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Shell (Tullos, Altens and Torry Dock), Aberdeen

Shell (Tullos, Altens and Torry Dock), Aberdeen

BMS in a multi-site business


At the time of this study, Shell Expro employed more than 2,000 people in the city of Aberdeen, at four principal sites:

  • Tullos (office complex)
  • Altens Operations Base (storage, warehousing and offices)
  • Torry Dock (dockyard with office and warehouses)
  • Woodbank (conference facilities).


The sites (exluding Woodbank) are covered by a Building Management System (BMS) which monitors energy use, and allows control of the building services. A previous BMS was in place from the 1980's, but this was replaced with a new system in 1996. The new system includes the ability to record data on energy consumption to allow trends and savings to be identified.



A BMS (Building Management System) provides the facility to control any building service. It works by using wireless controllers to accurately control plant (such as boilers, chillers, pumps, fans, lights and security systems) in response to changing conditions (such as time, temperature and light levels). BMS's are of particular benefit in complex buildings or multi-site facilities.

The first BMS was installed at Shell in 1983; by 1994 it was beginning to fail regularly and hardware needed to be replaced. A cost-benefit analysis was conducted on this system which provided the case for the new system to be installed in 1996. The analysis considered three options:

  • do nothing (let the existing system run until total failure, then revert to a manual control system)
  • wait until the system failed and then replace (at a cost of £750,000)
  • plan a replacement for 1996 (at a cost of £600,000)


The new BMS monitors the energy performance of the three sites; Tullos, Altens and Torry Dock. Additionally, the system allows the building services to be centrally controlled.

Data on the energy performance is collected and analysed to identify trends and areas where savings could be realised. Energy management was undertaken as part of the facilities management by an external contractor.

Energy savings have resulted from investment in a variety of areas including lighting and radiant heating. A 1 MW CHP plant was also proposed for installation at the Tullos site.


Energy use at Shell’s Aberdeen sites is dominated by the office complex at Tullos which accounts for over two-thirds of the total energy use.

Energy use overall has been reduced by almost 14 million kWh (35%) between 1996 and 1999, saving the company £260,000 at 1999 prices. Additionally, the company estimated that introducing the BMS across all sites has reduced manpower costs by £120,000 per year compared to continuing to operate with standard controls.


Data collected from the BMS energy monitoring, allowed the management team to identify areas where energy was being wasted. This included 'out-of-hours' use of equipment, execssive temperatures and heating spaces which were unoccupied. This analysis allowed changes to be made, and savings to be realised.




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