysis) is our proprietary sustainability management software that has been developed specifically for the commercial real estate investment market. It is already managing billions of pounds worth of real estate, and is being rapidly adopted by large organisations across the globe.

This year alone, SIERA has delivered the automation of data transfer into GRESB for 23 submissions and more than €20bn of assets, with clients including Deutsche Asset Management, Schroder Real Estate, Rockspring, and AEW.

Explore the infographic below to see SIERA’s 5 Key Features and Benefits. (Click the image to zoom in.)

SIERA Features and Benefits

To find out how SIERA completely transforms your data capture and reporting, speak to our experts today and request a demo.


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